Pooja Poddar Marwah

Omicron – The Inside Edge

The Omicron is here – to stay or to wreak havoc we can’t say yet! But it’s made its official touchdown in one of our southern states. Just when we chose to believe that the sars covid was a distant dream, it choked up again – as an omnipresent version, making us bolt right up and bring back our guard!

So, what really changed? We bore the brunt of a virus that shut down the world, we promised ourselves to focus on life’s smallest pleasures like family, love, and passion. We made assurances to create deep meaningful memories and to make peace with the things that hurt us in the past. We stayed in, cooked, cleaned, and indulged in frivolous activities to pass time. We worked from home and the ones that had the luxury.. partied from home too. So, what really changed?

The truth is that nothing changes until you find a reason to induce change. People, least of all! When you face death at close proximity, as most of us did at some point earlier in the year; I would think that we would begin to appreciate life but sadly, we don’t. We often take things for granted as though they were slated for someone else, least realising that one day it will be us! It’s a hard-hitting fact but one we all know subconsciously. We are all in the line and the one thing about this final queue up, is that you can’t change your spot, nor can you give it to someone else. And, the only thing that matters is what you do while you remain in that line.

A friend posted a very powerful image on social media, with just a two-line caption. It was the image of a large spacious room with bay windows and parquet flooring. The caption read as such – “To the person who worries about what people think or say about you. Here is a room full of them, the ones that bring you a cup of coffee on a rainy day, or the ones that stretch out a hand every time you need one. This room has the people that genuinely love you for who you are; who never say anything ill about you and stand by you, no matter what.”

I stared at the image as though trying to look for these so called people – But the room was empty! And that is what needs to sink in.

Society as a whole craves acceptance from each other. There is a burning desire to fit in which leaves a paralyzing fear if you don’t. Fear of other people’s opinion (FOPO) as Gen Z terms it is causing more harm than good. More often than not, it stops you from even taking the first step because you start to fear failure. No one’s coming to wipe that tear, but there are many standing to wipe out that smile. And more often than not, it’s the people closest to you. But what changed – nothing!

Right and wrong are two sides of the same coin and have a common circumference that may or may not get blurry. But if you try and balance on the arc, you are going to lose your footing at some or the other point.

When the virus first hit, in all my naïveté, I believed that this had come as a lesson to mankind. I believed that we would change as people, as a social network that was physically entwined with each other. I believed that the seriousness of the situation and the helplessness we felt would in fact bring us all together as one. Hadn’t we all learned at school that Unity is better than diversity?

But that was a naïve me. Momentarily, it felt as though the breeze that kissed my face was unadulterated with gossip, lies, and deceit. It felt as though maybe, this would bring all of mankind together to fight off an invisible enemy but what I failed to realise was that each of us was guilty of harbouring the enemy inside of us!

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