BILAL AHMAD DAR
When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions. Shakespeare
Covid-19 is proving to be a Pandora’s Box of troubles. Apart from economic problems, abrupt changes in socio-cultural relationships will be as difficult to deal with. Prior to this pandemic, people used to enjoy each other’s company. In the West, people were fond of Public Display of Affection (PDA). This is going to change for sure. Maintaining distance will now be considered as a gesture of love and concern! Hugs and kisses will be considered as nefarious acts! Love birds will have to invent new modes of expressing their feelings. The pandemic will bring about a sort of universal uniformity in socio-cultural ethics. Ways of celebrating festivals are going to change for sure.
Quarantine, social distancing, lockdown, such terms have affected the web of socio-cultural relationships. People now fear meeting one another. The pandemic has conditioned people to live in separation and isolation. In future, people will likely refrain from arranging social events. Friends will no longer gather for parties. Lovers will no longer frequent recreational parks and restaurants. The frequency of religious gatherings will be curtailed everywhere. Mosques, temples, mandirs all will be under surveillance. All this will have a psychological effect on people. People will inadvertently distance themselves from others. Marriage ceremonies will go through a complete change. In J&K, sumptuous dishes are usually served in a spacious single plate to four people, but this practice does not seem likely to continue. There will, instead, be the buffet system in which every person serves oneself individually.
Every religious festival all over the world is celebrated with great enthusiasm. People usually congregate in large groups to enjoy festivals. But now everyone has become sort of untouchable. Festivals will now be bereft of people, of enthusiasm.
These changes are going to happen in every country in the world. People will have to acclimatise themselves to such abrupt and baffling changes. As Goethe said, “Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for change.”
—The writer is a research scholar at Department of English, AMU. firstname.lastname@example.org