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Short Story : Acclimatize

Nipun and his sister were the introverted new comers in the colony. They had come down from one of those north eastern states where even availability of new brands of ice creams ( which appeared each night as advertisements on the sole state television channel after the daily dose of abysmal news telecast ) was a luxury to say the least. Father had a transferable job, so every 3-5 years they were forced to leave their best friends back and move on to a new, strange place, with new rules, a new weather, a new school uniform and it's curriculum. Sports had always interested him as it channelized his nervous energies, all his internal conversations into some form of energy.  Sometimes spending energy on the ground helps you not have the energy to think about a haphazard life with no control over your surroundings. Sports made him switch off his social brain and just execute tasks to the best of his ability. He was not strategic about sports, it was not really the team wor

Will there be humanity in times of & after Covid-19 ?

The world was predominantly a collection of hunter gatherer tribe before we humans began to settle down, moving away from his nomadic ancestry. Man has seen a lot in these past centuries. We have seen ourselves working hard, toiling through the dark ages, surviving the times when we knew very little about this green planet we inhabit. 

We have seen times of grave distress, disease, industries; Always remembering the inherent survival instinct we harbour as an undertone of our inhabiting this planet for ages. 

We have seen breakouts of the unforgettable plague, the great industrial revolutions, the dark & the middle ages, the numerous monarchies and conquerors and then moved on to the nation states as we see today. 

We have had two massive world wars which pretty much shook us for more than half of the century gone by and then as we finally settled down into a Stabler economic, peaceful environment, we started raising havoc around us with our race to grow, disrespecting our natural habitat and ignoring signs of overindulgence in climatic terms. 

we have always had an 'on the edge' chemistry with fellow species, fellow human beings and especially our environment which has led to where we stand today. 

If i move to our economic construct of our society, we have always had a distinct - 'haves' and 'have not' segregation since the times humans had slaves working to exhaustion or the time when land was owned by a few but worked upon by the lot in our society. 

Equitable distribution of resources in the society is a Utopian concept we have always dreamt of, never been able to get close to. At least not yet. 

It has always been the poorer sections of our society being neglected by the powerful few, the nobles, the oligarchs - to serve the template laid out in place for profiting themselves. Even as we see today, in the most socialistic world that we live in, little changes for the needy, the poor and the 'have nots'. 

We hear a lot of schemes, a lot of policies, a lot of talk for the poor, but the gap keeps widening and the rich keep exploiting. It is not that black and white as it seems. The inherent nature of man to advance and progress is always with a lens of 'self' in his hand, mind and heart. This self-enrichment with disproportionate resources creates a widening divide. 

Now one might argue that equitable redistribution is not a meritocratic concept on which a society must be working on, instead we must create opportunities for everyone to grow and flourish, not forcibly redistribute resources which removes any incentives to work in the first place. 

The other argument that can be raised in this regard is that the very origin of such a meritocracy must come from a level playing field and that what historically has been wrong must be addressed to some extent to begin this merit based system, which seems very fair in hindsight. 

As we have said, such issues are not so black and white and there are no easy solutions to this. 
Man must behave kindly and a sense of humanity is what must be the precursor to any solution. A systemic solution is bound to fade away. It is philanthropy which can alone raise this phoenix from its ashes. 
The word "philanthropy" entered the English language around the 17th century, translated from the Greek "philanthropia," which means "love of mankind", and it is this love that must prevail. (As the time period says it all, the middle ages cropped up a word to describe this all important human instinct to save itself in the past). 

However, in times of calamity and mass distress, the "selfish" nature of man comes forth and his age old survival instinct takes root. 

Hence there is a burning urgency to stop the divide & this makes it pressing in Covid-19 times. When we see around ourselves, all we see are governments coming out with schemes to help the very poor and the industries that have gravely been affected by this calamity. But this is not enough. 

The fading love for mankind is what is alarming, the internal conflict of human beings to help the needy vis-a-vis survive the tough times makes it a catch 22 scenario. 


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