Let the Sun Fall Its Rays: Hope amidst COVID-19

March of 2020 was way different than what we’ve expected. We found ourselves living in a pandemic and fighting with an unseen threat. Many of us, amidst this unprecedented crisis of COVID-19, have felt hopelessness, as if the sun will never rise again. It all seems very scary, but there is good to come up from this. Though it seems so dark, there is light in all of this.

What we need to do is to look at it!

The sun always rises from the dark.
The early morning view from my hostel’s terrace.

To uplift our spirits, I’m sharing some poetry that I composed.

——-

“Under the orange sky

It’s been hooting and tooting

The roads are jam-packed

With cars, bikes and rickshaws

Of people striving to make some place

Trying not to be late

But traffic’s making them wait.

 

I passed by some restaurants and salons

And found some stores and shops.

Blown up with hundreds of people,

A lump of selfishness I could sense.

A sense of trepidation and fret,

I could see on their faces.

 

Grab 5 packs of rice and

A few extra kilo of flour,

Don’t forget the bottle of hand wash,

A sizable one. Indeed!

Wait! Did you catch those last

Remaining packs of sanitizer and masks?

Go! Before that woman asks,

And have all those what is ours.

 

The day has only begun.

And there’s so much to be done.

Is it just like any other morning

Of our existence,

Or like the sun, the moon and the stars?

Yes, I guess. If not,

Then it can be.

The world is like the sun

That will never set.

And when will the world

Ever rest?

 

Cars and bikes have no place to be,

 Shops and stores are closed,

People are forced to spend time with them.

They are compelled to take only what they really need.

The whole world is changing around

and equivalently affecting all.

 

I know its hard time

For all the beings.

All are going through the same.

But what if instead of driving

Our heads crazy,

We value the resources and praise

The Almighty for what he gave?

Not taking everything for granted.

The water, air, light, food

Home and humans is all we have.

 

What if the pollution decreases again?

What if the water looks crystal blue again?

What if the greenery covered us again?

What if the birds sing again?

What if the nature gets balanced again?

 

What if we are forced to quarantine with

a bunch of people called family?

What if parents watch their kids learn and grow?

What if we are forced to bond with people again?

What if there are fewer cars and bike?

What if the roads are empty?

What if we all are giving up that glitter & glamour?

What if we all are forced to live the same way?

What if we’re looking with the same lens?

 

Let’s have a deeper feeling of unity.

Let’s aware ourselves of our communities.

Let’s redefine us.

Let’s reevaluate our ways,

The way we used to live in the past.

Let the sun fall its rays.”

——-

Mantasha is serving as an American India Foundation (AIF) Clinton Fellow with SAFA in Hyderabad, Telangana. For her Fellowship project, she is designing a communication strategy for engaging illiterate and semi-literate women and children at skills training centers and for publicizing program impact externally. Born and raised in a small district in western Uttar Pradesh, Mantasha pursued her education from Aligarh Muslim University. She graduated in English Literature in 2015, pursued a post-graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2016, and completed her Master’s in Social Work in 2018. All through her academic pursuits, Mantasha weaved a dream of playing a part in the development sector. She began her career in Buildyourself Sewa Sanstha as project coordinator to work on skill development of youth and handicraft artisans in Moradabad. During her graduation, she spent a year to work as block coordinator in Nirbal Samaj Kalyan Parishad in Aligarh, focusing on education, health, and family welfare. She interned with Digital Empowerment Foundation in New Delhi, offering digital literacy to children in slum areas. Mantasha strongly believes in the power of storytelling and the capacity of a person to share their own to bring change and also draw inspiration from the stories of others. Owing to this belief, she particularly gets pleasure from creative works like composing poetry, writing quotes and short stories, painting and sketching, and art and craft works in her leisure time. She also enjoys learning new skills through virtual courses. Through the AIF Clinton Fellowship, Mantasha is tremendously excited to foster her experience and knowledge in the development sector. For her, this Fellowship would act as an incubator where she can implement her ideas and expand her learning.

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