Video Recording of the Online event: Annual Day 2021
From the Desk of the Head of Department of English
#covid19 #coronavirus #corona #pandemic
Our last year, the academic year 2020-21, was entangled in these hashtags. Today is no better. The pandemic has turned India into quagmire. Officially, India is recording highest number of covid infected cases in entire world, for last several days. People are struggling to get oxygen cylinders, ventilators, hospital beds. The hotels are converted into paid-covid centers. Several academic institutes have started temporary covid care units. We are amidst second wave of covid19 pandemic and Indians are the hardest hit in entire world.
It is but obvious that Corona Pandemic is a natural calamity. Though some conspiracy theories try to convince us that this virus is man-made in Wuhan Virus Laboratory in China and it is a sort of biological war started by China to economically destroy India and enemy countries, yet we do not have ample evidences to believe in such theories. What is important for us to believe in, rather than these conspiracy theories, is that how such natural calamities are aggravated by human error of judgement. How, we the humans, are responsible for the tragedies that happen in our societies and in our personal lives – is something very important to be learned from this pandemic.
We are aware of the fact that India lowered its guard against the pandemic in the month of March 2021. Officially, it celebrated the victory against Corona Virus. The leaders got busy with election rallies; the people got busy with religious congregations. There was widespread skepticism regarding vaccination among common-men. All these human errors of judgement are equally responsible for the tragic situation in which we, the Indians, are today. We come into such a dire situation because people in power deny to accept the advises of the experts. At times, they are taking decisions based on intuitions or astrology instead of scientific evidences. And then we all suffer!
However, it is not only the natural mutations of the virus and the errors of judgement by human agency that is responsible. It is our immunity or lack of it, also, to be made accountable. We have rich heritage of Yoga, Pranayama and Ayurveda. But when it comes to make it a part and parcel of everyday life, we are the laziest lots. These precautionary life-style is neglected, I would say, criminally neglected, and then, when the house is on fire, we think of digging the well. Then, when the milk is spilled, what’s the use of crying over it.
We are supposed to keep one law of nature at our fingertips: A single rotten mango can infect all the healthy mangoes, but all healthy mangoes can not remove the rot from a single infected mango.
The point is, we all have to be hale and hearty. Even if a single person in a society is not taking care of his/her health, s/he is a danger to all human beings. If s/he gets infected by virus, s/he is going to spread and infect all healthy immune system. All healthy immune systems are incapable to transmit good health to a sick human. A sick human is capable to transmit sickness to all healthy humans. Isn’t this the crude and bitter reality of nature!
The life lessons we learn from the zeitgeist of our times are useful in our normal times also:
- 1) When it comes to take decisions, which can affect innumerable lives and it may turn down to be the matter of life and death, believe in conclusions drawn out of logic and rationality. In short, do not take decisions based on intuition or irrational calculations.
- 2) Never celebrate small victories. What seems to have ended might be just a small battle. The war might still be going on and we may be unaware about it.
- 3) Always ask – ‘What next!’.
- 4) Always remember – ‘Readiness is all’. Remember, so many sports persons got infected with corona virus. The Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) has been postponed because of several crickets got infected in the bio-bubble. So, even if you are keeping your immunity stronger with yoga, pranayama, Ayurveda or sports and outdoor games, be ready for the infection. So far as rotten mangoes are with us, we, the healthy mangoes, are prone to infection.
- 5) Every thing is just a mind game! Keep your mind engaged with some sort of activities. Only keeping body fit is not enough for immunity. The mind, too, shall be engaged with something creative, constructive and beautiful. Keep your mind busy with the work you love to do!
- 6) Learn to enjoy isolation! Practice individualism. It is not to say that do not be a part of community. Be ready to help the community but be self-reliant, Atmanirbhar! In short, do not give the remote control of your happiness or sorrow to others. Have a control over your remote control.
- 7) Remember, immunity is the key to happy life! Health is heaven, and illness is hell! No better than corona pandemic can teach this simple lesson so effectively.
Writing for this very well edited Memorabilia 2021, I am indeed glad to see that almost of all students are safe and healthy in this time of illness. Baring a few students, all others are hale and hearty. It was great to see that in the Webinar Presentation Season 4, all students made their presentation and no body gave an excuse on the grounds of illness. This is something rarely found even in normal days. It seems you in good health because you all are keeping yourself creatively and constructively engaged with your studies and other work. Keep doing so! Never keep your mind idle!
Finally, I would like to say that this was a very good batch (2019-21) of students. Most of you were very eager to know more, your eyes were hungry to learn more and more, your sincerity in your work was very genuine, your habit of doing a little bit more than expected was something very rarely found these days.
The prime objective of our Department is to (i) develop literary sensibility, (ii) generate interest in academic & research writing, (iii) make students critical thinkers, and (iii) hone digital skills among our students. In this batch, I am glad to say that, the number of students who displayed these achievements are in large number than those who didn’t. Many of you have set a higher benchmark for the batches to come.
This year was a year of learning and doing so many new things. It was the year of disruptions. After teaching for two and half decades, the teachers start getting safe in their cocoon. In our younger days, we break the cocoon to get ourselves beautiful wings to fly like butterfly. The metamorphosis from caterpillar – to – chrysalis - to – butterflygets somewhere stagnant. We start believing that we have metamorphosed into butterfly. The corona year, for me, was a realization that there were I got stagnant was a phase of ‘chrysalis’. The challenges of teaching and also learning lot many things in this corona year was something like ‘becoming a butterfly’. This year was full of trials and errors, in short, of learning a lot – to teach in online mode, hybrid mode – to make lightboard, to try various innovative practices in teaching – learning to live stream events – was like getting new wings to fly.
All that was done during this pandemic year – is documented here https://sites.google.com/view/webinar-eng-mkbu/home .
Best wishes to all the students to shine out in real life situations. Never let your guards down. Keep on honing new sills. Never think that you have already metamorphosed into butterfly. Always keep in mind that you may be still in your cocoon and keep on breaking the self-imposed limits. The tough times make us tougher. The bitter times make us better. When the going gets tough, the tough get going!