A Rogue’s Gallery of the COVID Era

This quarantine has been an absolute delight in one way: I’ve been watching the world, with a keen eye and just a touch of Camus’ L’Étranger. It helped me in separating the wheat from the chaff.

It’s helping many of us do that. We’re making mental lists: Old friends. Potential new friends. People we should reach out to because they’re going through a tough time. People who really matter. Family. Vulnerable women and men who need support. People we never knew kept the world running. Crushes. Dignified, awesome human beings. Things to do for self-care. Cute pets in the neighbourhood.

And.. then there’s the burn list.

Listen, mate, you don’t have to do ANYTHING if you don’t want to or cannot. Really. No one is coming to check and no one wants to. But so many are missing the biggest rule about charity, taught since time immemorial, from Jesus to Buddha to Zarathustra to Adi Shankara to Confucius to Prophet Mohammed:

Do charity. Don’t show off your charity.

The cutest chaff is the blow-your-own-trumpet type of public display of charity. Some even went to the extent of questioning others on how pseudo others are. Like they are are an authority on the lives of others based on social media posts. Sweet!

Maybe for first time ever in their lives they went out with a sack full of rice to distribute and feel good about themselves. The real heroes did it quietly, they have always been doing it quietly, and they are loved for it. They did not push others to join their bandwagon nor did they do posts on how much they have given out.

So, all the delightful cacophonous, shrilly, shout-out-loud peeps who told the world all the good they have done during quarantine. You are out of my list! I don’t trust the moral brigade anyways. I know it’s mutual. We just weren’t meant to be.

How about some more such characters?
🎵 Oh, these are a few of my favourite things 🎵

The next is the designer and boutique owners who have raised their voice towards ethical fashion, sustainability and “return to the artisans”. I have nodded in agreement with their parroting statements because I know the real ones. Now I don’t feel like nodding anymore. My neck hurts.

Iruway is a brand from Tumkur and I met the man behind it, TB Dinesh. He lives with the artisans and travels once a week to help them cultivate their craft and doesn’t think of gain as the motive. He is spiritual in his endeavor towards this. If you care as a designer, please go and live with the artisans and teach them at zero costs how to upscale with design aesthetics and increase their productivity. Incorporate them into your business and products. Profit-share. Build them up.

If you want details let me know. I will gladly connect you.

But please shut the fuck up if you don’t get down to the grassroots where the artisans live and with utmost bravery are continuing inspite of the odds. This is not about how you are viewed it is about what you are actually doing for them.

If not, just like the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland, off from my list!

The next is my favourite healing groups of mantras that will heal COVID-19 patients and suddenly Gayatri mantra will open your chakras for having empathy and being kind. My dear enlightened friends, we cultivate and understand decency and empathy through our actions. Hopefully that happened when we’re growing up, but we can learn as adults too! Religion will not deliver us from this doom. Stop doing everything except actually doing things that matter.

You are in my be-wary list but not out yet!

Next: there is a certain variety of these cleansing types who tell you they cleaned their house and now they feel lighter. Darling, you’re are just making space to buy again when the COVID fear is forgotten. You did not learn a single lesson about how hard your maids work and for how little. After May 3rd, you’ll go right back to complaining about them and paying them peanuts. Prove me wrong. (some of you are an exception. You did learn and for that I really commend you.)

So many are flouting rules and meeting up in their homes. There was a term made for these guys back when all this just started: “covidiots”. The latest covidiot was a member of a prestigious club who misused his pass to ferry people to his resort. He got caught. But we will forgive him, won’t we? Because we will again have beer with him at that club. Some of us need his investment money.

So guys STOP! Do your shit quietly and don’t make announcements. You don’t need anyone’s approval except those you are helping. If you can’t or don’t want to do anything, really that’s fine, just follow basic decency and rules at least. Right now, the rich will remain rich and the poor will suffer. Some of us may cop it some may survive it. At least die decently.

The world needed this time off I guess. I am waiting for lockdown to get over because I promise you so many of us have made in-lists and out-lists!

I did not dare do such a thing when I was struggling as a journalist. Now I can because I am part of the arse-kissing groups of people with the club memberships and the right car that enters the gate! So I can be obnoxious. I earned it!

During this crisis, I find myself really wishing Charles Bukowski was alive. I wonder what would he call this meltdown.

I miss authors like him in society. A drunkard, a womaniser and even as he received his award, he was drunk. His logic was if success makes me drink less and behave otherwise, I am not worthy of success, it shouldn’t change who you are.

With Love and Snark,

P.S. The highest consumption of internet has been sexual content during quarantine. I smell some new mint there.

Image Credit for the Featured Image: Mean Girls, Owned by Paramount, MTI, Source: Mean Girls Wikia. Used as per fair use laws and is not intended as an endorsement by either party.

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