Covid Wars

May 9, 2020.

There was a common scene in news channel. The camera pans to the queues of people who are maintaining social distancing to buy liquor in the TASMAC in Tamilnadu. What accompanies is the songs which were written especially for the bar sequence. Add some more people who hide their faces, run when they see camera and you got a funny clip. All this in prime time news channel.

I challenge these guys to take their camera into any of the five star hotels, where the creamy layer, downs their scotches and gins and mix with such songs and telecast in their channel. Most of the channels will be sued.

Covid – 19 has brought up so many things to light. I realized how much I wanted and how much is not needed. I learnt how I can control my cravings. I learnt staying at home was not so difficult at all. I realized what it is to feel like to be inside of a pressure cooker. The worst is the realization that whatever happens in this country, if you don’t have money, you will die a dog’s death.

Remember the initial days of lockdown? There were still vehicles rushing in the greenway’s road and the power corridors and lanes of Chennai. The bureaucrats had given the free pass to their drivers and maids, made them to buy grocery, liquor, bring their kids from other districts or even states. They were too scared to go out because they didn’t know if they will get affected. Then what about the drivers and maids? What difference would it make if they live or die?

Remember you saw the crowd of people in Tiruvanmiyur Market in news channel wondering how you can chide those people who were panic buying when the lock down with in lock down was announced? Did you wonder, why you didn’t see any clips of white rose super market or nilgris super market? The poorest of the poor are not getting affected by the virus. They are made sacrifice goats just because of the people who buy their time, now own their health and future too. Tiruvanmiyur Market vendor might give credit for the people who visited. They could pay for the veggies after two months. They were desperate.

I am not going to even talk about the migrant workers. You all know what had happened to them. They are literally killed for no fault of theirs. What I want to know is, why and when have we become like this?

Why are we keeping quiet when we know that the poor and laborers are ill treated?

Why are we quite when we know that they are being killed because of the greed of some?

Each block in my apartment has 12 big dust bins. There are 7 blocks. The people who clear the dustbins had asked the people to put the waste in the bins. Still the residents packed the wastes in the garbage bags, promptly placed it right near the bins and walked away. The stray dogs which enter the apartment, tore those bags to see if there is something to eat. The garbage was strewn across the walkways and lawns.

It took 12 brave women, who refused to work. They refused to take the trash out of the apartment till the residents behaved. In four days, the association came to its knees. We have no idea about what is essential and what is not. And one day, just one day these essential workers across India is going to go on strike.

We are going to stink more than we stink now.

For now, I am just trying to stink as less as possible.

If Covid-19 is a war, these people are in  the firing line. They will die. We will forget and the people who sat in the high castle, overseeing these people fall like nine pins, won’t even hesitate a minute to walk away with the accolades.

But.. Lest we Forget.

7 Comments

  1. MIHIR May 10, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    You put my grouse into words – but that is how the world works – a vast majority pining for the creamy minority!

    Reg the sanitation workers and cleaners – worse, they share tictoc/whatsapp forwards of their ignorance – who is liable should they lose lives? Who is liable to provide them proper protection? I wish these workers had an association (don’t know if they have yet), and hope they stand up for themselves – because, nobody cares enough – including you and me!

    Reply
    1. prasanna May 11, 2020 at 10:30 am

      But that’s not how the world should work. The 1% shouldn’t control the 99%. They have association. They do stand up for themselves. What happened in our association was the women who cleans were emotionally pleaded with the babies and elders in apartment. They finally did it out of compassion. We don’t deserve that kindness.

      Reply
  2. Divya May 10, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    My street used to be occupied by street food vendors whose customers dumped the plates and cups right on the street after a meal. Then it was clean for a while during the lock down with residents carefully putting the garbage in bins which was promptly cleaned by the sanitation workers. But now we face something worse – the temporary market and the garbage they leave on the street after they close at 1pm. The workers no longer care – why will they? Its not like they are getting paid more to deal with it. So the sacks and vegetables peals lie there covered by the urine of the passerby. Not one person uses the nearby public toilet. So yes, We stink literally, and we are going to stink more than we stink now.

    Reply
    1. prasanna May 11, 2020 at 10:32 am

      Who benefits from making street vendors sit in residential areas? And why it isn’t being addressed. This is a danger to all people not just the sanitation workers. The greater Chennai corporation is quite active in Twitter. Click pics and let them know please.

      Reply
  3. S Susan Deborah May 11, 2020 at 11:35 pm

    Quite a spot on post! Many things have come into perspective after COVID-19 has hit the country and the world. Everything is rotten in the state of India!

    Reply
  4. 9840366290 May 12, 2020 at 9:51 am

    It is unfortunate that the general psyche is one of selfishness. At least now will people realize that none is above nature and treat every other person as they would like to be treated. Or would we all go back to being ‘normal’ again.

    Reply
    1. prasanna May 12, 2020 at 9:53 am

      I would hate that normal.

      Reply

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