Mumbai Memoir 126: Lockdown geography of Mumbai!
Geography is the study of places and the relationships between people and their environments. Its been almost 2 months since the lockdown was announced in Mumbai. Due to the restrictions imposed regarding the freedom of movement, everyone has been confined to their homes. Every Mumbaikar’s physical world has literally shrunk into square feet areas! For me too, the home has become a globe with 3 continents. The bedroom is in the south, the living room in the north and the kitchen is located in the central continent of my home! The flowers that grow in the balcony & the stray dogs & cats that seen from the window, are the only flora & fauna that we witness around. It has been a chore to see the sun rise & set over the horizon, as I feel the wind moving in an out of my 8th floor apartment.
Apart from experiencing the geography of one’s home, there exists two more worlds, which every Mumbaikar is experiencing. One being the ‘external COVID-19 affected world’ & other being the ‘internal world’ of one’s mind! The map of the external world is known to all and these days the media keeps reporting of the death tolls & measures taken by governments to curb the pandemic. But most are very alien to their ‘internal world’, rather they just don’t have a map to navigate their mind, especially in these delicate times of fear & confusion. The ‘geography’ of the mind too has got disturbed with the changes in the geography of the external world. Everyone can see the physical pandemic of COVID-19, but notice that, along with it has arrived the mental pandemic of anxiety & depression, which the media & the government is not addressing at all.
What can be done to fix the internal and external geographies which are co-dependent on each other? Well it’s a fundamental rule that one can only fix things which are in their individual control. Since single-handedly fixing the freedom of movement in the external world is currently out of one’s control, so the least that Mumbai’kars (and the world citizens that are still experiencing a lock down situation) can do is to inspire each other and remind each other of one’s potential and positive past inorder to first fix their mental geography. I believe, the ‘storms’, the ‘volcanos’, the ‘tsunamis’ that are being generated in the mind, MUST be fixed first, so that we are in a better shape and mental sanity to map the external world that would eventually heal from the of havoc the pandemic.
Thus, with the intention to inspire the world around us, me and my team worked on an Audio-Visual content that aimed to boost the morale of fellow Mumbaikar’s & Indians. My team includes Aditya Chinchkar & Nikki Kamat (1st Assistant Creative Directors), Akshay Sakhalkar (Chief Video Editor), Swapnil Digde (Music Composer), Vikrant Bharatiya (Singer), Nadeem Roy (Mixing & Mastering), Aditya Kudalkar (Music Programmer) & Meenakshi Chauhan. I have done the lyrics & the Creative Direction of the AV. Here is the YouTube link to the AV (English sub-titles available): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oC83J5BTk0 The AV reminds all to remember the glorious past of one’s nation & to recognize one’s potential to bounce back by first sorting the ‘internal world’ and then setting out to explore the ‘external world’ fearlessly!
Photo Courtesy: Shraddha.C. Sankulkar