It was 25th March 2020. I have etched this day in my heart for it has created history in the world of tissue rolls! It all started on the morning of 25th March, in the Dunzo mart. At first, it was a normal day and when I say normal, I mean the same boring day as always.
I was sitting on the shelf in the health and hygiene section with my other friends, waiting for someone to come to me with a warm smile and say: “Hello!” instead of ignoring my presence and dumping me into the cart. I still do not understand how such tall, chubby, plumpy human beings can turn out to be such impatient ones, buzzing like bees and darting in the streets!
It was 10 AM and I was doing my daily work, sulking at one corner with no rush of excitement at all! However, by 12 PM, I saw there was a sudden rush in the mart. People were pouring in like zombies. Literally a scene of a stampede! To my surprise, all of them were rushing towards the health and hygiene section. I heard someone asking the storekeeper for tissue rolls. Holy Moley! They were all running towards me! I was clueless as to what was happening. However, I really wanted to go to someone’s house. I dressed nicely; neat as a pin. I tried to hug and embrace the fresh air to appear clean and fresh. I sat in a very fashionable way of attracting everyone. However, one thing I still did not understand as to why there was a sudden change in human behaviour. I just wondered whether they all developed a new genetic disorder that altered their likes and dislikes!
I saw old, young, man, woman, police officer, student everyone sprinting towards me. Oh jeez! The look on their faces was just so entertaining to watch!
They were anxious, stressed, and were giving importance to me. I was seriously getting all emotional. I was just a commodity; not an important one in anyone’s life until today! Now I have become a VIP! I know I clean their waste, but still, they treat me as a waste! However, suddenly I became the center of their attraction. Oh my God! I just felt like a celebrity, standing on a high pedestal with all the spectators taking my photo. Oh, the flash in my eyes was just like a beam of light from heaven. It was like a dream come true! My heart started singing.
People were fighting for me. I was a hero, a saviour for them and they would cease to exist without me! I started to catch everyone’s attention and I actually was on news channels, social media, Tik Tok, Instagram, everywhere! I was in the limelight! There were tears in my eyes but I could not cry at any cost and hurt myself, ultimately being a disgust to the others. You know, “wet and weird”! I met this woman, who was so generous that she not only took me with her but my entire family of seven. We were all lucky that she took the whole family and we did not have to worry about suffering from separation anxiety and homesickness. I sat in her car, listening to the radio that was playing in the background. There was a radio announcement that the entire nation was going to lockdown due to a pandemic, COVID-19, caused by a coronavirus. This virus was a deadly one. Maintaining hygiene was keen to keep the disease at bay, as good hygiene means being strong and healthy. People were advised to use me to clean their hands and nose frequently. They had to wear masks if they had to go out to buy essential commodities. Now I realized why there was a commotion at the mart.
Mom, who was sitting next to me in the car, told me that once her grandmother had told her a story where people in the West had experienced a similar situation .yeah, it was the Spanish flu!
Well, after listening to everything, I had a mixed feeling in me. First, I was proud of myself for being a hero! It was just awesome. I felt I received the most precious, sacrosanct gift of honour, the golden sun-kissed olive branch! However, at the same time, I felt stressed after listening to the deeds of the murderer, Corona.
I just felt sorry for the others who might be crying at home looking at the photo of their loved ones, killed by corona. All my feelings were popping like popcorn! Within a week, this world declared my entire species as the hero! We were the frontline warriors, ready to sacrifice our lives for keeping the human species hale and healthy.
I heard similar stories from my cousin in the US. The woman, who took me with her, placed me on the kitchen shelf and every day I used to see her watching Instagram, chitchat on WhatsApp and video call her friends who shared similar stories. I could see the videos where my mates had become heroes! This COVID-19 may have been a slash on my human friends but for me, it was a game-changer. I knew I was losing my life bit by bit every day, but I was happy sacrificing my life and saving the world! I was going to be a martyr!
I know I have created history as a tissue roll for not cleaning peoples’ waste but keeping them safe from COVID-19! I am a saviour, a hero, an unsung hero of the world! I am T007, signing off from the kitchen!
By Shraavya P Hande
Grade 8A, Ekya School, JP Nagar