Diversion and relief from claustrophobic COVID-19 bickering
Notwithstanding the possibility of being branded as an ‘escapist’, of trying to run away from sordid reality, one feels that it is time to take a break from endlessly disgusting and depressing discussion on coronavirus pandemic that has enveloped all of us well and truly. Experiencing unprecedented, forceful confinement at home being ‘locked down’ abandoning day-to-day activities is indeed traumatic and melancholic. To get rid of such claustrophobic environment, it is worthwhile to look at the brighter and sunnier side of events to de-stress oneself. In literature, it is defined as ‘comic relief‘, meaning, ‘releasing of tension‘, in the midst of serious or tragic elements.
Instances of comic relief are in abundance in all of William Shakespeare’s immortal tragic dramas. In Macbeth, a tipsy ‘Porter ‘ praising good effects of drinking while ‘Macduff ‘ is left stranded at the gate provides hilarious effect in an otherwise gruesome tragic atmosphere. Brajen Barua’s wicked expression as a villain (he was in double role) evokes laughter and anger simultaneously in ‘Dr Bezbaruah’, the iconic suspense thriller.
Similarly, Asrani remains the epitome of comic relief with his dialogue and expression in Sholay, the blockbuster Bollywood movie.
Consequent upon imposition of ‘lockdown restrictions‘ across India that rendered millions of migrant workers jobless, a large section of these economically bankrupt people had to walk hundreds of miles to return to their native place leaving their work stations.
In the midst of heart-rending sight of poor people walking down with petty belongings, photograph of a migrant family carrying their pets along was heart-touching besides magnifying their human values. Such a magnanimous sight provided enormous mental comfort amidst stifling lockdown restrictions.
Dr Kaushik Baruah is a resident physician in a well-known private hospital in New Delhi working round the clock to save suffering humanity like all ‘Corona’ warriors across the country. At the outbreak of the corona pandemic, he did not have any energy left to prepare dinner for him on returning home after day’s hard work. On the third night, Dr Kaushik was surprised to get a knock at his door as he returned home.
Opening the door, he was surprised to find his landlord standing with a plate of hot food. On social media, Dr Baruah has paid his warm gratefulness to Mr Rohit Suri, his landlord. To quote, “Rohit Suri, has been cooking him meals every day, so he has a plate of hot food waiting for him when he returns home, exhausted, from work.” Such benevolent gesture in the midst of abysmal depression is indeed spirit uplifting.
The enthralling, exciting first Test match at Southampton between West Indies and England that ended the ‘pandemic-induced hiatus’ in international cricket has provided much needed diversion and respite to cricket connoisseurs from the dull, monotonous, ‘stay home, stay safe’ life envisaged by the doctors and experts.
The pulsating test match saw the West Indies team clinching a scintillating victory bearding the English lion in its own den on July 12, 2020. For a change, distressingly negative ‘COVID-19 statistics emanating frequently in social media were kept at arm’s length by the sports lovers to enjoy the grueling match oblivious of ‘Corona’ apprehension.
Watching funny interactions between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal during lockdown has been immensely comforting during devilish pandemic. The two, fierce competitors on court had displayed their bonhomie during conversation that has gone viral on social media.
The ever charismatic Roger had surprised Nadal by asking as to why he plays with left hand. Before, a shocked Nadal could reply, Roger wittily clarified that he asked the question out of curiosity since “Nadal ‘does’ every other work with right hand “ Everyone, including Nadal , the 19-time ‘grand slam’ winner, had a hearty laugh.
Padmashri awardee, Jadav Payeng, is a household name in India for his sincere dedication and strong commitment to the cause of ecological balance and for planting trees on a sandbar on the river Brahmaputra and turning it into a 550 acres of ‘forest reserve’ by his single-handed effort.
Recently, when Assam was reeling under severe flood,Payeng had ventured out with an ordinary boat to ‘Mollai forest’, to feed starving cows’. The boat had capsized.
Payeng had a miraculous escape. But, he remained undaunted and restarted his work with renewed zeal. Such dedication is motivating and welcome digression from the monotonous COVID panic.
The best comic relief has, however, been provided by Baba Ramdev when he claimed to have invented a medicine that would cure COVID-19 in a flash. At a time when the experts, scientists and famous physicians around the world have been burning midnight oil to find proper medicine, the ICMR and the much-maligned WHO are trying relentlessly to invent vaccine for distressed humanity, the hypocritical claim of the self-styled ‘Baba’ has caused hearty laugh to the discerning Indians by its sheer absurdity.
(The writer is a retired civil servant with passion for art, literature and sports. Views expressed are personal)