(A Dystopian spoof on Corona and Camus)
By Ra Sh
The world was calm now. And silent.
Only the birds chirped tweeted sang cawed.
Only the animals barked mewed mooed growled.
Only the river gurgled.
Only the sky thundered.
Only the fires crackled.
Two covid-19 teenage viruses walked around the city
assessing the damage. On Route vers l’ouest, they found
mansions with cars parked in front and little gardens.
Four dogs ran out of the house dragging a well dressed
woman and a naked man. It was the posh area of the city
and in house after house dogs feasted.
On Route Vers le nord, that led to the fields, unharvested paddy
lay in the fields. That was the operational area of the rodents,
snakes and the jackals. On Route vers l’est, that led to the offices,
the road lay thick with the police, applicants, clerks, officers and
mounts of paper. The vultures landed on them and tore away
the flesh. It was a mass of rotting flesh, blood, hair and
On Route vers le sud, that led to the river, peacocks danced on
the road. From the two theatres that showed no films, super stars
grinned from posters. Weeds were slowly climbing up the
courtyards of the college and the schools. The grounds were
covered with bodies , furniture, lab instruments and aprons.
The teenage viruses reached the river and sat holding hands.
Being young, they were in love and being idealistic a tad bit
sad about the end of humans.
They then spied a human in a trench coat and trousers angling for
fish on the bank. He smoked a pipe and chuckled while he spoke
to the fishes. The adolescent viruses approached him and asked,
“Who are you sir, how come you are in one piece when
all humans are dead all over the world?”
The man chuckled again and retorted, “I am Camus
and I wrote a novel ‘The Plague’ long back. I wrote that the city
was happy, life went on, but the plague bacillus never dies or
disappears for good. It can lie dormant for years and years
in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves and perhaps the day
would come when it roused up its rats again and sent them
into a happy city. You are those rats now and you are the plague.”*
The Gen X viruses who could barely understand him, watched
as Camus gathered his things and made his way up stream with
fishing rods, bait and the day’s catch, whistling to himself.
*From the last lines of the Albert Camus novel, The Plague.
Ra Sh is a poet based out of Kerala
First published in Countercurrents.org