I remember telling someone once “you know, sometimes, the word ‘love’ feels too small.” It was a beautiful moment.
In the last week, we’ve all learned too well that the word “helpless” can sometimes feel so damn small as well.
As I write these words, my granny is likely sitting down to have her afternoon cup of tea. There is probably some small assortment of tea biscuits on the table. They will sit in the saucer, perched atop the floral lace-ish tablecloth I’ve known all my life. She’ll cross her feet at the ankles, and make a small sigh after each sip. She’s 107 years old.
She has lived through two world wars, partition, the great depression, the British, riots, terrorists, and all the paraphernalia that life in Mumbai can throw at a human. Nothing phases her.
Me - I’m phased. I don’t know how to absorb what has happened this past week, and moreover, I don’t know how to absorb that it’s still happening. And will, for some time. I worry for granny.
I know that in my concern, I’m not alone. Every one of us is worried - mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, strangers. The risk is real.
One year in, we are still arguing with our families about masks, about the need to see or not-see aunty so-and-so, about what “social distancing” can mean in a place where distance itself is a myth. One year in, we were still so woefully unprepared.
What is there that can be said here? Pyres are burning, and hospitals are running with rivers of breathless people. India seems to be in freefall.
We all know the stats. The mind-numbing stats.
And while those of us on the ground are scrambling; helping; praying; caring; building apps; grieving; making calls; finding supplies; delivering food; doing things that can help…
The rest of us in the diaspora walkabout in newly-unlocked-down countries in a semi-comatose state of disorientation. Calling friends and family back home becomes an exercise in irony as we tell them “we are with you”, knowing that the simple fact: we actually cannot be there is the only thing that has been circling in our minds over these many days. And that we don’t know when we’ll be able to return.
In moments of tragedy, we look to find what is helping, who is helping, how we can help. Below, we’ve compiled a list of resources that we believe might help.
If you or your household is experiencing covid:
https://www.instagram.com/p/CN20yGFJJY3/ - If you are taking care of someone with COVID-19.
Links to Pan-India COVID resources
Region-wise resource guides
Detailed region-wise resource guides at @devika.aterkar on Instagram. Covers all major cities: Delhi, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kolkata etc.
Delhi COVID-19 resources guide
https://www.instagram.com/p/COICFhOL-Rg/ (verified 26.04.21)
Nagpur: http://covidhelpnagpur.in/ (link with all COVID related information for Nagpur)
Hyderabad: https://hydcovidresources.com/ - an app with all COVID related information for Hyderabad
If you are in India and want to help:
ONGOING FUNDRAISERS RELATED TO COVID-19 DISTRESS: https://t.co/UM0D3G9i6b?amp=1
If you are outside India and want to help:
If you are having trouble coping, and/or need a time-out:
https://www.instagram.com/southasiantherapists/ (South Asian Therapists for diaspora)
https://www.instagram.com/p/COHbiwcMHNY/ (Sangath India- free therapy)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqPYhcdFgrlUXiGmPRAej1w (Free Meditation Channel)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu_mPlZbomAgNzfAUElRL7w (Free Meditation Channel)
https://www.mindful.org/free-mindfulness-resources-for-calm-during-covid-outbreak/ (Free Live Meditation service)