Surviving Lockdown: Wisdom of the Day
Yesterday our Prime minister came on National TV and announced that entire nation would go on lockdown for next 21 days. Though in my opinion, this announcement could have been done with better planning, ample time (Instead of 3 short hours) to manage necessary supplies for each home. This lockdown is a very critical and important step to preventing the further spread of the virus. Logically this announcement made sense (Based on available medical experts opinion), but my mind was in panic mode the minute the announcement was complete. My mind was racing all over the place planning for all dooms day scenarios. At some point during this, I suddenly thought of how my grandmother would cope in this scenario and realised that she would be least affected by such things. The follow story is of my 92 yrs old grand mother who stays all by herself in Srirangam and takes care of anyone who visits her home. I had told in many platforms earlier that she was one of the inspirations for her to start Zishta. This one incident happened when we travelled to her place during Ekadeshi time. We reached the day before Ekadeshi when by evening my grandmother starts reading the 4000 divya prabantham (Which is like the vedas for tamilians) and her target is to finish reading as much of the 4000 verses over the next 36 hours. During this period she is fasting with only fluids like juices entering her digestive system. She cooks food for us and continues to read throughout the night with minimal sleep while we ate our stomachs full and slept like logs as we were really tired driving half a day from Bangalore to Srirangam. (You will understand the irony later). Her Ekadeshi day starts early as she has to make breakfast and lunch for us and then visits the temple, comes back and sits down to read from afternoon which goes on till next day morning. This is almost 30 hours of reading dispersed with day-to-day activities. With completing her task, we were relieved that finally our grandmother could break her fast and eat something. She enthusiastically cooked lunch for all of us and we were already feeling hungry waiting for her food. She finishes her morning rituals and turns around to us and asks us if we can go the temple and come back to break her fast. This is when we lost our plot and started shouting at her saying that she is mad to fast for such a long time at this age of hers. As we kept on with our tantrums, she was calm and kept insisting to go to the temple. At one juncture we told her that she would be really tired to even step out of the house. She calmly looks at us and says - "You keep telling yourself that your body is tired, I do not tell anything to myself". This statement of hers made a lasting impression on us. This just shows how such a mindset would be needed to tackle any adversity. The current lock down situation is unprecedented and no less of a challenge for all of us. Post 1920, this is the generation that would be facing a pandemic. We just have to make sure we keep our mind active , engage with our family , support each other and stop telling ourselves that its hard as we stay safe within the four walls of our house for next 21 days. Think of such inspiring stories from your family. Connect with elders and learn as much of the traditional knowledge from them. Lets not let go of this valuable time we have got to make our lives better.