Conversations before Covid-19

Last Updated 26 November 2020, 02:31 IST

A group of us were sitting around the dining table when suddenly someone asked, “what did we talk about before Covid-19?”

There was shocked silence. It was hard for any one of us to believe that there was anything before Covid-19 worth talking about. “Didn’t we talk about protests against CAA/NRC and Shaheen Bagh?“ one of the men asked. “I think we did,” said one of the ladies, “ but I can’t remember what we said about them.”

“I believe it had to do with the rising tensions the society,” someone chimed in. “That is correct,” the lady said, “But surely we talked about other things besides...” We all started thinking hard, trying to recall something before Covid-19.

“Wait a minute,” a friend said. “Wasn’t there something about economy?”

“You mean how we can increase our GDP to 5 trillion dollar by 2025?” asked someone else. “Yes, but also about how to create more jobs for our young population,” said another.

“I remember we talked about the upcoming IPL,” someone remembered.

“Yeah we were all so excited”

“In our family, we talked about where to go for our next vacation .”

“That reminds me of our trip together to Goa in January. What fun we had.”

“Say, I just remembered something. In our condominium, we talked about infighting in our RWA.”

“What about the election results in Delhi and upcoming elections in Bihar and West Bengal. “

“Not to mention the American presidential election in November 2020.”

“I think we also talked about how to eradicate poverty and bridge the gap between the rich and poor.”

“Kashmir engaged public attention too.” said someone else. “Those were great days,’’ someone said. “ I hope they are back soon .” “Let us make a pact of not to talk about the Covid-19 for rest of the evening.”

Everyone agreed. We ate our food silently. Finally, someone asked, “has anyone read ‘Talking to Strangers’ by Malcolm Gladwell?” No one had. We returned to our food. Every guest tried to think about another subject besides Covid-19, but no one could come up with one.

We all left hurriedly after coffee.

(Published 25 November 2020, 17:13 IST)

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