I wish…..

Wishes have a way of coming true…… 

For some years, I have been getting this feeling that we, as a civilization, are rushing past our own dreams and lives at a breakneck speed, leaving behind so much we have little time to appreciate, much less enjoy. I am a technology proud person. I do admire our scientific feats and marvel at all that we humans have created. Yet I wished we slowed down. My original proposed plan was that we switch to a four-day working week world over. Work for two days, a day off, then work for two days and two days off. Everybody collectively slows down. Nobody gets any advantage, nobody feels left behind. To my teacher’s brain committed to the ‘no child left behind’ policy, this reasoning sounded neat, fair and square and just. Who would have imagined that even this bizarre wish of mine could come true one day! Albeit in such a twisted way.

Fast forward five years and what do we have! Lock down. Worldwide. I didn’t wish it this slow!  It’s not slow, it’s still. The stillness was so palpable all day today with the janta curfew in force. The only sounds coming through the windows were chirping of birds and cooing of cuckoos. Peacocks’ and cats’ mating calls too. No traffic, no pedestrians on the streets. The only thing on the move, a rather speedy one, and I wish with all my heart not, was probably the virus. Despite warnings by doctors, three incidences of mini pandemics in the last couple of decades and many apocalyptic sci-fi novels and movies later, here we are – quarantined in our homes, sitting on a ticking viral time bomb wondering whether to consume the nice whiskeys and wines, that we have saved up, now or keep them to celebrate our survival later. 

We as a family worked out a protocol in case one of us gets infected. We even drew out verbal wills. My husband willed his vintage whiskeys to me. That’s generous of him. He really must love me! This ‘will’ business sounds sinister, yet part of me is glad that we are taking this pause. We have nowhere to go, nothing urgent to do, no guests are expected. Just sit, talk and reflect. No rush. This is going to be long haul, if we want to make it through. Get used to this stillness for a bit. 

I am a diehard optimist and don’t want to sign off on a sad note. So here’s a peppy bit. Not all wishes have a screwed up punchline. Most are happy. Many moons ago we drove from Tezpur in Assam to Tawang, a border town in Arunachal Pradesh. On the way, there’s a stretch of about 21 kms drive between Bhalukpong and Sessa which has thick fog round the day, round the year. Very low visibility, you drive mostly by instinct. It was romantic and adventurous as hell and I wished with all my heart we lived in a foggy place like that. A decade later we got posted to San Francisco and our house was on a forested hill, about four miles from the coast of Pacific ocean. From that height, we could see the ocean standing at the end of our boulevard. The mornings were mostly bright and sunny but around four in the afternoon, just about every day of the year, bales of thick fog would come rolling in from the ocean enveloping our boulevard with the romantic fog that I so loved and wished for that day many years ago. I would sit by the large picture window with my dog, taking in the spectacle and feel it infuse my senses. Wishes do have a good way of coming true too. Don’t stop wishing…….with a pure heart!

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