June 10, 2021, Commentary from the hole

June 10, 2021, Commentary from the hole: There was a brief message from Devdas today. He is my trusted auto rickshaw driver and my agent to distribute the food and medicines. His wife, he said, was not well. There was a certain anxiety in the voice that clashed with the relative peace in my life now. Nothing much is happening. It must be summer. Things, for a bit, are going as expected. I have forgotten what it actually means to say that things are going well. There was no news of deaths today. That is a good thing. There was actually news that the current wave of Covid is receding. Fewer than a 100 died today. That is what the official numbers are. Vaccination is on the rise. My trusted bondhu at an NGO reached out and said that they are ready to collaborate. Their office will be a few houses from my place. It could be a good relationship. Mostly news that seemed to suggest that a summer effect was coming in. My bondhu, perhaps fully recovered from Covid, seemed to be having a good day also – doing deals, making money. There were no complaints. I get anxious on good days. Because I have seen too many bad days. Not just now, but through my life. There is always a lull. Before the storm. I remember the drive back from Scott Airforce Base on the day that the towers fell. One of my bondhu cautioned me, “don’t stop” drive through – I look different thus I am a target of national rage – 14 hours from St. Louis. The President is resigned to the fact that the glorious goal of vaccinating a certain percentage will not be met. The Prime Minister has promised the Holy armor. In these times I ponder what we must do. My students in class seem a little more relaxed. Perhaps relax like they have, let the guards down. Take off the mask. There is the hope that things in the fall semester will be like what they want. I have good students this summer. They seem engaged, we spend a little bit of time after class chatting. They stay back in their box on the screen, some even reveal themselves with the camera. Connections. Faces on the screen. I almost did not recognize a bondhu when I saw the person in real life. Head and shoulder. For a year we were talking heads. Now we are walking next to each other. Things like this change us, forever, and we will remember the days of our digital existence. Perhaps we will write about it as history. Things are changing and I sense Nat King Cole’s lazy hazy days of summer settling in. I hope it lasts. Forever.

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