As I renewed my Premium WordPress account in the middle of this Pandemic driven financial crisis; I realised how every penny counts! COVID caught us off guard last year and toppled our life completely with its venomous attack.

A lot of people have and are suffering considerably and my full sympathy for them all. But for a host of other people – this was a wake up call, a time that taught them invaluable lessons for their life. Within a month of its arrival, it taught us in a very big, in-your-face way that you (yes, YOU) are nothing but a speck in the Universe, where something as tiny as a ‘virus’ can turn your life around. You may be a star, you may be a rich businessman, you may be a politician, you may be whosoever you think you are; but in reality you are ‘nothing’ more than just a human being living on this planet with a zillion other species of all kinds, whom we must respect and live with. All this while, we, the petty little humans that we are, lived in our pompous bubble that we will help conserve the species that are disappearing or we must reverse the damage that we are doing to the Mother Nature. But, one small virus, doesn’t matter if naturally-occurred or man-made; had the potential to threaten the entire humanity, show them their real worth on this planet.

From the collective gaze, lets zoom in and reach to a more personal plane and understand what the COVID pandemic did to us at an individual level. As I speak for myself, I realised the importance of a philosophy I was familiar with since ever, but the true meaning of which I understood only recently. SIMPLE LIVING, HIGH THINKING. With our desperate efforts to control the virus, we imposed strict lockdowns on everyone. As much as it was needed to lock people into their homes, it was needed to unlock the frozen brain pathways. 

I write from the perspective of a person who was born and brought up in the most coveted city of India – Mumbai –  the city of dreams, the city that never sleeps, the city so densely populated and the city where time runs the fastest! And suddenly, it seemed like time stopped. All those traffic jams, overcrowded local trains, the bustling offices, the cutting chais, the vadapavs, the dabbawalas – all vanished! Now everyone was home and there was nothing to do! Initially, it felt like a much needed break. Then it reached a point of realisation that household work is as much work as an office. Then it reached a point where the importance of savings was understood. Then it reached a point where health is wealth was understood. And now, it is at the point where the importance of a healthy mind in a healthy body is being understood. 

Who knew that the pandemic would stay around this long, compelling everyone to make drastic changes to their lives, their priorities and their investments? 

#AtmanirbharBharat is a vision for the country as a collective, but it was such a profound experience even at the personal level. Every household found one baker, everyone started growing some or the other greens at home, men cooked and cleaned, mothers became teachers, milk became dahi, traditional recipes and drinks came to forefront as immunity boosters and yoga became a way of life. 

Slowly, but steadily and hugely, people also realised that ‘fear’ had a big role to play while the virus was on the prey hunting spree. Being fearful is like paralysing your own self with clutches created in your own mind. And this is when what counts is your investments. This is where one must introspect whether one has invested in fear or strength, in wealth or virtue, in love or hate, and finally in ignorance or wisdom. 

This is the time to let the children of your house, the generation driving the future course of humanity, know about the right investments in life. They need to know that a sprawling house or a luxury car or a branded piece of clothing or an overhyped food fad is not going to come to their rescue when life shatters. It is their inner strength, the balanced body-mind-energy and their minimalistic approach for their lifestyle that will bring them security and peace. And ultimately, it will be the investment in ‘love’ – in loving yourself, your partner, your neighbour, your community, your country and eventually your fellow human being that will protect you against the odds and prevent you from creating any unnecessary mischief. If every man realised the piece of the Infinite that lies within him, he will not bother with the petty worldly compulsions. And it is our duty, as parents, to teach our children the importance of looking within as much as looking outside. We need to teach them to not envy the man with the biggest financial investments, but to envy the man with the deepest spiritual investments. Spirituality is the only way forward for the future generation to live in peace and harmony. If not, it won’t even take a second for the entire human race to just disappear in a war thanks to our nuclear powers. We and with us, our leaders, must realise that nuclear supremacy will lead us nowhere, except extinction.

(Starting today, I will be writing under #FridayQuotes every Friday where life will be reflected upon, lessons will be learnt and quotes will be created!)

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