Salaams to Everyone! How are you faring so far? I’m sure most of you are doing well, in spite of all the apprehensions. It is almost a month since the lock down happened in Pakistan. It is not that bad here, as the grocery shops, chemists, fruit and vegetable shops are open. So, basic necessities are available. We all have managed pretty well, I feel.
Discoveries so far:
By now we have discovered how much less we can live and thrive on:
- Suddenly new feelings of adjustments have taken place. A big relief to know that you can cope.
- Your family is pretty cool, isn’t it so?
- Your kids did try to drive you round the bend, but now you’ve learnt some tricks.
- The staff issue is not bad either. I’ve reduced the trips of my part time staff per week.
- We now appreciate the value of exercise in our lives and do it inside too.
I feel that everything would have been fine: being home, locked down, not going anywhere, schools and offices closed and being cooped up with your family full time, and what not; Except for the depressing news pouring in every day. The news of rising number of deaths in different countries, specially America, topping the list. This makes it all so scary. No, it is terrifying.
After listening to the last news bulletin, you try to sleep and feel like all the symptoms rising in your throat! If you do go to sleep, the dreams are all dark and gray too – yes, the mood penetrates into our subconscious being.
Actually, this time is coinciding with the spring time, which brings up the pollen count with the flowers too. So, you naturally feel the spring allergies; even one sneeze feels as if you have got that horrid Corona. I’m telling you, I’ve felt it at least four times, in the last four weeks!
All the visions of those scary videos and hospital scenes flash through one’s mind. So, I’m found getting steam, gargles and medications. God bless Dr. Mehmood who is kind enough to give me a prescription, so one can get on with it.
I’m sure each of us has developed their own ways of facing this ‘lone battle’. Let me share how my daughter and I’ve been spending our time:
Even before the formal lock down, I started my food drive, quite by chance. On the twenty third of March, it was a one-time impulsive act to feed the poor in my community. Then my mother joined me on twenty fifth. Then, I shared it on Instagram, I thought why not each of us do their bit in their own communities, so that the daily wage persons do not go home hungry.
Today is going to be the twenty fifth day of this Food Drive. I’m loving it.
My kids were apprehensive about my health, but I felt it is okay as risk is always there. One must take all precautions. ‘Doctors and nurses are going daily to meet Corona patients. So, why can’t I go to feed the poor?’ I said to them.
You, my precious Readers and Donors joined me and made it possible, for me to get the food cooked and distributed daily. It takes about thirty minutes for me. Also, a whole day of planning and management of all the donations.
Staring the Food Drive, the hotel owner, sits in the back seat and we move at a steady pace. We start finding poor persons sitting along the roads, or walking along the road, we just call out and hand over the meal. They gratefully accept it. Most of them accept silently, and several turn to us saying prayers for our well-being. I hear words like, ‘may Allah accept this offering of yours!’ ‘Allah qabool karay!’ and ‘Jazakallah’.
These moments make my whole day beautiful. I feel that after this, I can go back to my life, and be able to face the rest of my day. Otherwise, how can I be at peace, knowing these people have no means of livelihood open to them these days?
Sensitive to their feelings:
As usual, I made videos of handing over the food. While I received a lot of respectful appreciation, I also received the hate mail! I believe in taking criticism constructively, so I do appreciate their sensitivity to the feelings of the receivers of the food. So, yes, they were right, now I do try to not show their faces. I’ll try to cover with something, but I can’t help sharing the fact that how the food is accepted, with a sense of relief. After all, when food is distributed in flood relief and earth quake relief, the faces of recipients are not hidden.
It is important to share the situation with the donors. Let them know that their donation has reached the persons who deserve it most. They have a right to see how much relief they are giving across the world. When I hear the prayers of the recipients I want the donors to hear the prayer too. Many times I ask the recipients to pray for my donors, and they do.
Many times, I don’t make any film or video. It is a special feeling shared between all of us who are making it happen. It cannot be described. May Allah accept this humble effort. Ameen.
Isn’t love and pain so much the same? If we didn’t love each other so much, we wouldn’t later feel so much pain either. We would have been indifferent. It is because we love each other that we feel the pain that the loved one feels. That is why it pains us too.
Corona Virus has united the world:
This virus thing has brought the whole world together in a way nothing else ever did. Regardless of race, color, religion, ethnic back grounds or country, it has hit the entire world together. Finding us all in the same dilemma, we now share a bond. This bond of mutual fear and insecurities. The same fears and same insecurities. How we want to help each other, how we want to remove this pain.
Let us all come out of this, a more beautiful, stronger and better version of ourselves. Let us hope that all those sanitizers we cleaned our hands with have managed to clean our hearts too.
Stay blessed, my dear Reader, Stay blessed and protected. 😊