Our dreams that are not ours but rented to fulfil as a responsibility to those we respect, love and care. Some dreams that dare not make a show into our real world but continue to live in the deepest crevice of our hearts and unfurl their wings in the safe confines of solitary bliss. Those dreams that we look up to every moment of our today, gleaming far away in a distant tomorrow, pushing us to toil harder, climb faster up the precarious rung of that ladder that will get us there. Those wishes that come and go like wisps of clouds that float past us while we stay too caught up in this business called life.
Bucket lists that made a beginning with wishes within our grasp and that soon progressed to ones beyond, but those that we hope will be fulfilled someday soon.
Today, as the virus has left mankind gasping, tightening its suffocating grip sometimes on our side of the world and at other times the other side, we need to empty every one of those buckets and refill it with prayers for the departed souls, strength for those they leave behind to find the will to move on and heartfelt wishes of hope, strength and prayer for those under its dangerous grip, for all our dreams are worthless when our tomorrow is bleak.
We humans are no strangers to war.
Some wars that have their seeds planted in some long-forgotten era in a historic past, where a generation of suffering people grew up witness to that seed of contempt sprout, that first weak stem of disdain dare to rebel the norms and break through the soil. The roots that slowly and steadily got a strong hold and the plant that then grew into a big, strong tree, the seed that gave birth to it long forgotten. This tree bears fruits that hold in them the bitterness of past generations along with the vicious seeds that will be carried forth by the generations to come. Yet, these wars had an audience, one that encompassed the rest of the world that read about it, wrote about it, but continued to live their lives believing that this could never happen to them.
Those battles that we wage with ourselves — the ones that stay strongly concealed under those tired eyes, bright with make-up; the dam of emotions held tightly in check under the mask of the perfection and a measured smile.
The battles we once waged as ardent keepers of our secrets in our diaries when it was encroached by a friend or family member, and the battles we now wage on social media when the secrets we divulge and the stories we tell don’t get the attention we think they deserve.
The pandemic has bound mankind like never before, for today, we wage a war against a singular force and this time the battle is ours to fight without an audience. When all else fails, a prayer might help. A prayer that does not limit itself to words, sounds, rhythm or practice; not one that conforms to a religion or a holy text, but one straight from the depths of our soul. A prayer not only for us and our dear ones, but one that touches beyond our circle, that will include every person we have come in touch with and those they have, those whom we hold dear and those we don’t. A prayer that is wordless but felt with the entire being. One that is unselfish and uncompromising. A prayer from every soul that will collectively rise like fragrant incense to reach some power beyond all the skills that we deem to process and all the knowledge that we claim to own, that will help us heal, cure and prevent.
Pranitha Menon is a freelance writer based in Dubai. Twitter: @MenonPranitha