With the Covid-19 wreaking havoc the world over, lives perish in their thousands every day. Already the number is staggering and where the death toll will come to a stop or at least become tolerable is unpredictable. By this time, however, tragedies have unfolded in myriad forms. Some are so heart-rending that few can check their tears flowing from eyes.
One such story was carried on Saturday by a Bangla contemporary on its front page. It is about two small boys -siblings they are -of five and three years old. They do not know where their father and mother are. The two can tell the names of their parents but nothing about where they lived and how they came to the Beribandh where they were found crying by a Keraniganj police patrol team.
Luckily, since the law-enforcement team discovered them, the two brothers could avoid many dark possibilities awaiting such defenceless young ones. They are now staying at the Tejgaon victim support centre and being well taken care of. Yet, as usual, they cry inconsolably often hugging each other and lamenting separation from their parents. Even the eyes of the policemen present there become moist at the sight so poignant.
The police have been trying to find out their parents for reuniting the family. How this story culminates is anybody's guess. A happy ending is what we will be looking forward to. But who knows, what will happen! Time is unpropitious.
The pandemic has brought the best and the worst in man. Some unassuming and ordinary mortals have shown what they can do for fellow human beings in time of such a great crisis. They are the unsung heroes. Contrary to this, some grisly murders, abandonment of near and dear ones on suspicion of catching coronavirus on the street, at hospital gates or even in jungles have shaken collective conscience. How monstrous!
At a time when family members could not bid the loved ones --dying or deceased -- farewell for the last time or even participate in the last rites, a few monsters did not hesitate to annihilate a whole family taking advantage of the social isolation. Reports of killing children before taking own lives by parents expose tragedy on a different level. So helpless were the couples on account of the long shutdown that they decided to bring an end to their mortal existence. It so happened that both husband and wife employed in the informal sector had no savings and were proud enough not to bring them as low as to ask for support from anyone. Thus they took the ultimate decision. They even had no one to trust in whose care their children could be left.
What happened to the parents of the siblings at the Tejgaon victim support centre is yet to be known. There is a slight hint that by the look of them, they could be hailing not from a well-to-do family. That gives a dark premonition in time of the pandemic.
Indeed, the disease has orphaned children worldwide. But when it happens in countries like Bangladesh where bringing up children in childcare homes is not enviable, there is indeed enough cause for concern. Tragedies have befallen in the reverse order as well, where parents or a single parent have/has survived the attack of Covid-19 to mourn death of their children. The disease has mercilessly and capriciously played with human lives. How will each of such lone survivors lead his or her life? Only April is not the cruellest month, for some nations the saga started from January and for others it is continuing to claim lives throughout May and June.
At such times, how can people think of taking others' lives? When there is no guarantee one will not fall victim to the marauding virus, even the haughty and the obstinate minds should become mellow and feel for fellow human beings. This is how the world can transform to fall in line with Nature's demand for a far simpler lifestyle and set on a journey to a cherished goal. Otherwise, the human race will learn nothing from this pandemic.