Memoir / Essays: Lockdown Story

Debraj Moulick 


Hello!  My Ghost.
If I survive, I will be a survivor.
If not, I am going to haunt you like the creatures of Ramsay Brothers’ production. But if you read this one, I might spare your horrible life. Could you just tell me, what is the use of this life? Sooner or later you are going to perish, why the f (aww, I won’t use the other alphabets) are you so scared of death?
Ah, I get it- A family to feed? Old parents? 
If it is making you afraid of death, then you better die. Wait! Do I sound like a pessimistic animal? Don’t you think this life is a curse and this struggle for existence is exhausting?
These are the thoughts inside my brain. You want to use some kind of adjectives like hopeless, suicidal blah! blah! Do it, I don’t care. 
Now what do I do to deal with these feelings?
I pour it out, I imagine stuff- I compose poems, I write short stories and try to perform them. The streak of creativity is keeping me grounded.
There is no pattern around here; it is a pure example of putrefied conscience. What do you expect from a sensitive (am I worthy enough to be branded as a sensitive one?) individual aged 30 years? I have been staying with cockroaches, rodents in my small apartment in the city of Bay, away from my parents, relatives. This Indian counterpart of Wuhan is dealing with an alarming number of pandemic cases, my acquaintances have shown their true colours and my friends have left for their respective hometowns long ago. My flatmate is also in his native place, enjoying the warmth of family life. I have been a loner and a worshipper of solitude, oh yes, that bliss of solitude infused by the literary theories of the great romantic poet William Wordsworth, ah snap! During the initial days, the lockdown was an enjoyable, but now it is creeping like a creepy beetle insect inside my brown skin. What is the use of our system? What is the use of scientific advancement? Oh! Dear God, please have an avatar again and save our bodies (soul is always there, I know) from this capitalistic pestilence or a natural wrath against humanity. There are so many theories about the origin of this germ, which one is real?
What is the use of writing so many things over here? I cannot leave my workstation and enjoy the homely comfort in my hometown. Do you know about the concept of marooning a pirate on a small island with a small bottle of rum and few bullets? Well, just think of it as a metaphor. I cannot leave this city and I cannot take my life, I guess I don’t have the liberty to end my life also, Oh! I guess death is the only freedom and I don’t have the audacity, I don’t have the autonomy of ending my own life.
Ah! I remember the words of another great romantic:

‘I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!1’

I don’t know why I am being so negative about my existence?
At least I am still breathing; I am having ample food in the kitchen. Ah! Snap, the rodent is playing with food particles. 
Working from home, cooking, cleaning and yes motivating myself for the daily chores is taking a huge toll upon my cognitive map. It is really tiring, I am exhausted because of no sleep till early morning, I am drained out of living in constant fear of getting affected with the virus. What will happen to me? I might lie down as a piece of flesh in a medical ward, for there is no one around here. I am 500 miles away from my home (make it 2000kms). I would be rotting in a distant place with other corpses. The thoughts are real, I cannot escape such thoughts, and those demons are really taking a toll upon my health. I am sorry my bard, I couldn’t stick to your wise words:
‘Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;2’

My mind is full of fear; no science, no religion is able to console me.
No one will remember a dead man without credentials, no one will shed a tear since death is the new way of life, it is the new normal. My anxiety is normal and yes, the ghost of death is coming for all of us.
Ah! 
"We Poets in our youth begin in gladness; / But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.3"
Do I need to visit a psychiatrist? Now, the places are crowded, phone lines are busy and I am one hell of an egoistic & a male chauvinistic prick, I am living in a bubble that depression is not men, not for me. I am doomed.
Disclaimer: This is an original piece of writing.

References
1.  Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘Ode to the West Wind’
2. Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali 35
3. William Wordsworth’s ‘Resolution and Independence’

Bio: Debraj Moulick works as a Lecturer of English in K J Somaiya Polytechnic College, Mumbai. He is also concurrently pursuing research as an M.Phil Research Scholar in Department of English, University of Mumbai. His area of interest includes the Violence and Bloodshed in Films & Literature, Science Fiction, PostColonial Studies, Mythology, Language studies and Marginalized Literature. A full-time bibliophile and movie buff, he is also a bilingual poet, composing and reciting poems in English and Hindi. His poems are part of various anthologies. You can catch up his poetry recitals in YouTube. He also writes official book reviews, film reviews among others, in his blog: https://debrajdpaideia.wordpress.com/

7 comments :

  1. Dangerous situation out there and it's not improving a bit...We all need counseling and boosting to survive this pandemic

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    Replies
    1. We need precautions and vaccine from the government, Sir.

      Delete
  2. Such a beautiful flow you maintain with disturbance! Classic.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for understanding the pain.

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  3. Debraj.... It's too good as a piece of literature... The personal experiences are very well turned into general...All can relate with the same . .. But why be so pessimistic about the future?? This too shall paas....

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  4. Debraj.... It's too good as a piece of literature... The personal experiences are very well turned into general...All can relate with the same . .. But why be so pessimistic about the future?? This too shall paas....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, this covid showed us the hollowness of our system, the nincompoop attitude of our govt towards doctors and migrant workers.
      I wanted to write a satire about the failure of govt and also the loss of faith ( Arnold's Dover Beach ).

      Delete

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