Awakening of our conscience

Awakening of our conscience

Alka Kashyap

The apocalypse of the second wave has hit us hard. I, too, have been shaken and stunned into grief, at the cries of people hankering for medicines, oxygen and beds. Times were indeed devastating, and every heart longed to hear some good news, to overcome the despondency that had set in. The silver lining in the grim situation was the brave hearts helping others to rise above the storm.

News came in that an auto-rickshaw driver had sold his wife’s jewellery and bought an oxygen cylinder to help people gasping for breath. He would also stand in a long queue everyday to get the cylinder refilled. What motivated him to go through such a tedious process was that he had not conceded defeat at any step. Instead, he took up cudgels to fight against the tyranny of the pandemic.

My eyes welled up to hear about the 85-year-old gentleman who sacrificed his hospital bed for a younger person. ‘I have lived my life,’ was still ringing in my ears. He died three days later and lived in our hearts forever.

Such people were the true epitome of what James Lane Allen said, ‘Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.’ Their remarkable efforts assured us, that there was light at the end of the tunnel. It was heartening to see the gurdwaras stepping up the essential facilities for Covid patients. Such places of worship had become well-equipped hospitals and were rendering 24-hour service to one and all.

The frontline workers and the Covid warriors had left no stone unturned to save hundreds of lives. The world would forever remain indebted for their selfless efforts. Their elegant dance moves on social media immensely helped in bringing a smile to millions of faces.

The common people, too, got their act together. Housewives came forward to distribute home cooked food for those who were ill or had lost their jobs. My own house help stitched hundreds of masks to help the hardworking sanitary workers. Many recovering from Covid were quick to realise they could donate plasma and help save lives. One marvelled at the concern of the younger generation, too. A group of class VIII students came forward to adopt pet dogs who had been left alone due to the passing away of their owners. There were others who had the magnanimity of volunteering for the smooth cremation of the dead.

When I looked around, I felt the awakening of our conscience. It was touching to see that so much of brotherhood had flowed in our midst. For, the little deeds of kindness and little words of love were helping us in the darkest of times. Once again, we were required to remember that the darkest hour was just before dawn. All we needed was to hang on and keep the faith.

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