More than ever, it seems a necessity to control exposure to news, events and the infinite variety of conversations happening around, that stream through an equally wide variety of media into our lives. If this control is not exercised there is a possibility that no work will be accomplished in a day. In the attempt to write everyday and ensure at least 400-500 words length I have become conscious about what I do with the available hours. Keeping a few hours unexposed to any external stimulus like news or a conversation has been very useful. The quality of reading has improved and a discipline about structuring thoughts and refining them has emerged. The attention to detail though is an overflow from sports. In these off trail months, all the attention got to work, reading and writing.
Today, I stepped out of my house for the first time since 24th March. I had seen a fixed piece of sky and neighbourhood in all these days. Went out to have my leg X-ray scanned in the hospital across the road. New protocols and new processes are getting people in small ways. I saw the hospital staff getting slightly frustrated with her latex gloves as she instinctively pulled out her phone to dial someone in one of the hospital departments. The phone’s screen didn’t respond to her latex wrapped fingers. This was second in line of little frustrations that I watched her live in the short time I waited outside the hospital for my turn to be called in. The first one was to fish out the phone from underneath her PPE overall. As I looked around, the neighbourhood felt cleaner than usual. Inside the hospital, it was the first week of opening up the Out Patient Department, since the lockdown. The hospital continued to admit emergencies throughout. They had a few virus cases coming to them, the radiology lab tech informed. That followed with the usual note on demographics of the streets further down the road. It is difficult for people to get over the phrase ‘these people’.
Two large bee hives have come up on a branch of the African Tulip tree. These hives stand out in line of sight. I was doing the long shots, the wide angle shots equivalent of a camera, with my eyes. It had been 57 days having stood on the road.
Our remote-future stands a little closer this week. The Supreme Court of Singapore has sentenced a man to death on a zoom video call. This must be a landmark moment in our digital lives. The screen is here not just to dictate our lives but to also end them. I sat thinking about it – what it feels to remotely participate in one’s trial and hear your death sentence. Accept the words of the screen. It is verging on the absurd now. It feels this way, even as I stay informed and connected with the latest in tech.