I have never been a particularly hopeful person. Years have ground hope into dust. I have never been much of a person to have faith, either. Many more years have bred cynicism, that toxic blend of caustic bitterness and cynicism settling somewhere deep in my soul.
India lies marooned in despair. I have aged a decade this last week. Or is it just five days? I think of a time not so long ago when I was actually bothered who said what or did what. But these last five days have crystallized life into its most brutal elements: water, air, fire, earth, and the sharp clang of metallic breath. I drink water. I breathe. I feel the earth under my feet. I measure oxygen levels. It’s enough. And yet, somewhere in this chaos, I have been witness to the most beautiful transformation of all: that slow, long-drawn bell that takes some of my cynicism and transforms it into hope and faith.
I walked 800 km in search of faith back in 2019 when the world seemed a gentler place. I found it here in 2021 without even walking. I have found it in every person who has reached out to me, helped me, been with me, and all the healthcare workers who continue to put their lives at risk. I have found it in the sun that breathes its light into me. I have found it in the music of people’s hearts. I have found hope even in the darkest of times.
Today, I drove again (I must be the only Covid-positive-person who has been driving all around town) to the hospital. An hour of waiting outside. And then. Finally, my Mom came home. There are papers to sign. Insurance to claim, whatever. There’s a lockdown from tomorrow. But for now, it doesn’t matter. My Mom is home.
I carry that hope soon I will drive again and pick up Susheela too, who is still under oxygen support. She is now alone without my Mom’s support. But I hope that my Mom gave her the courage to take deeper breaths, to believe in life the way she does, and to never ever give up.
I carry hope within me. I believe in people again.
PS: If I am delayed in any of my responses, please bear with me. I am still running through extreme fatigue and today drained me with the driving. This virus is weird. Makes me feel very very very unfit and like I have run a marathon every time I climb the stairs.