A highly appealing romantic song of Arati Mukherjee is, "Ek Baishakhe dekha holo dujanar". In the third sentence, 'Aschhe Ashad mas, mon tai bhabchhe ki hoi ki hoi, ke jane ki hoi', the trepidation mixed with thrill reaches the tipping point of uncertainty of mental state. First time Cupid-struck, the protagonist thus experiences a unique sense of the unknown ---one that can be both tormenting and enriching. Notwithstanding the uncertainty, hope remains to be the driving force.
After more than 15 months' home confinement, what hopes do young souls harbor? They cannot meet their classmates, soulmates and attend any cultural or other functions or assemblies without which life becomes dull, monotonous and boring. For those in the working age and in service or engaged in income-generation activities, passing time is not very difficult. Even then, they miss the freedom they used to enjoy before the arrival of coronavirus of paying a visit to relations, passing idle times with bosom friends over many cups of tea or the family outings either for a few hours on a holiday or for a few days during children's school vacations at home or even abroad.
The aged or retired are the ones who have been ascertained medically most vulnerable to the virus and therefore find themselves in a most sticky situation. They need company. Time does not pass for them if they are not avid readers, connoisseurs of art, film and culture or still creative in such and other areas. For them passion for life dwindles and in extreme cases nervous breakdowns cannot be ruled out. Those who among the elderly people are physically unfit and ailing also have to visit physicians or hospitals for medical check-ups or treatment. That is not a good prospect at a time when the threat of catching Covid-19 looms large.
The spectre of uncertainty has magnified many times more because of the virus. Many overcame the initial trauma after both deaths and cases dropped significantly following the first wave. But the Delta variant has upset all calculations. People who could not care less are still there but their number is reducing and more people are now interested in registration for vaccination.
There is nothing romantic about a tryst with the submicroscopic agent of death. So the compulsive home quarantine and for some psychological isolation are doing incalculable harms to human existence. Many tend to believe that here is an opportunity to revitalising family bond; some even advocate for giving quality time to children. Yes, some of those who did not have to sacrifice anything or lose income in time of the pandemic may do so provided that they are educated and culturally advanced enough. But yet it may not be enough if children by the time have become addicted to computer games. Home confinement has turned a large number of children and young people addicted to this ruinous game. Uncertainty also stares in the face of this most promising segment of society.
Indeed, there are uncertainties all around, at times they are terrifying, to say the least. People who are directly attacked by coronavirus suffer the trauma of the most uncertain kind. Even if they do not want it, the premonition of an end to life assails them at least at times of mental and physical weakness, particularly when treatment is not available. The near and dear ones perhaps suffer the trauma even more as they have to rush for oxygen cylinders, medicines and in case of critical patients, ICU accommodation. It is a long list of awkward, nervous and helpless situations that both patients and families go through.
Those free from the disease have their own concerns about health and hygiene. One has to be always on the guard. There is no time for relaxation. Life is on the edge. This edginess is so pervading that people discover themselves in a permanent state of claustrophobia. It is indeed difficult to carry on with such a burdensome life. Uncertain time at its worst, it nevertheless fails to teach some people to be humane enough. That is where mankind's fallibility gets exposed but still they refuse to learn from this hard time testing their capacity for loving fellow human and other beings.