Hollow Men (And Women)
It’s just not in our genes, though we are the most purity obsessed nation. We laugh. We spit. We hawk. We blow our noses in copious streams. We wipe our hands on the nearest available surface. We pinch the cheeks of little babies on buses and trains. “We are Indians, we can’t help ourselves,” we admit. Just like the Italian gentleman who explained proudly, “We are Italians…we like to hug each other. Amore.” All around him, Italy was reeling under the statistics of those who had been infected by the new plague that like the old one had decimated earlier Italians. Yet one must applaud their spirit. Ordinary Italians who have been told to stay at home stood on their balconies and sang. “It’s a global war and we are in phase three of the attack,” I heard one gentle man say on the Net.
T.S. Eliot phrased it more elegantly, “This is how the world ends, not with a bang but with a shortage of toilet paper”. He may have actually used the word “whimper” in his poem the Hollow Men. Never mind. We are all hollow men and women. “Better Hygiene” must be our battle hymn as we fight the virus with the only tools we have now: soap and water.
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March 30, 2020