And since we had an address by the Prime Minister at 9 am, I rushed through the cleaning and re-decided my house-work plan to make sure I’d be cleaning in front of the television just to ensure that I heard the speech. And then it started and he congratulated us and thanked us for supporting the #SocialDistancing which now was followed as a necessity rather than habit and cited how we were leading the way for the world and people were citing India as an example and honestly, I felt more than a bit proud. It’s hard for 130 crore people to stay in a location, forget stay at home and even though there were issues, by and large, this was being obeyed!
And so I stayed on, there were rumours that the un-lockdown would happen in a systematic manner and I wanted to hear the plan. Also running a small business in this economy is hard and I was hoping I’d hear a plan that would give me hope.
But then we were given a plan of switching off lights on Sunday the 5th at 9 p.m. for 9 minutes and we were asked to hold candles, torches, diyas or mobile phone lights at our balcony- and that’s when I got up and re-started my work.
I am not criticising the plan because I lack solidarity with my government or my people. I’m not even criticising the plan because I don’t have candles-I do.
I won’t be lighting candles on Sunday at 9 p.m. because, I will be asleep.
With the lockdown I start my day at 5 am, and then walk 7 km with 2 bags of food to be feed 14-20 strays who currently are starving because the shops that used to feed them scraps are shut and the walkers in the parks have also been stuck at home. Hence the dogs have been fighting each other for scraps, getting injured and hurt in the process and are famished. And every day if I can do one good thing it’s this. After the walk, there’s cleaning, swabbing and disinfecting my house, then cooking for the family. And then after that we get on to a work call with the team, to keep them and myself positive and see how we can ensure that business does not suffer.
So no, I won’t be able to stay up on Sunday because to make a difference to the world, I’d rather feed those that can’t. I’d rather get on that work call and keep my business afloat, because I’m not hearing any plans from the government on how we’re going to revive the economy or how they’re going to ensure that people stay employed.
Sunday will make brilliant front page copy, beautiful Instagram images and even spectacular city images. It won’t however help us back on our feet. It won’t make my Monday less terrifying and I know there will be a few idiots who’ll ditch the candles for crackers; so I hope they don’t hurt my poor defenceless animals more than they are already suffering.
P.s.(Palat says)-: In a time of fear, we need to be told we’ll be back and stronger than ever… even if that’s always not believed. I need that plan. I’ll stay up for that!That’ll give me hope. That’ll be my candle in the dark!