Day 6: The Positivity Of Survival

Everyday / Tuesday, April 27th, 2021

I struggled with red ants the whole day today while trying to work at my laptop. “What? Work? Now?” you may ask. Well, there are more bills I can count right now than ever, and working is one way to bring in some semblance of normalcy to this world. So, there were ants as well on my laptop. I don’t know why ants like to get inside laptops. Is it the thermal paste I had recently applied to cool it down? Is it just the warmth? What makes them crawl inside a laptop?

I sprayed the one thing I have most on hand right now: disinfectant. I murdered a few ants in the process. Even as I write, a few more keep crawling out of the keypad. I spray them. Brush them aside. Phoo them. Do whatever I can. Eventually, after a few hundred left, I settled down to write. 

And my mind drew a blank. What can I write here? That I felt terribly exhausted? I have been saying that. That my Mom is extremely fatigued too? And my heart thumps a painful beat each time I check her oxygen levels? That Susheela continues to be on oxygen support? 

Somehow, I feel I am in some nightmare version of Groundhog Day. I have lost track of days and dates. I knew that today is my sister’s birthday, but I could only wish her on the phone. I asked our driver to send me Rondo, our dog. And then, I thought, is that safe? I didn’t know, so I chose to not take the risk. 

There are days when you feel like you don’t have the energy to bear this another day. But you know what? We can. We do. We don’t just endure suffering. We come through it, lightened. 

Right now, I don’t have the energy to write. But I will be back. 

I promise. 

May you be well. 



4 Replies to “Day 6: The Positivity Of Survival”

  1. I just read all of your daily posts from this past week and I must say, I was seriously taken aback for a moment. My whole heart, thoughts, and prayers go to you and everyone going through this turmoil. So much has happened in these few days that it’s hard to put things into perspective. All our lives have been upended and it feels like the concept of time has lost its meaning. Just thinking about these past 15 days or so, every minute feels like a year in itself. Several people in my own familiar circle have been affected as well. Although I have gone through a frenzy of article reading on every aspect of this pandemic, just like the last year, I cannot help but keep asking to myself – ‘What is happening? Why is it happening again? How did we get here?’ despite knowing much of the reasons.

    I have been a silent reader of your blog for quite sometime. Though I have not been much active on WordPress recently but something nudged me to open the app last night and there was your post. Smitha, I admire your positivity and outlook towards life and your words have been a place of solace and wisdom in the times of dire need. I can hardly fathom the terrifying emotions one must feel when they find out their loved one being infected or the helplessness of seeing them suffer and not being able to do much about it. But hang in there. You are a strong pillar of support for your family, your love and care would not go in vain.

    Personally, I am stuck here in a PG in Bangalore, staying alone inside a small dorm the whole day. I cannot cook here and not having access to proper food is making me a little weak. I had booked my tickets for home sometime back but considering the situation outside, it would hardly be prudent to make this long journey. I had to defer my plans for higher studies last year due to Covid-19. This year, I mustered up the strength to go through the hectic procedures but the events that have unravelled this month has shrouded it in uncertainty once again. Nonetheless, I am trying to keep an optimistic mindset.

    There is a sense of peace inside this bubble in contrast to the chaos I see and hear about. As an introvert, I did not have much complaint of the containment last year, although this time it feels a little harder to sustain. And you are so right about such experiences heightening your senses. You start perceiving every little thing, every little being around you and cannot help but marvel at how wonderful the arrangement of this nature is. I had brought a flower pot in the beginning of this month which I named ‘Sisu’, a Finnish word that represents extraordinary endurance in the face of adversities. Here’s a photo –
    Tending to it has been therapeutic. Even in this tough time, you are extending your support to people but I hope my few words gives a sense of support to you. We are all in this fight together and soon our courage will triumph. Stay safe and take care!

    1. Chandan, I don’t know how to express gratitude to you. I am at a loss. Can you please tell me where you stay? Which PG? Can you email me that? My email is smitha9ATgmail.

  2. Dear Smitha –

    Even without all of the Covid family troubles, Karen and I have become “unstuck in time” to quote Kurt Vonnegut. What day is it? Why did I walk into this room? Arrive at the doctor’s appointment to find that it is next week. After a while, it gets harder and harder to laugh it off. In your case with real and frightening things happening, it can only be more difficult. Hold onto the idea that there are many, many of us out here who wish you well and hold you close.

    Sending positive thoughts your way,

    1. I agree, David. I long for those times when I thought my major problems in life were what a client said or what someone said.

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