Hello! My name is Glenn. Well, that's my pen name. I am here to tell you the story of why I am here today. Throughout the pandemic I have done a lot of things. One of those things is writing. Another of those things is walking my cat, of whom is pictured. But back to the writing thing, I decided that my writing has improved so I should enter some competitions and see just how much I really have improved. Now, that's it. Pretty boring, huh? I could make up a nice story if you would like, but that would be lying so I will not. I think I will tell you all why I am writing in the first place. I write to express my emotions and have a healthy outlet for them. Also pretty boring, but that's okay. I prefer boring to scary anyhow. To change to a more interesting topic, I have a cat. Her name is Honey. I think that she is a Maine Coon, but I cannot be sure because she was a stray. She enjoys walks and the outside. But she does not care for her harness. But she knows that she can go outside if she wears it. She is a very calm cat, and hardly ever runs. She loves napping and the occasional cat tv watching (windows, not actual tv).
What a bliss is this Quarantine! Where the days smoothly pass amidst the undecided culture of following a routine, where the bright and clear mornings no more invite a man's engine to hustle betwixt the race of transportation and time in order to reach his destined workplace; a quarantine, where there is a lessening worry for morrow and a diminished criteria to borrow what a man has been dwelling upon so far, an another man's company, assistance and bodily affection for now one has learned to welcome ‘social distancing' with open arms and dearly kissed his ‘self-isolation'. A tint of wonder reflects in those thirsty eyes when they instinctively gaze at the sky that has never been as pollution free as it seems during the current pandemic. Various planned and expensive attempts to procure the fresh water of river Ganges never succeeded inspite all possible human efforts, for all it silently asked the humans was to truly respect the aspect of their holy river; all it ever wanted was to replenish in its own natural way while humans were busy in decorating it with their religious and industrial activities. The undisturbed marine habitat has provided a perfect condition for olive ridley turtles to lay eggs in Odisha's beach. With the factories and industries being shut, with the large number of vehicles being parked outside the respective owner's home and with the minimal artificial interference in the nature, birds and animals are fortunately tasting the syrup of freedom. Sparrows have returned in the verandas, peacocks are again rejoicing with their wide feathers on a rainy day and a Malabar civet, which is a critically endangered animal, was spotted walking on the road in Kerala. Does it not feels like an unprescribed duration of undeserved holidays, where one can casually find their precious selves inclined towards the unread books, that they have always wanted to lay hands on, just to recite the favourite paragraphs to their parents before bed. Those awaited head-massage therapies in grandmother's lap, that never got fulfilled due to lack of time or the entire family playing the board games around the centre table now no more seem to be a mere dream. It is now, the time to unravel those folded sheets of paper in which the roughly crafted sketch of a ‘happy family' was swiftly drawn in order to someday be painted on the canvas. It is the hour to try the recipe of those favourite dishes that have always been tasted with friends in those hyped cafes of the city or treating the family with a handmade ‘blueberry cheesecake', until our dear siblings finally utter in disagreement complaining about its weird taste, suitable to but only your own self. It is that precious time in life when the family values are being rediscovered. Not only a sense of reconnection is overlapping the dead ideas confined to the separate rooms of family members but an essence of sharing the household tasks and a deeper level of discussions are taking place, that are playing a major role in enhancing the bond. Most of the time is being spent together by laying back comfortably on sofas, all the heads being turned in the same direction and keenly watching the most indulging series on Netflix or rediscovering the cultural values by watching Ramayana and Mahabharata episodes. It appears like all the so called ‘generation gap' imbibed within our minds, that has been pretended to exist since the day mobile phones took the place of a companion, never really subsisted in the real sense. A busy life it has been, has it not? All the chances that individuals have strived to grab on their professional sphere, the possibilities of aiming to reach infinite goals that have kept the souls awake during the endless nights and the unwanted stress that has always hung with pride on the exhausted shoulders, can humans dare to put it at halt, all at once? Maybe it would not cost a lifetime to once sit and appreciate the beauty of solitude and observe the clear skyline filled with stars instead of desperately aiming towards becoming one. Maybe it is recommendable to press that pause button imbibed on the body's functioning system and cease to treat life like a race and relationships, like they are losing the real trace. Therefore, so close lies this opportunity that one never imagined to be a part of but also the one you can make the most of, just by being who you have since a long time have ceased to be. Covid'19 has brought a serious thrill of insanity in human lives and nature in a form of role reversal, such that it has caged the rational beings, limiting them to their comfort zone, confined to the walls of their home. Nature has finally been granted a precious time to rejuvenate, which has brought animals back to their natural habitat and given them a chance to breathe.
Once upon a time there was a toad that lived in a pretty grass castle behind a small waterfall. The grass in his castle was thick and soft and of a lush dark green. There was never any sunshine at all inside the grass castle, it was always shady and fresh and that was very important, because our toad, like all the others of his kind, likes to have it wet and cool. The waterfall poured into a small pond in which the toad was able to swim, jump and splash to its heart's content. Sometimes he just lay down on a lily pad and let himself drift. It was a wonderful life, and the toad would have been completely happy and content if ... yes, if it had not been for loneliness! Well, there were newts in the pond and fish, and every now and then birds came flying to drink or take a bath, but the fish were not very talkative and the birds chatted in too high-pitched sounds that the toad did not understand. No, he clearly lacked the company of another toad. And that's why he often sat in front of his castle in the evening, behind the waterfall, and sang a sad toad´s song. Not far away, maybe a hundred toad-hoppers, from our toad and his grass-castle was another, much larger pond. It was dark and deep, and many toads and frogs huddled in it; and because it was so crowded and never quiet, sometimes one toad or another went a little bit away to meditate or simply to rest. And so it happened that one evening a she-toad heard the sad songs of our little toad from the grass castle. Oh, how beautiful was that voice, but so sad the song! It moved the toad to big, thick tears and she could not help it, she had to follow the sound, so she hopped off, first slowly and hesitantly, but then faster and faster, and it was not far, maybe a hundred toad hoppers, and she reached the small pond of our lonely toad. She looked around searchingly and croaked briefly and very gently. Our toad in his grass castle fell silent. Had not he just heard a soft voice? He dived through the waterfall and peeked out of the pond. Indeed! On the shore, on a flat stone, sat the most beautiful, most perfect being he had ever seen, with the strongest limbs, the longest tongue, and the prettiest warts imaginable! The toad was staring at the female, and she was staring at him, and then he ballooned until he was almost bursting and blew a very loud croak into the night. The female hopped quickly towards him, so he could climb onto her back, as is the custom with toads. Then they let themselves gently slide into the pond, and what they did there was covered by the darkness of the night.