Hello and welcome to this year’s edition of the #A to Z Challenge.
As mentioned in my theme reveal, CoVid has undeniably impacted all our lives and introduced us to many new things, ideas and words. Some of them are literally life changing while others we hope will soon vanish once the Virus vanishes or mutates to a harmless little creature.
Join me as I share with you new lessons and words that I have learned through Life In the Times of Corona.
Distance is a familiar concept
Social distancing was one of the better outcomes of the pandemic . No longer was I considered a prickly pear or weirdo when I did a Namaste or asked someone to back off while waiting in line. I was appreciated as a socially aware and well meaning global citizen .
In the Indian context, greetings were always exchanged with a slight bow and folded hands. And always with a respectable distance. The polite Namaste has a grace and dignity about it, a humble recognition of the soul in front of you.
The word Namaste is a Sanskrit word that actually means I bow to you.
Keeping people at an arm’s length was a familiar practice too.
Personally speaking, as a little girl, if my dad wanted me to get to do something, he only had to threaten me with a kiss and I would quickly run away and do it. I just hated to be hugged and cuddled.
Don’t kiss me!
This explains why I am averse to casual hugs in greeting. So often I find myself hugging a complete stranger just because everyone in the room has hugged him!
As for kissing: that is a complete no-no.
During my college years, I attended the Alliance Francaise to learn French. I loved those classes that taught us the language and the culture. They were fun. Most of the teachers were French and we tried to pick up their innate style and “frenchness”.
But the one thing I couldn’t stand was the greeting with a kiss on each cheek! Some of my friends carried this on to our meeting outside of class just to establish how different we were from the others.
More horrifying than this was greeting a delegation of Dutch businessmen.
Imagine three wet kisses planted by 4-5 Dutchmen in quick succession! Yuck !
Luckily this has been replaced by the completely fake air kissing ‘muah,muah’.
Handshakes,bearhugs & queues?
Shaking hands is marginally better thought not my preferred choice of greeting.
I once had the misfortune of seeing a man pick his nose before he came out of the shadows to greet us. At that time I took shelter under the guise that I was in ‘purdah’ and could not shake hands with strange men . I just nodded my head in greeting as I did a namaste.
Being just about five feet off the ground , I am mostly swept into bear hugs that leave me either crushed by someone’s bosoms or suspended over a heaving tummy.
It’s not only greeting but even standing in a bus or train which in close quarters leave me smelling underarms! And waiting in queues with heavy breathing round my neck ….. ugh. Ugh ugh.
So you can see why I was thrilled when Social Distancing became the norm .
Supposedly the virus is transmitted through the air and an infected person can transfer it by sneezing , coughing or even talking.
Luckily, the virus can’t jump beyond six feet so everyone is advised to keep a safe distance from one another.
Do send in your comments and see you tomorrow.