Author: Brahmanand S Siingh
Very often these days, we hear people who are facing all sorts of problems due to the Corona scenario say, “Oh yes, we are all in the same boat.” Every time I hear this I am tempted to review the blanket statement and re-assess the metaphor and in no time it becomes clear that no, we all are not in the same boat. We may be in the same storm miles away from the shore, desperately trying to make it to the land, but we all are in different boats that differ in strength, size, comfort, needs, capacity, speed, decor and so on.
The fancy yachts
For those who can afford to work from home for example, the changed scenario ranges from romantic to functional. For the absolute elite, it’s about spending more time with the loved ones and being able to find time to do yoga and meditation and work on ideas, script, innovative strategies in difficult time and at the same time, get back to lost hobbies and passion and find themselves back again. Great for them and absolutely nothing wrong with it! This is what life should be all about, rather than running after money and barely able to spend time with your family, barely able to find time to do things you love to do.
Many others are in a different variant of this fancy yacht – they are able to function from home like a routine job if they have found a good back drop for their zoom meetings (preferred one, I’ve generally noticed, is a book shelf) with some fun of being home and some flexibility but also with a lot of misgivings for being stuck at home, not being able to go out and hang out with friends, not able to have work-driven or of whatever kind of lunch and
dinner meetings. Instead, now having to, alongside regular office responsibilities, being stuck with your own spouse and also contribute to household work and washing or cooking or some sort of help or the other!
Mind you, we are still talking about smart yachts mostly. One more variant of this fancy yacht is people who are actually selfish and possess low EQ (emotional quotient), people whose relationship with their spouse and family is full of complications. There’s no hour, no half an hour rather, when they don’t snap at each other, where there’s no empathy and care left anymore, there’s no kindness or humor either, where sarcasm is a regular way of communication and where verbal abuse or even physical abuse, is quite a norm. For them, they are stuck on this yacht, in addition to the external storm, there’s also a storm inside the yacht all the time – no outlet, no breathing space. Sartre says, “proximity without intimacy is hell.” Well, this boat, though still a fancy yacht, is close enough to that.
The unbalanced, faulty, screeching, weather-beaten, bursting-on-the-seams, makeshift boats…
However, even this boat is a lot better than the unbalanced, faulty, screeching, bursting-on-the-seams, weather-beaten boat, constantly risking capsizing. It’s full of the many who live off the bustling streets, taxi and auto drivers, small shopkeepers, tiny illegal food stalls that kept hunger at bay for the poor, dhobis, courier and delivery boys running around and making deliveries who depended mostly on tips, the pav-bhaji and vada-pav seller, the garage mechanics to name just a few categories who just don’t know what to do anymore. This boat comprises of any number of people (supposedly 80% of working India) whose family-life and lifestyle depends on the daily income that they bring home – anywhere between 200 to 2000 or 3000 or more rupees a day, but mind you, daily income. Their rents, their food, their occasional luxuries, their children’s education, their healthcare expenses are all hugely dependent on their daily earnings.
And in addition to it all, there’s a very perilous boat which is carrying a segment of people across all strata since mental ailments, contrary to popular notion, are not dependent on class or income segment: people who are prone to panic and anxiety, depression, hopelessness, insecurity.
Those who can help these boats ashore…
The sea-gods of today will be those who are capable of helping people in various boats come out of the risk and danger and insecurity. The sea-gods of today will be those who can show a human side and it will not go in vain since the world is taking notice. World is also taking notice of the 20 L crore boost announced for a self-reliant India, 300 cr for lending a helping hand for small and mid-sized business to get collateral-free loans, 50k cr to boost MSME to push growth and so on so forth. What percentage of this, with what speed and with what ease may reach to these various people caught in different boats will determine how many of us reach the shore from the middle of the sea and caught in this Corona storm.
About the Author
Brahmanand S Siingh is a National-Award filmmaker, author and speaker. Spearheading Mobius Films, he feels passionately about Music, Cinema, Literature, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Excellence, Innovation, Communication, Communication Gaps, Emotional Intelligence or the lack of it, in our daily lives. He is also a big advocate of learning how to manage Change, which in these difficult times, are only too, too relevant.
Mr. Siingh has extensively contributed thousands of articles across 30 prominent newspapers, magazines and journals and now writes regular authored articles on life, education and leadership. Known for making award- winning feature films and feature-documentaries on a range of subjects like RD Burman, Jagjit Singh, Human Trafficking & Child Labor, Backpacking travelling, Educational Excellence, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s and many others, he is a much sought after speaker on panels and writer across platforms.