It is funny how time can engulf us in its tide and make us wonder if life ever felt different before. It has been only a few months since the Corona virus came to be as we know it and yet it feels like ‘normal’ life is a faraway memory.
I had been in Italy around the first week of February for my art exhibition and it was an exhibition that is etched in my heart as one of the most magical experiences. The people of Italy were pure love. On cold evenings, they stood in line for the exhibition to open and the artist in me rejoiced that look of pure admiration in their eyes when they looked at my work. I learnt that many of them save up money specifically to buy atleast one piece of art each year and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. My work sold out at that exhibition and I returned home with my heart full of gratitude.
By this time, the numbers of COVID-19 cases in Italy were in single digits. Still, I isolated myself upon return just to be on the safe side. We went through a huge ordeal later where my husband and I felt some throat pain and got ourselves tested and waited with a lot of anxiety for ten long days until we got the report that all was well with us. But, what really breaks my heart is the alarming situation in Italy, a country that just a few months ago had embraced me like no other.
With the lockdown and the uncertainty in India as well, the whole world is strangely together albeit in fear. It makes me wonder what is in it for all of us beyond fear. Overnight, a lot of our daily routine has changed and our lives have changed. Even when all this passes and we can afford to go back to our old lifestyles, is a complete reversal possible? This experience is definitely going to leave a strong impact, isn’t it? So, then the next thought that follows is what are we going to take away from all this? Maybe we have a choice in who we become after this.
I have dived into work and spent time at my studio discovering all that art brings out in me without the restrictions of time. I enrolled in an online philosophy course, I spend so much more time with my family, I am truly able to do all that I have always wanted to. No two people will have the same situation, especially in these circumstances. But, maybe we could find positivity somewhere. If not anything, this time could train us to look for joy in the most difficult times.