Chittaranjan Park Broadcast April 2020
How The Lockdown Is Affecting Our Lives
By Jaya Ray (P 121, 9871718921)
On one hand, where millions of daily wagers were suddenly left in the lurch without an income, on the other, the whole community has jumped at the opportunity to support them in every possible manner. Corporates, individuals and societies are leaving no stone unturned to reach out to every daily wager possible during this Lockdown crisis and global pandemic.
On one hand, where the entire human race is endangered by the deadly virus, on the other, every human being has realised the importance and value of life, of the air around us, and of food. As someone beautifully said, we had failed to appreciate the free air around us till now. We now know the value of it, when we have to pay INR 5000 per day through the ventilator!
On one hand, where the government could not do enough to contain the pollution of the country, the lockdown has rendered the air completely pollution free. On the other hand, where the economy has been shown to have suffered a setback, crores of rupees are saved every minute in petrol and diesel.
Crime has drastically reduced, and so have deaths due to accidents and road rages. Corona death cases are negligible compared to deaths due to accidents and heart attacks from stress.
Where, the developed countries have always boasted of state-of the-art medical advancements and people have sworn by them all these years, now, with increased corona deaths in those countries and increasing each day on one hand ; the meticulous and prompt action taken by the India government and the compassionate care given by the entire medical fraternity to all patients including foreign nationals, on the other hand, have shown and sealed the fact that, India stands out today on the world map of organised and immaculate healthcare. To the extent that India, is regularly sending back healed foreign nationals back to their country in exclusive flights. A feat not achieved by any other country today.
India is also supplying Corona testing kits to several countries which are facing severe shortage.
Putting aside all racial differences, the entire country has risen to the call of the Prime Minister every time and responded in complete unity and solidarity to stand by and show appreciation and gratitude to the entire medical and essential services brethren.
We have learnt to stay at home, and have a great time with our families. We have learnt to enjoy without going to the malls or movie halls, or long drives. We have learnt to derive simple joys in cooking, cleaning the house, reviving our lost hobbies and taking walks on our roof tops. We have learnt to clean our homes on a regular basis and not wait for Diwali! We have learnt to stay positive and help others stay positive around us! We have learnt to appreciate our garbage collectors, sweepers, presswalas and guards. We have learnt the value of our maids, drivers, gardeners and are thankful that they are part of our lives. Not ever the least and most important, we have learnt to appreciate nature and pledge to protect it even when the lockdown is over. We have learnt not to take anything around us for granted.
We now know the meaning of lockdown, an alien term, hitherto, now part of our daily dictionary and wish that the government imposes a lockdown every year for a week, for us to get connected to our roots and nature! For us to remind ourselves, to be more human, caring , compassionate and giving!
My family and I have not been happier and more excited to be together!
Do you think there is anything more positive that an illness can teach us?
Would love to know your views, Readers! Let us relish this lockdown till it lasts!
The Peace & Quietude Of The Current Lockdown Situation “We have The Time To Stand And Stare”!!
By Jaya Ray, P 121, 9871718921
As I wake up at 4 am for my daily meditation, I am greeted by the most beautiful and sweet and myriad chirrup of birds. Never in my entire life, have I heard such a diverse warble and that too in such wee hours of morning! The air, which incidentally has been thin as ever and totally pollution free, whizzes through the atmosphere with a comforting hum and gives a thrust to the birds in their flight of pure and unadulterated freedom untouched by beastly human interventions. It is as if I have reached heaven! Where one can imagine, only the birds chirping, the surreal wind caressing the green expansive gardens everywhere. That imagination has come true today, here on our mother earth! What we have not been able to imagine in centuries, has proven to be a reality, thanks to the Corona outbreak!
As day breaks, the peace and quietude surprisingly continues. As far as the eye can see, the tall trees surrounding my lane breaks the dawning sky with a riot of colours. Red, Yellow and pink compete with the multitude of hues wildly painting the morning sky with the entire palette of pink and mauve families. The quietude envelops me as I venture on to my balcony with my bottle of warm water, a feeling hitherto, never ever experienced by me in Delhi.
Time has suddenly stood still all around. Suddenly, there is no hurry in anything. No hurry to wake up, no hurry to get ready, no hurry to grab a bit and no hurry to dodge the never -ending traffic to reach the work place. Stress has suddenly died within all of us, happily!
We are suddenly so much aware of our surroundings, aren’t we? We can feel the pure air swirling around us, see the blossoming flower plants nodding colourful heads to and fro in sheer joy, bees busily buzzing over the sweet smelling flowers and of course the clearest sky ever- never before seen hues flashing across the hemispheres throughout the day in an endless colourful play. As if the clouds are playing hide and seek with the Sun and stealing some colours from it to continue painting the expansive, endless canvas to their heart’s content.
