If there is one upside to being in a lockdown, it is that I have not had to hear about ethereal beauties, not even one! But that is probably because the salons have been closed, and consequently the production of beautiful on the inside, beautiful on the outside gentle ladies has been halted, albeit temporarily.
I have, however, been subjected to “happiness” utterances, as reports indicate that domestic abuse is in the rise, mind you. How one can be cloistered with a partner (and children, and servants, and fear of loss of income) and live in the anxiety of contagion, and still be in bliss is well beyond my limited imagination, but hey, so are the pandemic protocols.
What? I mean the do’s and don’ts of socially appropriate behaviour while the borders are closed and there are frontline battles to save lives. Erm…for some reason I thought that the social has been paused, but then I realized that that ought not to affect the competitiveness and judgementalism.
It is required in great details to say over and over again the precautions one is taking to protect oneself and one’s family. As if after five months into the disruption of the novel coronavirus, the listeners have no idea that they need to wash their hands and keep a physical distance.
Try being agreeable, but no matter. The monologues of "I am more precautionary than thou" will not stop. Oneupmanship is hale, hearty, and alive. Pity it cannot be transposed onto dawats now though. I mean I have 4 lunches today and 23 invites this week is tantamount to "I admit I am flouting regulation and being a superspreader".
By the way, does anyone know if the “who has the better mask" conversations have begun? No worries, once the international flights resume and we can fly out to shop, they will. So will fomo!
I just realized that fomo actually at an all time low, inversely proportionate to the air quality, as one goes up the other goes down. It is because there are no photographs or visibility of events, and therefore no need to feel alienated.
But when the new normal begins and social life with social distance resumes, what will be the new clichéd phrases, I wonder? How will we replace “gaye pore kotha bola”, “haat paa dhore maaf chawa”, “ekta thappor dite ichcha kora”, and “joray dhore ador kora”?
How will we make someone feel uncomfortable by looking in their direction and then huddling together and doing pheesh pheesh? Then, if we are wearing masks, how to naturally remove them and deliver a well rehearsed khoncha without alerting the victim? Also, if the intended target is 2 metres away and masked, can we have the satisfaction of knowing that he or she has understood the remark was meant to hurt?
There are other serious considerations as well. How can we make someone feel small and worthless by making another out to be flawless? I mean at this stage, with everyone at risk, even of recurrence and organ damage, and no vaccine, can we say: “Ekdom perfect, covid free for life?” Then what about the damning background, character, and class taunts?
Brilliant children? Well, from what I gather universities are offering pass/fail options, and not grades. Plus, unless one discovers the treatment and vaccine, the brilliance might lose a bit of its shine, na?
Uff! Aar bolo na! Too much chinta!
Chintamoni grew up in Dhaka, where she will always belong, but never quite fit in. She is an enthusiastic traveler, a compulsive procrastinator, and a contumelious raconteur.