Five friends! Two, I left at airport gate and watched as they walked to meet their plane, stopping once to give a final wave. Three left with no wave, they could not move their hands, as two went into crematorium fire and one, lowered to earth below.

When we are called to part, it gives us immense pain, doesn’t it?

 ‘Supreme Court: Kin of Covid victims entitled to compensation’ Indian Express

 “Why should we take responsibility for an act of god?” ask bewildered leaders.

In insurance parlance, Covid-19 is called an ‘act of god’ and payments are dealt with accordingly, but what measures were taken to protect citizens, how quickly and how effectively done, become ‘acts of man’ the Supreme Court seems to be telling the government.

They all schooled together, grew up as one, spun tops, flew kites, played marbles, and in the playgrounds of school, followed more sophisticated sports like cricket, hockey, football, as seasons went by.

They hurt their knees playing kabaddi, fought each other on piggyback, then got up and embraced one another.

And finally, when school and college came to an end, they parted, became doctors, teachers, lawyers, chartered accountants, some successful, some moderately so.

New Zealand cemeteries are very different from the rest of the world. Elsewhere graves lie serene and somber, but in New Zealand, especially those graves of the Islanders, are curiously explicit. As I walked through a graveyard in Auckland, I saw one with a miniature fire truck, another with a helmet, all explaining to the passerby what the person had done throughout his life. And then I froze. I saw one that got me puzzled. It was a plain grave, no fire trucks or racing cars, but what made me stop was that it had no dates engraved on it.

It’s not a second or third wave of the virus, but a wave of sorrow that envelops us today!

If you feel sad and depressed right now, and can’t understand why, then join billions of others who feel the same, and why not? Right now, most of us are staring at the executioner’s axe, not knowing when cruel virus will strike, how it will, and who it will bring down. Day after day, we hear of loved ones dying, that we have begun dreading the phone ring, just as many decades ago we shivered when we heard the midnight cry, “Telegram!” outside our doors.