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Clean Adyar

Adyar has never been as quiet as it is today. The roads are free from the maelstrom of traffic and the ear-shattering horns of cars and heavy vehicles. The air is clear and the evening breeze from the Bay is refreshing. Trees are cleaner and greener. The night sky is blue with innumerable stars. I don’t hear the familiar loading and unloading noise of vegetables from Gandhi Nagar's largest vegetable shop nearby. Roaming vendors who blare out their wares from loudspeakers are not around. I wake up every morning hearing the cacophonous chirping of migratory birds. This close encounter with nature would not have been possible but for COVID-19 lock down.

The lock down, however long, is necessary to escape the machinations of a dangerous virus. I am reminded of a tale from the Mahabharata. Uthishtra asks Vidura how to escape a fire holocaust. Vidura uses a forest metaphor. When a forest catches fire, big animals like lions, leopards, elephants or deer try to escape but ultimately perish in the fire. But the small rat remains secure at the bottom of its hole and comes out only after the fire is gone. This explains the wisdom of staying home during the lock down period to keep the corona virus at bay.

Kangayam R. Narasimhan, Gandhi Nagar

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