Please Don't Come Home
I'm loving these times man,' said Subbu.'What?' I asked. 'The world's locked down and you're loving it?' 'Yes,' said Subbu. 'Thanks to the virus, I've...
I'm loving these times man,' said Subbu.
'What?' I asked. 'The world's locked down and you're loving it?'
'Yes,' said Subbu. 'Thanks to the virus, I've found the freedom to be myself.'
'What're you talking about?' I asked.
'Dude,' said Subbu. 'Let me be honest. There were two things I always wanted. One was total license to be rude. And the second, to be loved by everyone. Sadly, society was not evolved enough earlier. If I was rude, I was not loved, except by some sadomasochistic people. And if I wanted love, I had to rein in my naturally rude self. Now things have changed thanks to the times.'
'How's that?' I said.
'Shaking hands for example,' said Subbu. 'Earlier it was considered rude if I didn't shake hands. So I'd shake - to get some love. But now, I put my hands behind my back instead of shaking hands, and they're making videos and circulating it. They think I am their best friend.'
'Oh,' I said.
'Huggers too,' said Subbu. 'I hated hugging. I was considered anti-social when I kept my distance earlier. Now I'm the star when I step back and snub enthusiastic huggers rushing into my arms. How cool is that?'
'I never knew this man,' I said.
'If I'd confessed that people irritate the hell out of me earlier, I would have been labeled a sociopath and sent to a shrink,' said Subbu. 'But now it's cool to be a sociopath. In fact one needs to be a sociopath to survive. That's what nature is teaching us. Check out our leaders. Anyway, I love the fact that no one comes near me, hovers around my armpits and talks in my ear. It gives me great pleasure to keep them at a metres length, And - they love me for that.'
'How do you know?' I asked.
'Yesterday I put up a board outside my house,' said Subbu. 'Please don't come home, it said. Earlier, I would've been made villain No 1 right? Now the society guys and the municipality guys are giving me an award for exemplary people-friendly behavior.'
'Oh come on,' I said.
'It gets better,' said Subbu. 'These days when family and friends tell me they love me I tell them to get out and leave me alone. Just being myself you see. Don't meet me, don't touch me, don't come near me, if you really love me. Sounds harsh but guess what, they love me for that. And I got an offer to write a book about love in the times of Coronavirus. It's about two lovers being unbearably rude to each other – keep away, hands off or I'll kill you kind-of-a-thing. It's a bestseller.'
'I see,' I said.
'I'm freely practicing stuff I used to fantasise about these days,' said Subbu. 'The other day we beat up a guy because he looked like an outsider. And locked up another chap who returned from a foreign country. The cops gave me a certificate for my selfless service.'
'Don't tell me man,' I said.
'Welcome to the new world,' he said. 'Where introverts and sociopaths rule.'
'But someday this virus will go away,' I said. 'You'll have to meet people then.'
'I don't think anything will change,' said Subbu confidently. 'We were into this sociopathic thing well before the virus right?'
'Of course,' said Subbu. 'Keeping foreign people out, protecting ourselves, closing borders. We voted for it across the world. Now what are we blaming this virus for when we got what we want?'
He had a point.