Just a month ago, I was a different person—someone who would never pause on her feet. All I ever thought was of making it big in life. In this wild-goose chase to find success, somewhere down the road I forgot what life is really about.
Recently during the global lockdown, life came to a standstill. I found that I had nowhere to go but stay indoors. For an individual whose days begin and end with socialising and meeting people, here I was – alone with my thoughts. On one such mundane afternoon, as I stood looking out the wide window of my room, I thought about my life. Life was zipping by fast. But was it necessary at all? I wasn’t paying attention to so many valuable experiences that make life whole. For instance, I never realised that a stray dog lives just outside my building gate; how much we should appreciate doctors, nurses, and first responders; how difficult life must be for daily wagers in times of crisis; or the ineffable joy a simple walk in the park can bring you.
Today, while the lockdown still continues, I can say one thing for sure – one virus has changed my outlook on life. The perspective shift I have had during this confusing time is more powerful than any ideas or opinions I have ever had. It is unprecedented, just like the times we are in right now. These shifts have made me see the world afresh.
Seeing life from the eyes of animals
I have always fancied the idea of having pets, but my hectic work life didn’t allow me to do so. Occasionally, I would visit my friends and colleagues who have pets. I would play with them to my heart’s content. But after that, I’d be back in the same old, busy life. I never gave any thought to what they go through when they are left alone in an empty house when the pet parents are at work. Or, what happens when their human caregivers stay out until late, forgetting about their food or walks?
This lockdown arrived as an eye-opener for me, when I saw life from the scary eyes of pets. When I felt anxious or depressed due to little or no social interaction, I could just pick up my phone and call a friend. Animals can’t. For these voiceless creatures, this anxious feeling of isolation is a part of their daily lives.
This awareness made me think further. A couple of weeks in lockdown has gotten us complaining to no end. What about the animals in zoos who are bred in captivity for our amusement? When will the lockdown end for animals who have never known a life outside their cages?