‘Catastrophizing’ the present

Sudhirender Sharma

Lockdown is testing human endurance. Isn’t it? Never before have humans been caged, and never have rest in the animal kingdom being free. Wow, what a time these ‘others’ have? Good luck to them! However, this reversal of roles should let us feel for those who, we think, lack feelings. While we hope that this wave of pandemic is the last, yet uncertainty persists. And, only few of us remain hopeful.

Barring few exceptions, most of us are skillful in the act of ‘catastrophizing’ the present, and in doing so, as psychologists tell us, we convert ‘worry’ into ‘depression’. And, this has an impact on immunity and our quality of life. We do so because we feel we are the only ones going through it, little realizing that through recorded history many a men of courage and standing had withstood such situations many times over. I am sure you have such names up your sleeve, or else google to find a few.

When we remember such ‘greats’ we relate them to the word ‘resilience’ but when it comes to oneself we read it as ‘isolation’. That’s not fair, you get zero marks if you do so. Important is to continue to consider oneself ‘relevant’ and hold onto one’s ‘sanity’ in being better than before. I hope you recall what the Greek Great Heraclitus had said ‘you can’t step into a river twice.’

I hope you know what he meant. Simply put, he said the river is not the same when you step into it again because ‘that’ water has moved and what you step in is new. The moment gone is gone, the next moment is going away anytime soon. So, make the best use of the ‘moment’ that is in your hands. Milk every moment to perfection, leave the rest to whosoever gave us these wonderful moments.

I hope it doesn’t read like sermons, or is preachy. If it does, my sincere apologies. The essence of what I mentioned above is beautifully captured in a song which is worth listening even if you have heard it several times already. It is tribute to Hrishikesh Mukherjee for letting Gulzar-RDBurman-Kishore Kumar make this happen. My all time favorite. Here it goes!….


Sudhirender Sharma writes this column for us for a long time now.


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