Kept my Android to shed tears for … !!!!!!!!

If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars” (Tagore).

It was the last decade of 20th century. Kalpana Lajmi directed a film named Rudaali ( NFDC Production) based on the short story of Bengali writer and women activist and patronage of tribes, Maheswata Devi. The Hindi plot although adopted from dramatist, Usha Ganguli. The film was selected as the Indian entry for the best foreign language film at the 66th Academy awards but unfortunately, it was unaccepted. Sanichari is a Rudaali (Rodon= weep) i.e. professional mourner. Sanichari was named so because she was born on Saturday and her father died shortly after her birth. To add a degree of distress, her mother ran away leaving Sanichari. She after his husband’s death joined among the group of bonded laborers. Despite being buffeted about by a male dominated society, Sanichari did never cry. As a part of the story, a seasoned Rudaali, Bhinkni enters her life and suggests Sanichari to learn the trade of a professional mourner. The story goes on — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — Rudaali is a tale of tears and love of the millions distressed and oppressed people of the underprivileged society. Since after 1993, like millions, all of us have lost our dear and near one as a part of the reality of the phenomenal life. The last century experiences a number of natural and man-made disasters. The two world wars-the 1st and 2nd forced the civilization suffered a lot by the loss of huge imponderable human resources. The first world war was fought in between 1914–18(The Central powers & The Allied powers) and the 2nd world war was fought from 1939–45(The Axis & The Allies). They were the largest military conflicts ever created by man .The estimated causalities in the first WW was 17 million including the military and the civilian while in the 2nd WW, the causalities reached up to 50–80 millions. Although the detail statistical record was not available due to different socioeconomic issues. Whatever may be, the WWs were nothing but the idiotic mind set of the war mongers in the then time. “War’s annals will fade into cloud, Ere their story die” (Thomas Hardy). The war has not run off the love, merriment and sensual pleasure. In the realm of infectious diseases, pandemic is the worst case when millions become victims. Since 430 B.C in Athens, the world has been suffering from the unfortunate reality. The Black Death in 1350, The Great Plague of London in 1665, The Russian Flu in 1889, The Spanish Flu in 1918, The Asian Flu in 1957, The HIV/AIDS in 1981 and the recent outbreak of COVID19 are some of the nightmares of the human civilization. Since the first reported case in China in November, 2019, the unfortunate reality of the present scenario has been drastically changing. Till date, the COVID19 has infected 265,521,948, 5,262,737 peoples have lost their lives as far as world is concerned (2.12.21). Every day more than 3, 50000 new cases are added and 4500 (app.) people died. The most affected countries are USA, India, Brazil, UK, Russia, Turkey, France, Germany, Iran and Argentina along with other countries either moderate to low magnitude. The severe affected nations are USA (808229 deaths), India (470530 death) and Brazil (615454 deaths). The numbers are increasing day to day and the death toll is also increasing to a great extent. The very sporadic infection of Sars2 -Cov2 Wuhan strain has now become a nightmare after the upsurge of Delta followed by Omicron variant. There is an enough speculation of the emergence of the super mutant by the combination of the two severe variant-Delta & Omicron. The unfortunate reality of this pandemic has not only brought death but also the sufferings, fear, anxiety, agony along with the forceful evacuation from home are the another coin of the same. The innumerable cases of violence against the health workers and facilities are also great concern to all of us. Millions of people have become jobless or the wages have been cut down. The saga of homeless and undocumented migrants due to this pandemic is another less talked issue. Like the 1st wave, 2nd wave, 3rd wave, 4th wave –of COVID, it is also causing the devastating waves to increase poverty, malnutrition and other socioeconomic attributes. The confinement of the population at home in general and young population in particular is an issue of mental health that to be addressed. Older persons, persons with the disabilities, issue of youth under academic jurisdictions, problems of the indigenous people are some of the issue that is little bit explored during this pandemic. In a word, the loss of the intangible and tangible resources due to this catastrophe is many times of more than the actual figure of death across the globe. A billion dollar question arises about the end of this viral tragedy. Rehabilitation is in progress to cure the wound but the wound develops in mind???

The answer is laying none but to shed tears to dress the mental wound. The crying or shedding tears (expression) is one of the most human’ confounding mysteries but is the expression of feelings rather than pain or irritation. The feelings of love can bring tears likewise the loss of beloved also brings the tears along the checks. A tear is a mark of social bonding and human connections. I feel tears; the flooding of the lachrymal glands is nothing but a kind of the empathy to the fellow people. But when the fellow people are affected, who will cry for whom amidst sea of sorrow? Do we need Rudaali (professional mourner)? About 6 million people have lost their lives; millions have been directly or indirectly affected by this nightmare. Where is the end? Let us conclude by exploring a short story. I met a boy of 8 years of a working parent. Once, I visited his house in the dusk. I found him waiting for his parents come back. Having a cup of pleasure at twilight, I asked him whether he used to cry in the absence of his parents. He showed me his AI empowered android. I asked him time and gain and in return, he again showed me. All at once he replied, “Nay, I don’t, my cell phone cries for me”. Are we moving towards little bit amidst endless sorrow & the tech driven busy schedule?

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Nandadulal Sannigrahi

Nandadulal Sannigrahi

Associate Professor at Nistarini College Purulia, West Bengal