The Virus

China stopped Muslim women from wearing the veil. Now the whole country is in masks.
Muslims win.

The virus has globalized Hindu way of greeting – i.e. no handshakes.
Hindus win.

India isolated Kashmir. The whole world is isolated.
Kashmiris win.

Mecca is deserted. So is Vatican City. So are major temples and monasteries. Religious congregations are cancelled or postponed.
Atheists / agnostics win.

Science is as clueless about the virus – at least up till now – as illiterate people.
Illiterates win.

Developed countries should provide easy loans to developing countries. And if can’t waive off, they should minimize the loan restrictions.
PTI wins.

Cow urine parties in India.
Thanks, we lose.

And the list goes on and on.
Everybody’s a winner. Everybody’s a loser.
So many minds. So many logics.

Anyway, the virus is here. It is as ugly as:

Hunger has always been in Africa.
Refugees drowning in sea water.
Burma’s ethnic cleansing.
Racism in America.
Silencing of Kashmir.
State violence in Pakistan.
Hindutva in India.
Kurds of Turkey.
Kids in Yemen.
Or
‘Chinese virus’ when it was China’s only.

Nothing rings a bell until it’s our door. Our Door. Capitalists’ door. Consumers’ door.

I don’t know anything technical about this virus. But I know it has been here in one form or another, as written above.

Nights of Paris are no longer romantic. Northern lights in Scandinavia are no longer appealing. Beaches of Italy are no longer entertaining. Remember New York’s Time Square in Vanilla Sky?

Such panic never saw daylight when millions of people were killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Burma, Kashmir, Libya, Palestine, and Yemen.

Nothing rang a bell when a picture of a dead boy in red t-shirt went viral.

Nothing happened when war-implied-forced-refugees were left shelter-less in severe winters.

So, apparently, this virus is kinda blessing in disguise. It is like fasting in ramzan. Feeling thirst and hunger and realizing how it feels.

How it feels to be isolated.
How it feels to be clueless.
How it feels to be at the mercy of the state.
How it feels to be seen as a danger.
How it feels to be clean.

How must have Yeminis felt for years when they were bombarded and killed without any help or concern?
How must have Palestinians – who apparently have a monopoly in suffering – felt in decades of catastrophe?
How must have Afghans felt in being here and there of the dollar-funded-violence?

So, have patience. Embrace the threat. Inhale the risk. And feel how it feels to be here. At the uncertainty.

Even though it is nothing compared to falling drones from the sky and going directionless when homeless. Nothing compared to being a parent of raped and murdered kid. Nothing compared to being imprisoned in a location-less facility by known unknowns. Nothing compared to blasphemy charges. Nothing compared to being silenced by the state. Nothing compared to the fear of state violence.

Nothing.

Empty shelves don’t concern me. What concerns me is pathetic minds and apathetic hearts.

May this virus leave better humans behind for the next generation.

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