Amazing 21 days they shall be, I had figured it out last week. How much – was what had to be figured out. A week into our lockdown, it’s time to take stock.
What did we gain? What did we lose?
I prefer my good news before my bad one.
Our GAINS were stupendous…..
We are adjusting to so many things,
We are making innumerable changes to our lifestyles,
We are learning to co-exist with our family members 24×7,
The men folk are interning in household work and all kinds of chores from mopping, dusting, dishwashing, table-setting and all such mundane tasks, are realizing that to maintain one home with an average occupancy of 4 members requires an effort of at least half a dozen people which the lady of the house magically managed with either one or sometimes none at all,
The women folk are acclimatising to a house which is messy, sinks which fill faster than they empty out, a larder which has stuff disappearing mysteriously, valuing the ‘being-bai’ time each morning as folks pushed off to office or school or both,
We are recalling the captivating sound of our doorbells as they have ceased to ring every half hour, as they would earlier,
We are discovering the valuable work of housekeeping staff wherever we are – in complexes, offices, at homes – even if their work was shoddy & sub-standard, it was nonetheless vital,
We as a community are stepping in for each other, cleaning common areas, helping elderly with groceries, being orderly in our queues, understanding the importance of not peering over each other’s shoulders when standing in a file, appreciative of cleanliness not just inside our homes but everywhere else as well,
We are discerning, from this unusual time of a lockdown, how much of an uncouth group of human beings we are who needed the no-nonsense and iron-fisted response from the administration to make us understand that a day long ‘Janata curfew’ on one particular Sunday wasn’t a picnic but a new necessity as we fought an unknown virus, that till the police were stringent were on the roads to implement a lockdown they had been instructed to execute without exception, we would try our luck with all kinds of innovative excuses and prove that our other school habits of learning could be forgotten but the childish concocting of pretexts: NEVER, (and they were as innovative as when we were young!!)
We have had our fair share of messiahs thrown up in this exceptional crisis and as always many are coming from atypical sections of our society, which is not extinguishing our faith in humanity, itself,
We are discovering our funny side now, after the initial shock and disbelief as our what’s app messages are getting funnier by the minute – Thank goodness for that,
We are getting creative with friends baking, creating games, recording videos, writing blogs, spreading ‘gyan’ and some like me somewhere in-between all of these – all of us trying to make sense amidst this madness,
We are also realising that despite being the second largest populated nation of the world and the largest democracy, simple things like: essential, central, crucial – goods, many aren’t fully made in our country,
And my list is endless, but I have another fortnight to go and cannot dispense with all my erudition in one writing, so shall discuss this on another day, in detail, in another frame of mind.
My list of bad news, in terms of what did we lose while we are in this lockdown is simple and straightforward:
Peace of mind, as differentiated from losing our minds which hasn’t happened, fortunately!
Let’s stay connected though isolated.
Let’s look at this phase as a Time of Togetherness!