BC

If you think the title depicts a time before Christ, you are grossly mistaken.

If you think this is an abuse, no, it is not.

BC or Before Corona is what the new period depictions are going to be- hopefully for us and hopefully not for the future historians evolved from the coelacanths after a couple of thousand years.

Life before Corona struck was a bliss- sure, we took it for granted. We wanted a beer, we would go out to a pub and get one. We wanted pizza, we would go out and get one- or have it delivered. There we would be standing at the door, handing cash to the delivery boy.

If it was a movie, we would be there at the theatre. Solo or with your friends, you wouldn’t miss that superhero movie you have been waiting for. Standing in line at the snack bar to get a tub of greasy buttery popcorn and a large cup of aerated drink. We would brush all the mortals in our way and walk to the seat, hoping not to drop the drink or corn on people. And we would sit on the chair, rubbing shoulders with a man/woman who we have never seen. People may cough behind us, but we would sit through it without any care in the world. By the time the movie starts, we would be sitting there with an empty tub and a glass of ice. The ice in the glass doubling up as a wash for your grease.

Once the movie is over, you head over to the nearby restaurant for dinner. Once you place your order, the waiter would arrive with your dinner rolls and soft butter for you to munch until your entrees make way to the table. You all would grab the food with bare hands, smear butter on the rolls and shove it into your mouths. Replace rolls with pappad and mint chutney if you are in some Indian restaurant. Your pappad goes for a dip then a double-dip, not a frown on the face of anyone at your table. After the meal, that one friend says, ‘I share dessert with someone.‘ And yes, they eat off of a single plate, high fiving with their spoons, their saliva becoming one with the ice cream. No one bats an eyelid.

And off they go into the darkness, each of them into their own lives, talking, meeting and touching other people (in the right ways only).

The office was always a cacophony (not only the one with Micheal, Jim and Dwight) Clients walking in and out, meetings happening without break, life moving at a brisk pace- without ever slowing down. Handshakes were an indispensable part of the office culture. You are walking to the water cooler, opening the dispensing tap with the hand that had earlier been inside your nose. Your colleague comes for a drink while on his phone with the natural hands free- balancing between ears and neck. He opens the tap with his hand- what do you know- he had just been to the washroom and had gotten an important call and forgot to wash his hands. The third colleague now comes up to get water. He has water now and has indirectly touched your nose and your colleagues’ privates.

And then corona happened.

We yearn for going out. The extent of going out is to the grocery store, the pharmacy (for your regular meds) and if required, to the office. You maintain social distance, wear a mask and gloves. And sanitise often.

The office is just at home- in front of your laptop. No physical proximity to any of your colleagues. You remember sitting in your cubicle, snot-filled noses and all, not being able to skip work. Today, being in a public place like that that is an offence that could range to even an attempt to murder.

Easting out is a thing of the past. Food delivery is a rarity. You pay in advance and ask the delivery boy to leave the food at the door- tip can be collected from under the doormat.

Movies mean Netflix or Amazon Prime- with snacks made at home.

You are scared of people. You sanitise your hands if you think you have touched somewhere unknown, you sanitise your hand if you touch somewhere. Your face is always under protection if you are outside. You detest people. You rarely touch cash- all payments are digital.

You are not ‘You’ anymore. You are the new ‘You’. The ‘You’ who flouted rules of boundaries and personal hygiene does not exist anymore. That ‘You’ is not allowed to exist, by you, by the fear of sustaining you, by the fear of being thrashed by the people.

Stay away from people as much as you can physically. Be close with people as much as you can, digi-emotionally

The period after BC?

AD perhaps- After Depression??

Who knows?

Maybe the C in the original BC??

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