In Praise Of Normalcy

How quarantine led us to develop a fresh outlook towards normal life

It’s fairly easy to lose track of time as days go by like a gentle and swift breeze. Unlike the real thing of course, which has been snagged away from us, as we’re deprived of that familiar sensation of feeling the vehement pollution in our lungs while performing a now forbidden activity of casually taking a stroll. How sardonic is nature’s irony then, that in a time with the sky bluer and the grass greener than ever before, it’s a direct consequence as well as the cause of our unholy entrapment.

By fate or by will, we are a generation of souls whose lives are governed by the irrepressible and breakneck pace of modern-day pizzazz; a generation who take pride in being antisocial and covet a life of media consumption while being safely tucked in our blankets as a reprieve from this mundane and soul-crushing ‘normal life’. Then why, when this ado calls for merely so much, it is us who seem to be the most shaken?

As this bizarre inflection in human history finds us cast away with barely any human interaction, it’s time we address the want — nay, the need for connection. Texting our mates and partners, arranging video calls via dodgy services — it’s the most social we can afford to be for quite some time. And yet, it’s not enough. Now that we’re forced to confine ourselves in our sweet little homes, it’s vaguely apparent that the vivid, neon box-shaped world we used to fancy can be harshly blinding at times. It is only then that we can start to recognise the subtle and faint allure of the pastel hues, even if it means being stuck in our damned 9 to 5 jobs or scurrying in between those wretched lecture hours.

Over the last few weeks, it’s made me wonder if the life we all love to hate, is it so bad after all? As the world yearns to start spinning on its axis again, it feels more and more likely that returning things to how they used to be is not going to be a walk in the park (no pun intended). People will try nonetheless, to forget and move on, as they always do. They’ll party, they’ll go on vacations. After all, the mind and body can only go so long without having a jolly old hoot and instead making peace with typing the single-syllabled slang for laughing out loud silently. But the bitter truth is, it’s never going to be the same, at least not as we knew it.

When this Stygian fog lifts and it is safe to resume our boring lives again, it’s only imminent that we will be back to sulking and moaning in no time. But deep down in the hidden chambers of our hearts, there will exist a common denominator — a quaint feeling of gratification as the world is freed from its death chains. This pandemic, if anything, has made us acknowledge the things we so often take for granted. Little, fluttering moments, which seemed trifling before have now become the highlights of our days. Things as insignificant as exhaling through the nose, followed by a slight twitch of our lips which forms into a half-smile are enough to elevate the spirits — even if for a sliver of time, before we go back to dying inside gently.

Reading and writing about culture, history, business, and politics most of the time. Find me at adwipal@gmail.com

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