Since we are all forced to stay at home, because of a deadly invisible enemy (corona), random thoughts have been coming to mind. This lockdown has ensured that we have all had to change our lifestyle. I miss my walks on Carter Road, and doing all the things I really enjoyed doing, like meeting friends, hanging out around Bandra, and going for concerts and the theatre, but I am slowly learning to enjoy new things. Sunil, my husband, and I now do pranayams and yoga together every morning, I cook more, read more and also watch TV, something I had completely stopped doing. I also realise that it is only a privileged few who can even introspect and see the advantages of this quarantine period, because the poor are just too busy trying to keep body and soul together.
The air is cleaner, the skies more blue and suddenly there are more birds outside our building on Pali Hill, and also the Koel is back heralding warmer days. So there definitely is an environmental upside to our slowing down. I guess that really is a no brainer, but our collective greed keeps us from keeping that in mind. I am reminded of a story from the Mahabharata when Ashwatthama unleashed the powerful Narayan Astra on the Pandavs, after his father Dhronacharya was killed. This weapon had the power to rain fire on the enemy. Shri Krishna advised the Pandavs to not react, but to stay still and pray, and in due course the Narayan Astra lost it’s strength and they were safe. Perhaps this is what needs to be done now. The world needs to heal, and all of Nature is begging us to slow down. If we do, then in due course this pandemic too shall pass. So stay at home, meditate, enjoy your time with the family and be thankful for all that you have. Also we need to be eternally grateful to all those who are ensuring our health and safety, like the doctors and nurses, municipal workers, the police force, and those that man our food supply chain. Life is a gift, and I really hope we and our loved ones can all be safe in these trying times.
As we fight this invisible enemy, not sure who will be hit next by the deadly Corona virus, and I believe now there are two cases on Pali Hill, I am reminded of a story I heard many years ago. When I heard it for the first time, it made my hair stand on end!
There was a group of ten woodcutters, who went into the forest to cut wood. Once deep inside the forest, they were caught unawares by a very heavy storm. There was pelting rain all around and lots of thunder and lightning. They saw a small hut and took shelter in it. Soon the lightning began to fall near them and all around the hut, but never on the hut. They were all terrified. Then the wisest among them had an idea and said “look God has designs of saving us but since he does not want all of us to die, he is not letting the lightning fall on us. We should go out and walk one by one to that tree in the distance and then the lightning will fall on whoever is destined to die”.
The first man said his goodbyes and walked slowly to the tree, praying that he would return safely back to the hut, and he did! Then one by one all except one also walked to the tree and returned. They all heaved a sigh of relief. Now it was the turn of the last man, and he started his slow walk outside after saying his final goodbye. He was really very scared of being the one to die. He left the hut very hesitantly and no sooner had he left the hut, lightning fell....but it fell on the hut and he was the only one saved! Fifty years later, this story still has the power to move me. So as people all around the world are dying of this deadly virus, we don’t know where or who its next victim will be. Such an eerie and scary feeling.
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Stay safe friends and family in Bandra and beyond, and I hope and pray this ordeal comes to an end soon🙏🙏❣️❣️