What if…? – Deeksha Burugadda

Reflectionist Deeksha Burugadda (ITBM 2021-23)

Imagine a clean world that does not have war, poverty, or hunger. Fancy a universe that lives in binary- yin or yang, good or bad, black or white. There is no gray area, no room for errors or imperfections. This world in your head has a house for you, a job, pure air, freshwater, food, a family, community, and harmony.  

“Time, Space, Reality.” It’s more than a linear path. It’s a prism of endless possibility, where one single choice can branch out into infinite realities, creating alternate worlds from the ones we know and imagine! It’s all in our minds.

There could be a universe like ours, except it is peaceful, prosperous, and perfect. It is a world all of us have conjured in our minds, but if one reality changes, so do infinite others. After knowing this, are we still willing to take a leap of faith to imagine such a universe?

Utopia, meaning ‘no place,’ is a far-fetched, near impossible paradise with desirable qualities and perfect citizens. Nobody is sad because they are psychologically conditioned into believing that the place they are in. They are not scared of dying. They embrace the end with open arms when their time is up and leave the world.

But this sense of constant euphoria can turn a person’s mind into jelly. If humans are not kept in check for their thoughts, actions, and time against a system determined to stay in power, this utopia slowly transcends into dystopia. Their difference is a fine line, and one whiff of individuality could bring it all to dust.

Dystopia is a Greek word that means terrible place. It is a fictional world that is frightening, unfriendly, and unsuitable for humans to survive and thrive in, plagued by violence, hunger, war, and an unusual sense of authority. When most people hear the word dystopia, they imagine The Hunger Games1984, or The Handmaid’s Tale. A sense of urgency, fear and lack of control are qualities they all share.

It is a long shot to compare these with the Covid world. Still, an invisible virus that has wreaked havoc across the planet, caused one of the most significant global recessions and claimed millions’ lives is bound to give rise to sudden dystopian elements. All dystopias share extreme suffering. The Coronavirus has led to a breakdown of meaningful human relationships. Our world has become unstable, unfamiliar, and chaotic, and it is taking all our collective efforts to survive.

So, what’s the future like?

As everything is getting better, are we still living in a COVID 19 dystopia? No, I do not believe the future is as bleak. Could we be pulled into a place more horrifying than today due to ineptitude? Perhaps. Pandemics don’t necessarily lead to dystopias, but technology and bureaucratic response make a difference. Damage at this scale is unprecedented and difficult to control. We shall recover from the coronavirus with time, and its scars will fade; we are almost halfway through!