For the last two days, I have been observing three roaches, who had congregated on the forgotten dishes in the sink near the kitchen. In the flurry and mess of life over the last three days, I had left a pile in the sink. It’s that mess that attracted these roaches. It’s against my general attitude to life to willingly kill anything. So, I tried to get them to scurry out of the sink. Turns out though that the roaches knew how to get in, but not how to get out. They scampered around desperately against my poking and prodding.
Then, absent-mindedly, I turned to wash the dishes in the sink and drowned one of the roaches. The next day, another one met the same fate. “Get out,” I hissed at the one remaining one even as I cleaned up the sink. He/she/they refused. I took the remaining dishes to another sink to avoid having a third murder on my hands.
Today morning, when I got up, I looked inside the sink. The lone roacher was still there. Finally, in the evening, I could take it no longer. I devised a temporary scoop and pail out of a covering dish, coaxed the roach into the dish, and somehow, with a thumping heart, got the roach out of the sink. For some reason, he/she/they seemed hurt by my act, turning to stare at the wall.
“You are free. Go,” I whispered.
Why am I talking of roaches at a time like this? I don’t know. I feel my senses are heightened – I hear every call of every bird. I can feel the wind rushing in through the window. I dare not roam too much on the roof lest the neighbors complain, but I feel the red tiles under my feet, the heat from the sun when I do. I look at the sky and I feel I can see through the clouds.
My mom is getting better while Susheela is still on oxygen support. Each day, I hear news of someone or the other struggling or suffering and it pains me. But beyond the pain, I am also deeply grateful at the generosity of friends and strangers. My friend started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for Susheela’s treatment, and even though I know these are difficult times for everyone, I am so thankful for those who have pitched in with their financial support or those who couldn’t, but still shared the link.
I believe that there’s more goodness in us than we know. More kindness than we can count. It’s not some toxic positivity that tells you to ignore the blackmarketers who are charging exorbitant amounts for oxygen or medicines or the politicians who played their brand games at the cost of lives. No. It’s just this.
Within the mess in our hearts, there’s also a little spot of goodness. I am touched by the warmth you have shown me and each other. I am touched by your support. I don’t know how to give back, but I promise I will in words, thoughts, actions. The arc of generosity is never-ending.
May you be well. May you find peace.
Much light and love,