One fine Friday afternoon while I was busy doing my usual chores, (slacking) a certain unfortunate thought perturbed my peace. A ubiquitous rhetoric that had gained much popularity during the lockdown: “Be like Newton; he worked hard during the Plague.” Well, I’m not entirely unaware of Sir Newton’s contributions, being a subject to the incessant torment of questions on Laws of Motions and Gravitation. I often yield to the convenient thought, “Why couldn’t he just eat the apple?”

Let me enunciate why I consider the thought to be “unfortunate”. Unlike some of my fellow optimists who are extraordinarily gifted, I am, shunning all modesty, just your average student. A student who knows that all the sacred knowledge lies bundled up in that enlightening assortment of books. And, like others of my generation, I have access to the richest mine of resources, the Internet. However, one question that remains out there is, “How do I convince myself?” It’s not that I am averse to studies. The fact that I have written this article shall clear any doubts regarding that. But I am no Newton either. I have my spells of studying for long hours and then not studying for days. We have come to that phase where even studying gives us an eventful respite from the boring life during the lockdown. That’s true; no matter what your arguments are, you cannot gainsay that studying is done more as a last resort than as a student’s duty.

The Newton in us, if there is one, is not an omnipotent beast that we can unleash and have devour all that lies in those tomes. No! It is more like a candle that has to be kindled but the darkness is too much to subdue. Many argue that you don’t have to be exceedingly intelligent to be like Newton, you just have to be innovative. You see, innovation is not born out of nothingness. It is the productive child of inspiration and necessity. One might have come across inspiration, but these are times when students are replete with all kinds of luxuries, thus leaving no room for necessity. The necessity to learn can be the beau ideal but one requires saintly devotion to achieve this ideal.

For an unbiased analysis, let us leave the lane of the replete ones and travel down the not-so-luxurious alley. The lockdown has only aggravated the condition of the financially weaker section. We are all sensible enough to understand that despite numerous government-schemes, the financially backward section is also academically deprived. A rare daisy does bloom here and there but that is very rare. And these are times when even the most compassionate souls would care first about how they are going to live through this pandemic. Deprived of quality education and uncared for, there is hardly any chance for a Newton to emerge out of penury.

Mine is not a well-formed mind; it has its urges that wheedle me away from my primary duties. While at home, I cannot adopt a rigorous schedule. These are facts that are faced by all the average minds. It is easy to preach but, in all veracity, only a tiny fraction of us can call upon their inner Newton. As we confront this beastly monster (Covid-19), we are required to perform academically as well. I do not know how many of us can do that while those around us are falling like flies. I do not know if Sir Newton will ever listen to my call. I do not know anything. After all, I am only an average mind doing his usual chores (haha).

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