Hello everyone!!! Hope you are doing fine. It’s 31 December 2020 today! Man, what a year 2020 has been, don’t you agree? Well, we all lived through THE crisis of the century AND have survived! I was extremely busy during the first half of the year – so many people needed help!
Oops! Before I forget, let me introduce myself. I am Casper. People often call me the ‘friendly ghost‘. Although I am in all technicality a ghost, I am the good one. You must have seen my memorable performances on TV and movies before. With the research laboratories finally open, Madhuri was slightly busy today catching up on lost experimentation time and wanted me to guest blog on her behalf. Of course, I agreed to this. After all, I was one of her favourite cartoon characters growing up and she saw me everyday after school.
Today, I thought of talking to you all about humans! Writing is not my forte. But flying around people and cheering them up is my biggest asset. So, you can say, I know a bit or two about human beings.
When all the airports were on a shutdown, the air traffic was at an all time low. It was SO much safer for me to travel all around the world, flying up high in the sky, looking down and making sure all my human mates were fine. The silver lining of that ‘dark’ period was that the air quality was so much better and my asthma didn’t flare up on my long sojourns. We’re officially back now in action and things have all returned to normal. But, I must say, these humans are behaving so ‘weird’ now. I’m still trying to understand them. But, it looks like a new wave of human renaissance has begun.
“They barely obsess over the brand new iPhones”
First off, it was honestly shocking to me, but these humans have stopped obsessing over their materialistic possessions. They no longer wait in long lines to be the first to get their hands on the new iPhone. Nor do they care about what car they drive. I guess, during the lockdown, a BMW and a Maruti were both parked away in their garages for several weeks. During those ‘dark’ weeks of lockdown, literally everyone, rich or poor, bought only food and water – you know, the essentials. They seem to finally understand the difference between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. Poor Jeff Bezos, I hear Amazon isn’t doing too well right now.
“People are using their phones now to call people”
This, I am not too shocked about! After all, Graham Bell meant for phones to bring two people together in a sincere conversation. But, after years of allowing calls to go to their voice mail, people have now finally begun answering them right away. It’s no longer ‘Mom, I am too busy right now to talk‘. People are finally taking the time and effort to call loved ones, family and friends to have an actual conversation! They are renewing old relationships and genuinely nurturing new ones. All those picky quarrels with the neighbours that used to entertain me – they seem to have vanished. I guess, physical distance for even a couple of weeks, has brought the hearts closer.
“They are making eye contact with strangers”
Remember a time when everyone would be glued to their phones – while walking on the road, at the dinner table, on the bus, etc. etc. They would use their phone as a prop to fill the awkward silences! They would walk by thousands of strangers each day and never acknowledge their presence, sometimes even walk into them. People have finally realized the value of the ‘outside’, they breathe in air with a sense of purpose, stare at the beauty of nature around, give a familiar soft smile at human strangers and appreciate the little things in life. Honestly, I am finding it hard to fly around them without being noticed.
“They respond differently when you ask – How are you?”
I used to ask people – “how are you”. Normally, they would respond with a ‘I am busy’ or ‘I am tired’. That would be my cue to help them. But now, they respond with either ‘I am good and healthy’ or ‘I am great’. They seem so content now and have gratitude for even the smallest of things. Also, if by chance, one were to vent out some frustrations of the day, they listen to each other with rapt attention. Vulnerability is totally acceptable in a social setting! They even give each other those genuine warm and cuddly hugs. Boohoo! I miss doing that to people and making them feel special. For the first time in forever, people have become empathic and are thinking of others, even those with no relation to them like daily wage workers and small local business owners. Poor ones, they have had a couple of rough months financially. So, I now make sure to buy my daily coffee from them. After all, even ghosts need some caffeine to function.
“People are honest to their true self now”
People are so pure now. They seem to have understood the true meaning of their lives. They think of ‘time’ as something of an essence and make excellent use of this rare commodity. No longer do they feel conflicted about whether to put in extra hours at work for that promotion or coming home early to spend time with their spouse and kids. It’s all about living in the present moment. There is a twinkle in their eyes when someone asks them about what they do in life. They go on and on about their passion and don’t shut up for long. No longer do I hear the sentence ‘It’s just a job that pays the bills‘. They are spending time doing things that makes the heart go for an extra beat. Weird, I know!
“I still have a job”
Thankfully, my boss hasn’t laid me off after the lockdown, although my job duties and hours have drastically reduced. People are actually helping each other and don’t need me as much as before. I feel a little sad. But, it also gives me more time to spend on people who still do need a little extra help from me. I spent many months sitting by the bedside of people who were dying alone in hospitals and promising them that I’d take care of their families. Now, I am fulfilling those promises. I am helping families heal by speaking kind words and giving them some extra love to lighten their burdens and allow for some closure in this time of grievance. Also, so many people are suffering the pangs of pain due to depression and anxiety. The aftermath of this pandemic has exacerbated their mental health problems and right now, I am there for them too! I guess, aside from humans, I too have a new meaning and purpose to my life!
I am signing off right now! Sitting in one place and writing is making me restless and cranky. Time to fly again! If you ever need a little extra help, don’t forget to call me.
Yours one and only,
Casper, the friendly ghost.
PS: Hola! It’s Madhuri again. I have always considered myself to be a hopeful optimist with a sense of realism. I guess today, I went a bit overboard with my blog post making the scales tip more in the direction of optimism, rather than realism. I did it just for some fun, with a dash of idealism.
Hope you enjoyed it! Thank you Casper for hopping on board today.