India has so far reported over 17 lakh cases of the novel Coronavirus, and it’s increasing every day. As a precautionary measure, the government had advised to wear masks, wash hands frequently, use sanitizers. These lifestyle changes were called the “new normal”, but television producer Mou Das feels instead of giving tags people should accept what’s happening around them and even says that the “new normal” is the “old unusual”.
“It is all enraging chaos underneath the pause button which we are labeling as ‘new normal’. The new normal is a synonym of unpredictability, anxiousness, and despair. Isolating social animals like humans are not normal. Calling for a halt across the globe is not normal. To maintain balance, one must keep moving. This ‘normal’ has compromised productivity and creativity.
This ‘normal’ has compromised life. The pre-pandemic world appears like a faint memory, one written in lost pages, one we dream. We have every right to feel anxious, nervous, scared, terrified, guilty, or sad but most importantly we need to accept what’s going on around instead of giving it tags like ‘new normal’ just for the peace of our mind,” she said.
“Doing this will eventually spread more terror and fright when the larger truth hits us with a blow. Believing the current state of reality without judgment will help alleviate much of the internal struggle. Communicating and expressing ourselves in any form, especially art, might serve as a tunnel to channelize our feelings. The new normal should be the old unusual,” she added.
Television Producer Mou Das:
Soon after the Coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic, the Indian government announced a nationwide lockdown, which went for over 60 days. The entertainment industry was also shut for over three months and the shoots recently resumed with some government-approved guidelines.
The producer appreciated the industry’s efforts and said, “Life goes on, whether you choose to move on and take a chance in the unknown, or stay behind, locked in your situatedness thinking of what could’ve been is on you.
It is good to see that the industry believes in the true spirit of life. ‘The show must go on’. But definitely, everyone working outdoors or in the studio is taking all precautions and maintaining social distance. We need to keep our optimism but at the same time, in the name of positivity, we can’t risk the lives of others as well as ourselves. We must be aware of everything and work with caution. Bollywood believes: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
During the lockdown, people not only struggled to survive the Coronavirus battle but also to get basic amenities. A lot of people lost their jobs and many actors were also out of work. They even spoke about battling depression. Mou feels “COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst inducing angst in the life of individuals who are already stressed because of various factors and modern lifestyles. Some of this stress, if not handled well, can push human beings into depression. It causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. A lot of people conceal their depression – they mask their symptoms and put on a ‘happy faceʼ for others.”
“Suicides and mental illness are becoming common among celebs today while taking the unfortunate example of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. In the entertainment industry, there is a lot of pressure to perform, not only on-screen but off-screen too by making right friends, being in news in the right manner, and being in touch with the right people.
There are sporadic attempts to create a healthy atmosphere for people in the industry to talk about what’s troubling them, but we are still struggling. While some show signs that can indicate their suicidal tendencies, there are many who may never say or do anything to indicate that they may end their life.
It is important to seek out help, not just for relationships and work, but for our own sake. We should talk to someone in our family or one of our friends. We can talk to our doctor, human resources at work, or a therapist. If we do not want to speak to someone face-to-face, we can talk to someone online. Depression is not a sign of weakness. It means you have been strong for far too long,” she added.
Can you share your biggest takeaway from this pandemic? “I’ve been thinking a lot – what’s the outcome of all this? This virus has taught us equality. This situation has shown us that we are all the same regardless of our success or failure or religion or culture.
It has also taught me a very big lesson – humility. In this industry, those who are no less than gods have also contracted the disease and suffered. We, humans, are fragile by ourselves. Our strength lies in being part of a community.” “It has taught me that everything can end tomorrow, and so we must focus on what is important to us,” Mou signed off.
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