THE MIDDLE PATH – Bikramjit Sen

Covid-19 is a real trouble for the entire true Blue planet Earth. In these trying times that we all are in, facing the pandemic-like situation, the thing of foremost significance that needs to be kept in mind at present, is the age-old saying, “united we stand, divided we fall.” We cannot lose hope. We have to survive. Humankind is fighting many battles since time immemorial. And the common thing in all those battles that have gone down in the pages of history is the thread of togetherness, with which each and every battle has been won. While fighting the novel Coronavirus, this chapter of humanity cannot be forgotten or sidelined all of a sudden. Belongingness in humans stem from the very fact that man is a social animal.

Humans are dependent on each other for a lot of things. Actually, for anything and everything, they are dependent on each and everything that exists in nature, including themselves. The society that we all live in, will be a far better place to live in than it is at present while facing the deadly twenty-twenty. We just need to keep the humanity alive within our hearts. Social distancing does not necessarily mean that distances need to be grown within our hearts for one another. To observe social distancing is to observe physical distancing and avoiding overcrowding at places. One must not kill the humanity alive within one’s heart in order to safeguard oneself as well as others from the deadly effects of the novel Coronavirus. The huge impact of the deadly Covid-19 on the society holistically is getting worst day by day. It has become a major threat to our survival. It is a major threat to our economy. It is a major threat to the human population living world over. In such grave times, when the stocks in the market have crashed, the Sensex sees its biggest ever fall, the only ray of hope, the only light, that still motivates us to keep up with the fight is that we all are human beings. Whenever challenges have brought us down in the past, we rose to the occasion and fought together. The major strength in all of us is our humaneness and virtuousness. Human virtues such as benevolence, justice, patience, sincerity, responsibility, optimism, wisdom, respect, self-confidence, contentment, courage, determination, discipline, empathy, stability, generosity, honesty, flexibility, humility, mercy, introspection, are few fundamental ones. These virtues are the pillars of our strength. No one is innately and inherently bad. We ourselves have chosen the wrong paths for us and others, which are making us worse. This needs to be changed. We have to show that humanity is still alive in our hearts and minds. We have to pledge that, together in this fight with Covid-19, we will stand by each other’s side, to extend our full support, and that hand of help to our extremes, to the needy kinds. Selfless action is to be performed, right at this very moment, in order to save the world from the grave crisis of the pandemic. Selfish thinking, leading to the direction of non-cooperation, is never going to give us any stable solution.

You miss your stage. You miss your people. The Covid-19 Pandemic has chained you and left you single, all alone to ponder on your loneliness and remember the times, you could have spent with your tribe, your people. Due to Corona Pandemic, our government has suggested us to stay at home. Though, it is a house arrest like condition, but I Bikramjit Sen, a final year postgraduate student of English Literature, is staying at home to save innumerable lives. In our fight against Covid-19, we can only win, if we stay at home, there is no other way round, found. Each and every institution needs to understand this. Everyone has to realize this.

This is not the first time Mother Nature has punished us with a pandemic. There have been multiple instances in the pages of history where the humankind has been hit by the worst of the pandemics. The changes that have been made possible by the humankind were against the natural law of the environment. These man-made changes in the working cycles of nature were only made on the foundational grounds, of the human greed to progress by destroying the happiness of the Other.
The Other, that is a fellow companion on this earth, can be anything and anyone; nature or any other component within it, in which also resides the same atoms of the Divine, and as you, The Other is also the manifestation of the Supreme Divinity. As Mahatma Gandhi rightly said, “There is enough resources for everyone’s need but not for anybody’s greed”, so we shall see that in front of our eyes as examples, be it, the Colonized British Times, or the present one, which is a result of the same gluttony of mankind to over-exploit the Other. Atrocities bring rebellion sooner or later whether it is on a colonized piece of land or nature.
Whatever is written in the pages of human destiny, one thing is for certain, there will always be, the survival of the fittest.
It seems, the times demand, Middle Path. The colleges and universities should run parallel with corona virus in the atmosphere, simply by reaping the benefits that the Digital Age has brought to us. While sitting in the comforts of their respective houses, the teachers and students can easily collaborate on different subjects that are a part of the university or college curriculum. The academic syllabus needs no modification in order to adjust to these trying times. All thanks to the webcams and messaging apps. They have really made life easier for the students and the teachers, who cannot move out of the houses assessing the situation. The teachers can easily teach and the students can easily learn from them in the safety of their homes, keeping a healthy physical distance. The teaching-learning process should try to keep up with its usual pace. It would not be very tough, in today’s world. Assessing the present circumstances prevailing due to the Covid-19, both, the college and university authorities as well as the parents of the students, need to cooperate. There should be a mutual understanding. Neither the aspect of college fees can be completely overlooked nor the exact sum that was paid as a salary to the teaching as well as non-teaching faculty can be given. But, if we look, the things the other way round, finding of the solution would be much easier in this conundrum. The salaries of the teachers as well as that of the non-teaching staff need to be reduced considerably to the limit of sustenance of their families. The fee for the colleges and the universities need to be taken from the affluent families, who have not lost all their savings in the lockdown period and can manage to provide a little extra in order to save the future of their child as well as that of the others from dooming. The entire economy might be saved from crashing if the ones who could afford to take a step forward in helping others, do so. The balance, the solution, to the times of turmoil, lies in mutual cooperation and understanding.

About the writer : Born on the thirteenth of December, 1996, in Kolkata, India, Bikramjit, completed his Masters in English, from the Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, Lucknow. Apart from a number of co-authored anthologies, he has four books to his credit, namely ‘Twenty-Three: Collection of Short Stories’, published by the Notion Press Publishing, the novelette ‘Potentially Divine Souls’, and two books on poetry, ‘Bouquet: A Collection of Poems’, and ‘Pearls: Poetic Pieces’, all published by the Evincepub Publishing. Bikramjit, is a winner of multiple accolades; prominent ones include, being recognized as one of the 100 Inspiring Authors of India 2018, by the Indian Awaz and receiving the prestigious Swami Vivekananda Excellence Award 2019, by the Seva Youth Guild, both in the City the Joy – Kolkata.

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