I turned 27 on 20.05.2020.
Birthdays are meant to be a celebration of life. How ironic is a birthday in the middle of a pandemic? Celebrating life while the world deals with the fear of catching a virus!
What happened on my Birthday?
- Birthdays can be lonely for people during a lockdown. But I am blessed to have friends who dropped by in the middle of the night to wish me. One of them also put in a lot of time and effort to bake a birthday cake. If you are reading this, then I must confess that it felt really special.
- I spent most of the day playing chess. FIDE has organised tournaments across online chess platforms from 18th May to 16th June under the Checkmate Coronavirus initiative. I played a 15 | 10 Rapid Tournament. I didn’t do well but was happy to be a part of it.
- My friends and family helped me in raising an amount of 10,331 INR for The Akshaya Patra Foundation in Bangalore which in turn will provide meals to daily wagers during these difficult times. I hope it helps the people who need it the most.
- Super cyclone Amphan hit Bengal and Orissa in the afternoon and continued havoc till late evening. It damaged many areas of Orissa and Bengal. Due to many cyclones over the years in Orissa, they were better prepared for this and I thank them for learning from their past experiences.
Bengal was not ready. They couldn’t predict the level of massacre and destruction the cyclone could cause in just a few hours. Many lives were lost. Many houses were damaged.
I am working outside Bengal for almost 5 years now and I would like to believe that I have made a few friends (neighbors, colleagues, ex-colleagues) here. Strangely, nobody apart from one asked me about my family or how they were handling the cyclone situation back in Bengal. There can be multiple reasons for this.
- They don’t read/watch news.
- They don’t care about my family. They just need me for the work I do.
- Nothing was shown on the news.
Cyclone Amphan not only destroyed lives and property but also raised many questions in my mind.
- How a natural disaster can be politicized?
- How a cyclone can create a divide among a society of people?
- How people wish for the downfall of a state just because they don’t approve of the head of that state?
- How can one insult/ disrespect others’ emotions?
- How people who were the least affected from the disaster become keyboard champions by posting long essays on social media whereas the most affected ones still struggle to find a roof over their heads?
Lastly, this is neither to debate something nor to educate someone. Also, I would urge everyone reading this to donate to various Amphan Relief Funds generously. I just wish we build everything back and turn around as we always do!
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