My red flowering plant is infested by woolly white plant bugs, woolly aphids (I learnt after googling). I have been trying everything to get rids of these bugs – neem oil, alcohol spray, soap water. They give in to the treatment only to resurface under some leaf or some hidden branch. I have chopped off a few branches as well to rid my plant of the sticky bugs. My red flowering plant in the meanwhile (Jatropha Red it’s called) is trying to bloom despite the bugs. The flowers, a little droopy maybe, some buds I had to get rid of thanks to Mr Aphids, refuse to give in and burn bright red in indignation, in hope.
I sometimes feel like the Jatropha Red, fighting the worms, trying to save my buds, struggling with the exasperation, the gloom and the despair, feelings that seem to haunt me often nowadays. And sometimes I wish I could be like the bug. No matter how hard I try to put it down up pops its woolly head shamelessly under some leaf or some branch, ready to put up a fight. The brazenness of the woolly aphids has only made me more determined. I keep a close watch and attack them the moment I spot their dull white. I spray insecticide, I chop off the infested branch whenever possible and I am getting better of them for sure. They will be gone in no time, I know for certain, and my Jatropha Red will bloom in all its glory. Meanwhile, the red flowers, although droopy, give me hope. No matter how bugged they are, their red drowns the annoying woolly white.
It maybe apt to stretch the metaphor of the bug-infested Jatropha Red to the dire straits that we are in. Badly bugged by the infamous Corona Virus we are struggling to bloom, to fight, to stand tall. So many people we know and love have succumbed to the virus or are caught up in a tough fight. Oxygen cylinders are scarce, hospitals have run out of beds and crematoriums are running overtime and even setting up funeral pyres in the parking lot. Those who may not have been affected physically are trying to deal with the mental anguish that the virus has caused. As we try to support the ones we love, frustrating efforts of procuring an oxygen cylinder or a hospital bed or shelling out thousands to a black marketeer to procure a vial of remdesivir, we struggle to put up a brave face.
At times we break, the masks of our gallantry crumble, we feel scared, hopelessly sinking into an endless abyss. Some nights we lie awake trying to make sense of all the uncertainty and the bleakness around us. In the morning we pull ourselves out of the bed, the hollow feeling dragging us along. But then hope buds and we look beyond the darkness and the despair.
But no matter what, elections should happen and so should IPL. Our political leaders are busy addressing poll rallies or blaming each other for the mess that we are in and our cricketing gods are happily playing IPL. Our cine divas are busy vacationing and scorching the beach in skimpy bikinis or posing in designer masks. After all, we need to be entertained you see, even on our death bed. Thank god for a few exceptions like Sonu Sood!
Eventually we conquer the hollow feeling and like Jatropha Red, we bloom despite all the gloom. We stand by each other and help each other out to sail through these very difficult times, probably one of the worst crises that humanity has encountered. And I am sure like the Red Jatropha we will beat the ugly bug.