Nirvana (Noun) : Defined as a state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self and the subject is released from the effects of karma..etc etc.Oxford Languages
We will, for the sake of this post, ignore the complete definition of Nirvana as stated by Oxford on Google (that sounds quite strange in itself), and just focus on the parts where it means freedom from suffering and desire and having no sense of self.
The lockdown in India started on 16th March 2020. So, it has been nearly 9 months of staying mostly indoors, practising social distancing, eating home cooked food, reading like an addict and failing at Yoga and DIY.
To add to this, I’ve been bombarded with news of illnesses and deaths of loved ones all year round. Shit year. Absolute Shit Year. But there’s also no guarantee that IF we make it out sane from 2020, that 2021 will be any different. (Yes, spoken like a true cynic). So, the daily, weekly and monthly dose of sad and bad news has had the effect of turning my emotional bandwidth into that of a machine. Even machines have more emotions maybe. I just feel numb. End of suffering then? I mean, if you don’t feel sad or heartbroken anymore, does that mean it is the end of suffering for you? Maybe. So, Nirvana definition part 1 – CHECK.
Before we went into lockdown, I had the life of a sinner. Well, that’s the religious definition, but for me, it just meant, I had a life. A life full of desires that I tried to fulfil in every chance I got. Eating at the best restaurants, drinking, dancing beyond midnight, laughing like a madwoman with my friends, trying to flirt with men and failing and not minding it a bit, traveling and seeing new places, experiencing different cultures. I desired so many things that I used to curse the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. I needed more and desired more and wanted to do more and I was hecka happy. Now, 9 months into the lockdown, of not being able to meet friends and family physically, not being able to eat a meal outside, not being able to travel, has made me forget my desires. It was just easier this way. To pretend I had no desire. The alternative was going into depression. And I already was in depression. Can’t go deeper into that hole now can I? So, Nirvana definition part 2 – CHECK.
Hmm, and what was that last part of the definition? Losing or having no sense of self? Well, I for one have forgotten what it feels like to feel. I have forgotten what I liked and disliked, because I’ve been caged indoors and living in fear of a bloody virus for the best of this year. I have forgotten how to talk to my best friends and my soulmates. I feel like I have forgotten myself. So, losing all sense of self – CHECK.
Now that I’ve written all this, and found that I’ve almost attained Nirvana on Earth, I realise that I don’t like it one bit. How about you? Are you enjoying your Nirvana? 🙂
In hindsight though, I think I’m still in a better place than the millions of people who have lost lives, health and livelihoods to this pandemic and all the other shit that came along with this. For that, I am grateful and thankful. I am also thankful for my family and friends. For my sister, mother and daughter. For the fact that I have internet and money to feed myself and have the privilege to crib and complain about my feelings or lack thereof.
So maybe, I haven’t attained Nirvana after all? Oh well, thank goodness for that then. I don’t need to be disappointed 😉 I just pray to the Universe and whatever positive energies are out there, please, please make the virus go away and let us travel and hug our friends and loved ones again 🙂
I’d like to end this post with a Katy Perry song that my daughter and I love – here’s to the few rainbows in a year of storms…