SY Kumar Corporate Trainer L&D Consultant Trainer Leadership OD

Wellbeing during COVID19 Lockdown – No Places of Worship; Still Prayers aplenty

The unexpected, unbelievable Lockdown brought the country to a halt. Shops, Schools, Travel, Malls, Cinemas, Industries, Offices, Amazon, Swiggy, Courier and almost everything was shut. One of the ironical aspects was in spite of closing all educational institutions, learning happened like never before. Now let me share another pleasant irony in terms of places of worship against devotion.

The Lockdown brought so much shock and chill to the people because of the thought that how serious the issue could be if everything was going to be shut. There has been a huge hue and cry on what we will not get, what we won’t have, what we cannot do. The fact was, we couldn’t get to buy a mobile charger, to SIM, replace me Activa’s burst tyre, a mouse for my PC. Nothing! In case of food items I could not get the brand of my choice. Even for some prescription medicines it was a struggle as the pharmacies ran out of stock with no fresh supplies coming in.

Places of Worship

The Lockdown applied even for all the places of worship across the country. There were these large and the famous ones drawing thousands of people every day to the month-long festivities for which lakhs of people wait year on year. The small temples in the lanes to the ones at road-junctions to those that welcome the guests, right at the entrance of a residential colony also got the lockdown order. Eventually, the daily rituals by the respective priests were allowed but strictly no devotees.

People who have been used to going to the places of worship at least once or a few times every day found it really hard to digest. I have known retired people spending a few hours at the temples both in the morning and evening by doing some volunteering services, singing songs and helping the priests on day-to-day activities and so on.  The shops around such places, the shoe-keepers, share-autos and everything was shut.

Who is praying?

However, the very purpose of visiting places of worship – Prayer – did not stop.

  • On the lighter side, husbands prayed for the early lifting of the Curfew so they could go back to their offices.
  • Even the tough Chennai Auto drivers prayed, “I will never demand anything more than the Meter. I just want my savaris (trips) back please!”
  • Housewives praying to the WFH husbands not to interfere and preach SOP’s for the household chores in the kitchen. They got irritated by the sudden concern of the husbands in checking the loose gas tubes, switching the chimney on when that smoky fry was being sautéed and the excess noise the mixer was making when grinding coconut pieces. They prayed ‘for all this to end, and at once’.
  • School kids, initially were very thrilled with the exams dates getting moved and unexpected holidays. But when they got stuck at home with domestic work being thrust up on them, they too started praying, “Any day I love my Schools and even exams for that matter”.
  • Entrepreneurs started to realise the value of their employees when some of those things were now required to be done by them. “My goodness these guys have been doing so many things and I swear I would not push that much work on them. All I need is let them be back and soon”.
  • Working professionals who used to completing 70% annual target just on the 31st March (not to mention the extension of two days’ grace period), initially felt relieved. When they realised the gravity of the situation a little later, they too started praying, “Let me not lose my job, for heaven’s sake”.
  • Some pray for the scientists and researchers to come out with a medicinal cure and a vaccine to prevent the spread.
  • People whose life is based on their daily ‘job’ for their livelihood, the prayers are even more profound. These are people who started to cut down on ‘milk’ ‘vegetables’ and ‘meat’ one-by-one as their income sources had dried down. These people hold on to their honour and do not accept ‘pay’ without ‘work’ when a few philanthropists came forward their aid.
How is it happening really?

Seriously, the amount of sincere prayers for this whole thing to end has been increasing every day. There have been a number of online groups coming together in hundreds engaging themselves in chanting prayers guided by religious/spiritual leaders. I know a group started in a small way with a collective chanting of a few thousands has now spread to a few hundred groups. The initiator had to look for dozens of Online Meeting Administrators to manage the ever increasing traffic.

One such group that I know has crossed 70 lakhs in a few weeks. Soon this is going to touch a Crore. The beauty here is people who have never known each other before have come together for a single, noble cause.

I cannot imagine the general public to involve themselves in such collective efforts everything focussed on one thing! The welfare of the Nation and the world at large!

Too Far, Too Close

When I pass by these places of worship, of course when I go out to get essentials, I won’t miss people peeping and praying from outside the gates. The only difference is that the devotion and sincerity is in many folds. They all pray for a closer look at their deities Asap.

Every priest or the temple employee doing the rituals have posted more photos and videos online, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people viewing each and every post. All this, of course, has been with a high degree of devotion. I don’t’ miss to see the rolling tear drops from their eyes.

And who is not praying?

The government staff, policemen and medical teams (Proud Warriors), daily wagers to the billionaire businessmen, salaried employees to shop owners, travel and transport providers, hoteliers, builders, students, teachers and simply every citizen on mother earth. Everyone is praying and it’s loud and clear. And I too join them every moment.
These prayers will be answered. And SOON!

Because this is probably the first time for those living now to pray for the wellbeing of every other human with such a devotion!

DO YOU AGREE? Please say YES in the comments box.

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