Tales and Tails of Nehr-e-Khayyam - Episode 10

Monday, March 23, 2020 Heba Moeen 0 Comments

The Case of Corona & Doggy Kingdom

The streets of the city and those of most of the country were deserted, pollution was down to negligible levels, the air and the sea never appeared as fresh as they appeared in this very moment of their freedom, albeit human imprisonment. Life in water and that in the air was charismatically celebrating human absence!

The streets may have been deserted by humans but they were taken over by stray animals; cats and dogs with their litter of cute little puppies that would not face extinction, at least not for the next 15 days of THE LOCKDOWN! No one would have ever thought that the world would be hit by another pandemic after the Spanish Flu of 1920 that infected 500 million people. Thankfully, this one was not as deadly. In fact human stupidity wants to outweigh the strength of the virus but then everyone got confined to their own homes which now appeared to be eating humans outside-in as their frustration sought an outlet, inside-out. In simple words the lockdown meant, ‘STAY THE HELL AT HOME … Thank you!’ and was announced for the amelioration of people race, most of which did not seem to care unless the virus came knocking on their own doors.

The government was trying its best to curtail the virus but some provinces were in denial and all were acting like countries within a country, with their own set of rules.

“I have never felt as free and in control of my own life … it’s like we have ‘kutta raaj prevailing now and we can bite anyone who comes out of their homes, without fearing what the consequences would be for us,” said Doggo giggled his innocence away.

“Do not underestimate human stupidity, my friend, for now it has been temporarily leashed. During the lockdown, some will start biting each other, likening each other with our species, calling each other ‘KUTTAY’. Some will become better intellectuals, but most … most will realise they had no hobbies but eating out and being slaves of a routine, and then becoming couch potatoes in front of Netflix,” explained Kuttay, ‘You see, these folks foretell about such pandemics and call it fiction, decades later the same fiction becomes current affairs. Sane ones have self-isolated themselves until sanity prevails, some infected ones are trying to run away from their confinement, thus making those around vulnerable.”

“Why so bitter, Kuttay? They give us food …” whined Doggo, “We still like them, let’s hope all of this gets over soon. Economies are collapsing … Not all human kids throw stones at us …”

“That is the problem! None of them should be doing this. None of them should be fighting for toilets rolls! None of them should be hoarding food supplies! And none of them should be selling essential items at exorbitant rates when the demand increases! Most of them are opportunists … look at us! We eat without knowing what we will get the next day, not because we are dogs but because that’s the way of nature … equilibrium … and when you try to disrupt it, nature avenges such beings.”

“Damn! What have you read recently?” inquired Doggo.

“Read Albert Camus’s Plague that he wrote in 1947, it’s like a prophecy, he knew it was coming! Stephen King’s Stand seems to have almost the same stance … It’s like 2020 is the year of Albert Camus, Stephen King, Geroge Orwell, Aldous Huxley … they are narrating this year! Their ghosts are penning down the news … with the exception of King of course, he’s probably a journalist working for them … live in the moment lest you regret it one day …”

Doggo almost fell asleep listening to this speech. “Well, we also live in the fear of being culled the very next moment but look at this! Read this!” exclaimed he and his naïve little existence produced a copy of Naala Leaks where the headline read:

Citing worst hit nations, the column mentioned that no one feared the virus, and everyone thought it won’t affect them until it did because people refused to stay home, thinking they had perfect immune systems. The reporter concluded mentioning a few lines from Albert Camus’s novel, ‘Plague’:

“On the whole, men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. The soul of the murderer is blind; and there can be no true goodness nor true love without the utmost clear-sightedness.”

Here ignorant people are those who refuse to stay indoors defying the imminent threat that surrounds them and hence are potential murderers.

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