Project Dystopia: A ‘new normal’ if Corona is here to stay?

~Dr Ankit Sharma

First things first. The following is not an ‘advisory’ on how to live if we indeed find ourselves in a dystopian era where Corona virus is flourishing. The government provides the advisory from time to time, and I’m sure if such a time comes, they would choose the right words (like, it’s all opposition’s fault). The following, are just a collection of thoughts, probably a result of having watched too many re-runs of Contagion (Now on Amazon Prime; not a sponsored post)

A lot of things should change, as we learn to live with this virus now. One shudders at the worst-case scenario, the thought of a post-apocalyptic world, where the remaining alive are holed up in their homes, coming out for essentials and probably fighting for it. Yet, even in such a world there is a silver lining that TikTok is no more a global problem, because of practical reasons like the ‘stars’ of the platform can’t go to a salon to get their hair colored golden yellow.

The eternal optimist in me believes that humanity will win against this virus, but it will take time. During that time, the world will carry on living (with tweaks) because if this world is one thing, it is what Punjabi mothers often lovingly call their offspring: dheeth (stubborn). Off the top of my head, these are the things I can think of:

1. Cinema

We could see Barjatyas (Rajshri productions) making a huge comeback, since most of their storylines involve strict pre-marital social-distancing, and the post-interval intimates scenes can be easily symbolized by floricultural special effects. In action genre, only the ‘Wild Wild West’ Hollywood movies would be allowed to be shot, because the story is limited to groups of men coming out on a road and shooting at each other with pistols, for reasons you will never figure out successfully because they will be directed by Christopher Nolan.

2. Education

Apps like Zoom and GoToWebinar have proven that once mankind decides to put in real intent and hard work, it can torture students even from a remote location. I’m kidding. This virus has put a lot of futures in jeopardy, as entrance and exit exams and new admissions have been put on hold, and students have probably gone through all the shows on OTT platforms twice over (even the ones that don’t have Radhika Apte) and are now bored out of their wits. So, it is possible that soon, e-learning would play a major role in education and students, being students, will figure out more innovative methods of excelling at some of the most important college activities, such as marking proxy attendance.

3. Sports

It’s heart-warming to see that multiple football leagues have resumed in many European nations, albeit in empty stadiums, because studies have proven that when you are shouting at some footballer at the top of your voice from your home, you tend to forget that there is a pandemic going on. If this pandemic worsens, multiple events will be postponed (Olympics and FIFA Euro Cup already postponed till next year), but I hardly see it being a major problem to my nation because of our genetic superiority in terms of being able to play Antakshri for hours together, day after day.

4. Media

If you can trust one thing to keep following its current trajectory (of free fall into the black hole of lack of morality), it is the media. Apparently completely divided into two ideologies now, they do their job brilliantly by highlighting problems of the nation and also exposing the reason behind them, with the ingenuity seen before only with siblings sharing a room: pointing the finger at each other. Having said that, while the country grapples with this virus, one can trust the media to provide much needed entertainment in terms of comic relief, if your idea of humor is high-decibel biased arguments and religious slurs. It will, however, give you the statistics ticker for Corona, whether you ask for it or not.

5. Domestic life

With tourism at an absolute standstill, cooking has come as welcome means to breathe life into the most important part of our existence: our social media handles. The travel handles on Instagram are fast converting into cooking channels, re-runs of ‘MasterChef’ are garnering more TRP than ‘BikiniExotic Destinations’, people are experimenting with dishes on unsuspecting audience (mostly spouses). The one upside of this pandemic is that it has improved some of the most lazy and kitchen-repelling humans (including yours truly). People whose culinary skills were limited to throwing things into boiling water (hence, only dishes on offer were Boiled eggs, green tea, maggi and, well, hot water) are now producing gastronomical masterpieces. However, discussions pertaining to cleaning the utensils and the house have rekindled many a sibling rivalries and marital discords.

It is going to be a seemingly difficult time, but remember, whenever you feel down in life, there may be a Salman Khan Eid-time release coming up. I’m sure we can get through it the way we’ve always had: Together. Stay home as much as you can, stay safe, protect the ill and the elderly, and hopefully we can get back to the ‘normal normal’ soon instead of this ‘new normal’. No one likes this ‘new normal’.

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1 Response

  1. Usha Nandini says:

    Fun read!

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