Time has suddenly stood still! I start my day languorously, with a tall mug of herbal immunity drink nursing in my hands for about an hour while I listen to the enveloping quietude outside, the stunning absence of endless honks capturing my entire being, bringing a smile every now and then to my face. The chirpings of the birds have increased now, along with the sightings of so many kinds of birds, hitherto unseen in the Delhi skies.
The sweet breeze gently tells me to now get ready for the day to work from home. After a leisurely breakfast, I finally sit down to work with a peaceful and restful mind, surprised every time with a thought that crosses my mind – that how a pandemic has changed our minds, hearts and behavior so drastically within a span of 10 days of lockdown.
The Lone Venus In The Sky
Dr Anindita Roy ( CR Park, 9818541252)
Good Evening Friends, it is 7.30pm now as I sit in my balcony pondering as usual. The Lone Venus shines brightly in the west sky and the moon is not visible today on my sky view. These days the Venus stays put at my piece of sky for a longer period and does not drop behind the buildings. Every evening as I sit staring at the Venusian sky, myriad thoughts cross my mind. I wait for the celestial objects to pair up once again and dazzle the night sky. I miss my childhood home terrace with the skies full of sparkling stars. The Moon and the Venus grow apart from each other as the month passes by and will start coming nearer to each other towards the middle of the month and pair up to light the night on 26th April again.
There is hope for the world I believe. As per Roman and Greek mythology, Venus is the Goddess of Love and Victory. Victory of Good over Evil, Victory over a disease, Victory over our desires and wants?
As the world is under lockdown trying to contain the virus, the earth heals itself from the pollution created by the humans! Reports keep coming in about the blue skies with fluffy clouds, a prolonged spring after a long time, clean Yamuna waters, whales in Mumbai waters, elephants somewhere, peacocks coming inside colony from adjoining jungles, a Nilgai in Noida and many more such news! The residents of Jalandhar in Punjab, woke up to a scintillating sight of the Dhauladhar mountain range last Friday morning. So from cleaner air to liberated wildlife, Earth is experiencing many positive effects despite this dreadful disease plaguing the humans all over the world!
It is 10.30pm now, and I am back to ponder again after the night chores and ‘Lighting the Diya’ ritual requested by our PM. Each house in our lane lighted a few candles and diyas and some even shone torch/mobile lights. The evening deep mantra ‘Shubham Karoti Kalyanam,Arogyam Dhanasampada; Shatrubuddhivinashaya Deepajyotirnamostute… ’ played on and it was a beautiful 10 mins spent looking out of the balcony! I am sure you all must have experienced the same vibes of hope, peace and togetherness in your homes with your neighbours lighting diyas and singing the evening mantra.
For some reason the Koyal sang out! I just heard the sweet voice coo-coo-coo! And then the ‘hu-ti-ti-ti’ of another bird followed ! And all is silent again, there is an overall drop in the seismic noise and a silent night awaits! ‘Night is the wonderful opportunity to take rest, to forgive, to smile, to get ready for all the battles that you have to fight tomorrow’, they say. So I bid you all a very good night and may tomorrow bring in new hopes for all of us during this critical time. May all sufferings of Mankind be diminished and may we all see light at the end of the tunnel! Good night and Jai Hind!
By Chitra Sarkar (J Block, 8860611816)
In March, the seasons change. It is time to throw off the shackles of cold weather, to sing, dance and make merry. The ancients understood this. Easter, Nowroze and Baishakhi are all spring festivals. The most boisterous of all is Holi. On the full moon night of Phalgun, the last bonfire is lit, and the demoness of winter is burnt to ashes. Holika, who plotted against the devout Prahlad, meets her end in the flames. Along with her, we burn all the negativities within us. It is the time to start afresh, in a blaze of colour.
Holi was a joyous event in J Block. There were some concerns about the new virus, which was to terrorise the world within the next few weeks. But these were early days. Lockdowns were still in the future, and social isolation hadn’t really started. Looking back, it seems like a moment of calm before the storm. The Celebration Committee, led by Mr. Sunil Nanda and his enthusiastic team, invited the entire block. At ten thirty in the morning, drums started rolling, and Amitabh Bacchan’s deep baritone filled the air. Incoming guests were showered with rose petals. Colours were strictly optional. If you didn’t want them, you could shake a leg to the band--baja and still remain spotless. There was a lavish buffet of Holi delicacies, lovingly served by the ladies of the committee, Kaushiki Deb, Patrali Chatterjee, Swapna Mitra and Rina Biswas.
A group of young dancers kept the proceedings lively. Even the elders took turns climbing into the hobby horse for a spin to Rang Barse. We particularly enjoyed watching the acrobatics of the dholak players. Two weeks later, we were on official lockdown, but with great memories of a neighbourly get-together.
