Day 30 of the March SOLSC! #SOL21

Sunday afternoon to night  my husband and Aravind were intermittently watching the one day cricket match between India and England while doing other work. I lost interest in cricket many years ago. I remember those days before the television when I listened eagerly to radio commentary. My country people are crazy about cricket and the stands are always full.

The sight of empty stands now seemed as eerie as the silence around us last April during lockdown. We did not step outside our gate for weeks.

My father-in-law passed away on March 24th.  That night lock down was declared all over the country. Taking permission from the police my husband drove alone  to our village in the neighbouring state. Aravind had to take online classes and there was no good internet connection in our village.  He could not have stayed here alone, especially during a lockdown.
Just a few people attended my father-in-law’s funeral and other rites. My husband came back only on May 9th. The border between the two states were closed. It seems like a dream now.
Across the country countless people suffered, emotionally,  physically and financially. 

This year we were feeling relieved that there were only a few cases.  Schools and colleges reopened.  This month the number of cases
has gone up dramatically, but the death toll is thankfully low in India. We are re-living last year. But now we are not feeling as scared as we felt last year. No one had a clue what was happening then . We have lived through 2020. We know we have to take precautions; the virus is here to stay.
A few days ago someone said we cannot live in fear all our lives. We have to be careful and if something is to happen it will happen. 

That evening we went to attend the evening puja in the temple to  Goddess Mahishamardini, a form of Goddess Durga. The temple is not far from our home. It is quiet and peaceful there. We were going there at least once a month. During the puja, when the priest performs aarati, devotees ring the temple bells. At the same time just outside an old man beats a drum. In many temples the drum beating is mechanized. We have been seeing this old man for many years, we always greet each other.

The temple is being renovated, work would have been completed but last year life came to a standstill. Work is still going on. As we stepped out I told my son that the old man looked much older, he was a little bent and walking very slowly. Prayers were being offered in temples by the priests but the temples were closed for the public.

Life changed in 2020.

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. The Covid has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

10 comments

  1. 2020 was a sorry year all around the world. I lived through it in South Korea and a little in Canada. Your story gave me a feeling of India. 2021 is a little better. Let’s hope 2022 gets to be a lot better. I am sorry your father-in-law could not get the funeral he deserved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The image of the old man who beats the drums looking older and more bent will stay with me. The weight of the changes over the course of the last year shows itself in many forms. I appreciate your succinct and clear descriptions; they allow me to learn as I read without feeling that instruction is the goal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your slice feels like a helpful, difficult taking stock. Life changed, and it’s still changing, uncertainly, as we do what we can to hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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