What is the meaning of life? Ask Krishna, a Delhi-based, home bound, 17-year old, Year 12 student, nephew of the author, with whom the author caught up, on May 19, 2021, via a video chat. No amount of ‘wise’ words, assurances, reassurances or philosophy could help the author to bring a genuine smile on the young lad’s face. Despite being assured that it was okay to be fearful, angry, anxious and impatient about this pandemic, the young lad repeatedly said that he had none of those, all he wanted was to be able to head out of his cage (home), breathe some fresh air outside, if there was any, and catch up with his friends in person, as he was feeling sick and tired of living a caged life during the lockdown and communicating with his mates through social media.
Due to numerous reported discrepancies between the official numbers and anecdotal evidences (infections and deaths), Krishna said he did not trust the official numbers, which he called dodgy, or any hollow slogans from politicians. He wanted a ‘reliable’ reassurance, from someone ‘trustworthy’, that the world will return to a (new) normal at a foreseeable point of time. Did he sound unreasonable? No, he did not. Krishna and millions of young lads like him have right to life, right to live a free life, right to live a secured life, right to live a life that young lads like him have normally lived around the globe. Krishna he has the right to know and demand answers. But will anyone listen to him and give him a reliable assurance that the future world will provide him with a normal life, albeit a ‘new’ normal.
At the present, Krishna does not seem to imagine any light at the end of the tunnel.
Matured adults cause or contribute to mess and then ask children and younger adults to be restrained, responsible, patient, disciplined, sensitive and stoic. In real life, however, not many matured adults exemplify these virtues that children and younger adults could emulate. Matured adults have the responsibility to first live the ‘model’ life and virtues themselves before preaching them to their younger generations.
“Why blame the future if the present is not responsible and the past has been irresponsible?”
…. Bill Koul (21 May 2021, Perth, Western Australia)