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Privilege Is A Tricky Thing, And In These Dark Times I’m Much Too Aware Of Mine

Posted: June 5, 2020

With the weight of the ongoing pandemic on us, where are you on the tightrope between ‘We are all going to die’ and ‘This is what we needed’?

We all know there is a pandemic going on. Period.

I see its animosity seeping into our houses, which are already riddled with friction due to the constant anxiety which blares through the television every time we switch it on.

To deal with college and classes and keeping up with syllabus plans seems to accelerate the feeling of hopelessness. There’s this constant battle between ‘We are all going to die’ and ‘This is what we needed’. A constant feeling of being mocked at by the life I always referred to within the extremities of ‘struggle’ and ‘boring’.

A sense of doom when my 7-year-old cousin expressed her fear of dying as she will miss out on her wedding and having her share of children, because, are we still teaching our girls that, that, is the finish line? Did I mention that she’s 7? Helplessness in not being able to reach out to friends because they are also so overcome with their work and dealing with their own demons this time.

But then there are moments of relief…

There are moments which remind me that I’m alive and breathing and this is good and this is what I needed. A break. Homemade food. Waking up in a bed which is so familiar yet not so familiar because don’t you now feel like a guest at your own house whenever you go back? Yet this time is different. This time is okay.

The sun and rain remind you that nothing is ever black or white. We are all grey and situations are all grey and it all depends on the viewer’s perception. Realising that the peace arises from the existing privilege. Realisation that privilege is a tricky concept. Some are born into it. Some are born into people who get it for them. If you do taste it, you know that it will taste familiar in your mouth. But now it tastes funny.

What about the ones who don’t have the privilege to be calm this time? Even if it’s for a fleeting moment like how you feel? What about that then? Now the sun and rain are a bit too much. It’s not as comforting as before.

Then there are days where I’m just disassociating

Nothing feels the same. Everything feels like a pain. Days where I’m endlessly consuming content and all the words reverberate inside like I’m hollow and there’s nothing left inside. Questions creep in during a sleep schedule which was crafted by Momus himself to mock me. Who am I? Are we the product of all the content which we endlessly consume or are we the manifestations of our parent’s greatest strengths and insecurities blended together to make a live wire bundle of nerves which melts under simple questions?

Do we ever distinctly make a personality ourselves? Are we just the products of past achievements and trauma? Is anything even real? We are in a simulation. Period.

The feeling of privilege mocks me here too. Is it because of the privilege that we have the ability to think like this? If we weren’t so privileged, would we do the same? Would we even have the time to think? Would it all be the same if privilege didn’t exist? Everything comes to a standstill. It’s as if life is here at the pinpoint of your finger.

I was big on considering myself a dreamer with a pinch of realism. Yet when my mother questioned (joked) about future-study-plans-me, who is finding it hard to finish this academic year owing to the instability of tomorrow – I snapped, asking her to take it one day at a time instead of worrying about the coming years because who even knows if we live to see the end of this year. The feeling of hypocrisy took over me when she replied, with ‘What’s the point of living without hopes?’

What actually is the point of living without any hopes in life? We humans certainly don’t like the idea of uncertainty; proven by our love for sun sign predictions and psychic readings. But there’s hope. Hope keeps us moving forward. Hope swoops in like a bird with a fragile beak and you let it happen because if you’re not flying, you’re on the land.

In this rare spectrum of life where the opposite ends are ‘Too much’ or ‘Too little’, all we have is our unprecedented future and the bygone past. We deal with it in ways only we know we can. Some resort to making coffees which are so aesthetically pleasing while others drown in work.

I deal with it in the only ways I know I can – writing till things start to make sense, finding peace during passing moments and of course, repressing the hell out of the dark days.

Image via Pexels

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