Immunity Through Yoga At The Time Of Covid-19 Pandemic
By Bandana Basu (J Block, 9810018688)
The whole world is tense, stressed and petrified, as we do not have any pills or vaccine, as yet, to rectify the sudden onslaught of this unknown virus. This pandemic is a biological war and we are all depending on our Immunity to help us get through this uncertain period.
Immunity depends on two primary factors:
1. Our physiological organic system primarily the abdominal region or belly. Our belly has to function optimally. If it is vulnerable then it is susceptible to receive infections like bacteria, virus or viral. Hence we have to address the abdominal region as it has a defense mechanism in fighting any infections.
Postures, Asanas addressing the abdominal organ should be practiced so that disease can be kept at bay. Good wholesome fresh food works on the belly and builds up the Immunity and helps to build up resistance towards virus and infections. Avoid junk food.
Immunity is a metabolic process, a physiological process and a biochemical process. Immunity does not develop overnight - it has to work in our system. No Postures, Asanasa or a Pill can develop Immunity instantly. Just like a baby after conception take 9 months to develop, Immunity also develops over a of period time.
2. We have to strengthen our mental health at this juncture. Brain should not be under any stress, anxiety or malaise. Usually brain function and Immunity goes hand in hand, so we must de-stress and be tension free and think positive.
Asanas and Postures addressing the brain should be practiced to strengthen the psychological mind. Brain and abdomen are interacting to build up Immunity. Mind should be positive and negative thoughts should be brushed aside. Brain function and metabolism goes hand in hand.
We should keep all fear, dualities and worse case scenarios at bay, as only a happy, positive approach will strengthen our Immune system. Finding joy at home, eating well, and keeping a positive attitude will help strengthen our Immunity.
So dear readers, as our elders(in Bengali) said “keeping your ‘bhudi’ ( stomach) and ‘mudi’ (brain) fit is the way to prevent all kinds of diseases”, do try out these asanas to keep your ‘bhudi’ and ‘mudi’ in shape:
Uttanasana: Tones the liver, spleen and kidneys.
Prasarita Padottanasana: Tones the abdominal organs
Supta Baddhakonasana: This pose improves blood circulation in the abdomen, massaging and toning abdominal organs.
For the Brain :
Uttanasana: Increases the blood flow to the brain and soothes the brain cells and sympathetic nervous system
Adhamukha Svanasana(downward facing dog pose): Calms the brain and gently stimulates the nerves.
Prasarita Padottanasana: Soothes the brain and sympathetic nervous system.
Finally For Both Stomach And Brain- Shavasana
In the Shavasana posture let the breath flow reaching all parts of the body. Relaxation begins from the outer layer of the body and penetrates the deep layers of our existence
Home Composting Of Wet Waste To Tide Over Lockdown Garbage Problems
By Asha Gambhir (J Block, 9811208040)
Indian kitchens are known to have remedies for any ailment, be it a common cold ,complicated joint pain or even strengthening our immunity Name it and there is an answer whether it is in the form of turmeric powder or whole spices!! Our Ayurveda and Naturopathy have survived these many centuries and is still going strong and dependable.
As children we often heard our grandparents say “Nothing from your kitchen should go waste”, there were enough ways and means to dispose off the waste created from the kitchen. Empty bottles were recycled and vegetables peels were fodder for the domestic animals or passed on to workers who had them. Over the years life styles changed, domestic animals banished from cities and cities became concrete jungles. Peoples buying power increased and along with that the concept of recycling was rejected. People forgot the concept of feeding the animals and in the race of life there was no time for anything. There were easy solutions- throw and discard.
Mountains of waste were created and when one got high enough a new one emerged. We created more waste than we could take care off or the civic authorities could manage, adding on to the pollution. We could not manage our ‘Waste’ intelligently.
Lets go back to our rural, our roots and learn to manage our waste. This is specially so relevant today when we are in a phase of lockdown. How will the garbage be taken care of??? It is the kitchen waste which is our biggest concern because left for too long it will either start smelling or invite insects. Here are some very simple steps by which we can take care of our kitchen waste converting it into gold, converting it into organic manure. No stress about the garbage collection and neither of the garbage rotting.
Take an earthen pot even a discarded one will do. (the earthen pot is preferred because it absorbs moisture)
Place two or three folds of newspaper and put the day’s peels in it. Please make sure to cover it with a lid( no bones should go into this)
Put a fistful of coco peat/ some dried leaves
Follow this procedure everyday occasionally put some buttermilk over it
This has to be moved every now and then so that air passes through it.
Keep repeating till the pot gets full. Close the lid and leave it to rot; Should take approximately 30 days but it has to be moved/ stirred frequently.
The end result will be black soil rich in nutrients because it will contain all natural products your garden or plants need. One may sieve it if there are lumps. You have created gold from the kitchen waste and done a great service to Nature by not burdening it with more waste than it can hold.
Let us work together towards creating a “ZERO WASTE” society. There couldn’t be a more appropriate time than today when Nature has revolted to teach Humans a lesson!!