It Took Me A Pandemic

Ishita Rani

Cuttack, Odisha, India

As I stroll on my terrace today, I admire the sky, I think about how long it has been since I, not just
noticed, but observed how the sky gives up its blue and orange hues of the dusk to put on a dark
tunic dotted with such beautiful gemstones like stars for the night.
We always used to sing the poem “twinkle twinkle little stars” when we were kids, but today I
realised how long It has been since I looked up at the sky, not just to yell about my problems but also
to appreciate those stars which are dancing with each other and are maybe even putting on a show
to cheer up all us living, breathing creatures.
While I am amazed at this show the stars put together, I also laugh at myself, at us humans because
we are naive enough to think we are the wisest creatures to roam this planet. Before we were
forced to stay at home and put our lives at hold, all we did was run towards some made up goal and
this run, If not for all then for most people, lasted till death. We are here for a handful of decades
and we don’t even think what we are doing with this precious time. We are fighting with our family,
we are blaming ourselves and others for every wrong done to us and all the while we are ignoring
the nature which is trying to just make us all happy.
These stars have been putting on this mesmerising show for centuries. For the past sixteen years
whenever I was sad, these stars tried to grab my attention so they could take this sadness away but I
never gave them the time of day. But now, this evening, when I am far from sad, I see this sky, I see
it beckoning my heart, I see it begging me to stay, to feel, to relax and to heal. As I stay and put my
feet up to catch this ancient show of colours and darkness, I feel celestial. I feel as If I finally know
what the god’s nectar tastes like. I feel like I know that from today I will always have not one, not
two but millions of friends up in the sky who will always be there to make me happy.
I always used to think why every creature in this world is so content except us humans. I know their
secret; they are content because they don’t try to find happiness. They know where happiness is,
they don’t have to search for it but we, even after writing papers and papers on the placement, the
process of formation, the death and the dance of stars, we never see stars for just what they are but
rest of the creatures do. The lion lying In Its den, the penguins laying on the Ice, the trees standing
for the past century, they all see the stars and talk to the stars and lose themselves into the stars
because they know they will find happiness there.
But me, a part of apparently the smartest species to exist, only knows the address of happiness
because I was forced to put my life on hold. I guess this is one thing that makes me thankful for this
pandemic.
It’s surprising and awful to think that it took an entire pandemic for me to find this happiness but
sadly I have found it too late. We humans, even though we don’t know where happiness resides we
are destroying it every day. Today I can see only a handful of stars because the smoke and the
pollution cover up the rest of them. Today only a handful of trees can see the show because we
killed the rest of them. Today the lion wishes that he could remove these bars of steel of his cage as
they are blocking his view of the show. And as I see this suffering, I wish that the stars would stop
dancing because we don’t deserve their kindness but they won’t because it is just us humans who
are taught to be selfish as soon as we grow up. It took me a pandemic to see our depressed species
and the benevolent stars.

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