After three months of lockdown, with compulsory stay-at-home and Work From Home rules, we have finally entered the phase of Unlock. I had posted one major event of Unlock 1 on my travel blog, the safe passage of two of our students to their home states. https://unnilogstravel.wordpress.com/2020/06/28/unlock-1-0-leaving-on-a-jet-plane/
With Unlock 1.0 we continue in Trishanku Swargam (Heaven) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trishanku, stuck somewhere between the safety of our homes engaged in indoor activities and not quite able to move out freely, like going to our workplace or to the theater. Trishanku, born as Satyavarta, was a righteous king who gave up his throne and crowned his son. He wished to go to heaven with his physical body, but his Guru (teacher) Sage Vashishta told him that it was not possible. He approached his Guru’s rival, Sage Vishwamitra, who agreed to perform the necessary rituals. Satyavarta ascended into heaven, but could not gain entry as, the Gods led by Lord Indra, tossed him out. As he began to fall Vishwamitra, who could not accept defeat, used his powers and created a new heaven for him midway between heaven and earth. This is known as Trishanku Swargam (heaven).
What has Trishanku’s plight got to do with us? Nothing really, but with Unlock 1.0 we are also left in suspended animation, almost there, but not quite. Most of us are trying to adjust to the situation by enjoying what we have on hand. One indoor activity we have been fortunate to enjoy is watching and listening to the patter patter of the first rains. Not a big deal for those who live in regions blessed with ample rainfall, but for us in the near-desert city it is indeed a thrill. Watch these videos, enjoying the simple joys of life
Some people are blessed with the talent of poetic expression, stringing words together easily in the form of a poem. One such person is my husband, Rakesh. Every once in a while he expresses his thoughts and feelings in verse! Here he writes on the virtues of social distancing.
“Let me add a COVID19 couplet….. ‘यकीनन, यार का साथ बहुत खूबसूरत है, मगर फिलहाल, दूरियाँ भी कुछ कम दिलकश नहीं ‘……..राकेश (Rakesh)’
He prefers to write in Hindi, his native language. I used Google translate so that the South Indian population and the world at large could enjoy the poem. Here is what I got as the translated version from Google Baba (Wise Man).
“Let me add a COVID19 couplet…..’Arguably, Being with Dude is gorgeous, But at the moment, Distances are no less likeable’……The lord of the moonlit night“
Phew, the entire charm of the poem was lost, and the most hilarious was the translation of his name Rakesh, ‘The lord of the moonlit night‘.
So while the poets were expressing themselves on the benefits of social distancing, the cartoonists were having fun too. My state of Kerala is the abode of the wonderful theatrical dance form, Kathakali. The costumes are voluminous and the face is painted over to form a mask like effect. Varsha Sheth had her own take on social distancing and the Kathakali form of art!
An unknown cartoonist, probably from Kolkata, was having fun at the expense of the poor Corona virus cramped in a crowded bus in the city. Kolkata, even in the 1970s was one of the most populous cities of India. The virus is seen appealing to the passer by on a bicycle, ‘Dada (elder Brother), Get me out’!
And finally here we have a joke on the state of Tamil Nadu and the penchant for changing the names of cities to more Tamil sounding ones. Recently there was a proposal to change the name of the city of Coimbatore to Koyampuththoor! The cartoonist Unny (NOT to be confused with this author) visualized the Scientists in the state of Tamil Nadu working hard to find the vaccine, the miracle cure for the corona virus. The government of the state would have a field day, changing the name of the virus every time it mutated!
And so with a little bit of humour, some poetic relief and the joys of the monsoon showers we wait for normal times to return. A time like not so long ago when we can go to work, socialize and generally move around the city freely! Till then we hangout in Our Trishanku Swargam, a Heaven none the less for us more fortunate individuals!