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Pandemic and poetry

Posted on Mar 21

2 min read

Alumni Events & News

Paridhi Sharma (2012) studied Engineering at St John’s College and is currently working on multi-touch force sensing technology for smart devices. Outside her professional engagements, she contributes towards local community council and educational initiatives. Here, Paridhi shares something a little different: her new interest in poetry.

Pandemic – a word that we all learnt during childhood, though we were unaware of what it really meant. A concept so strange and bewildering that it merely became a placeholder in our uncustomary vocabulary. Then came 2020 … with a pandemic in disguise!

Paridhi Sharma (2012)

In the early days COVID-19 seemed a foreign notion, until the ‘global’ situation became ‘local’, showing us what a pandemic actuallymeant. Then we did what we are best at as a species: we adapted. As individuals, as communities and as humankind we faced the new ‘norm’. In doing so we encountered many challenges, and as we surmounted those (and continue to do so), we made discoveries about our well-being, our aspirations and our interests. The latter of which led many of us to willingly try something new: cooking, gardening, painting… Or, in my case, writing.

Poetry has always fascinated me, especially the way in which an amalgamation of thoughts can be captured in a few unfinished lines. Lines that are open for every reader’s interpretation. During lockdown, I decided to explore the art of poetry.

From the poems I wrote during lockdown e.g. ‘In this new day and age…’, ‘Am I or am I not?’, ‘The Roads Taken’, here’s one I would like to share with you:

What’s missing?

Something is missing
Though what, not sure

Is it the joyful smile
Of loved ones;
Or the togetherness
Of loved ones

Something is missing
Though what, not sure

Is it a friend’s call?
Or a trip to the shopping mall?
Is it a drink together?
Or just a reason to gather?

Something is missing
Though what, not sure

The long haul flight?
The indirect train?
The airport cab?
The drive home?

Something is missing
Though what, not sure

A meal together?
A “formal hall”?
A movie night?
A sleepover?

Something is missing
Though what, not sure

An inkling I have
Perhaps I know…

It’s that version of “me”
Whom now, I rarely see
The new version is a better me
But I miss the old “me”

Why though, is that so?

As times have changed
From the norm to a pandemic
Our lives have changed
In many many ways

Thankfully our ‘inner-self’ has been found But the ‘outgoing-self’ has been long lost
A classic case of lost and found
Life’s mystery round and round

I hope that in the times to come
Outgoing once again, we will become
Devices and screens we’ll seek no more…
As humans we’ll go out and explore!

I hope you found some of the above relatable. You can find some of my other poems on Medium. I would be delighted to hear your thoughts, and you can connect with me on JohnianHub.

Signing off with one last thought: let’s take this pandemic as an opportunity to look within and discover ourselves.