With social media thronged with quarantine workouts, cooking hacks, and how everyone is bored being stuck at home and hating on this lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, artist Debjyoti Saha's animated video on ‘class difference’, highlights the migrant crisis that unravelled the disturbing side of the viral outbreak. The reel is a part of his ‘Korona’ series which translated in Bengali means “don’t do”.
From fighting over a pack of biscuits, walking home barefoot with no transport, men, women, children who come under the migrant clan have faced the worst in these trying times. Saha has juxtaposed lives of the haves and have-nots stating how their daily routine is differentiated by privilege.
Some of the highlights of the video include the man drinking milk that has been spilled on the road, to those being sprayed with disinfectants, the man who was captured crying while on the phone, and finally those who slept on railway tracks in Aurangabad and were run over by a train.
Adjacent to these tragic moments are the ones busy with “self-care” at home, making Dalgona coffee and spending most of their quarantine days sleeping in air-conditioned rooms.
The 25-year-old states, “We sure have got used to this in the past four months. Being stuck at home, working without fixed hours, we are all getting used to this 'new normal'. Some even claim to have been losing their sanity with power cuts and terrible internet connections. On the flip side I'm sure many have found their inner calling of being a chef, an expert at yoga, catch up on their sleep and the importance of staying home with family. However, the concept of 'home' is different to different people. For some, it is a place, a thousand miles away where they desperately want to reach, at any cost, without a penny in the pocket, a vehicle to get on or even a pair of slippers for their bleeding soles, with the hope of being at peace.”
“While we hoard more 'essentials' for our family and sip on our Dalgona, they share a roti among three. While we miss the social gatherings with friends a video call away, they cry on the streets unable to reach their loved ones. While we crib about running out of things to do in the comfort of our homes, they walk barefoot for miles and days to reach theirs. The list is never-ending. History is witnessing one of the worst migrant crises in the country and smirking at our hypocrisy. Storms always hit the lowest of the low. Understand and acknowledge the privilege you reek of. Do what you can to ease their load. Not a funny episode, right? Nope,” he added.