What has changed during the COVID-19 lockdown?
Delhi is getting hotter by the day. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle and sweaty figures on the road, one finds nothing but the empty streets. By the evening, one can see a few people enjoying the evening weather on their balcony.
The usual commotion and the honking of the vehicles are gone. The chirping of the birds has replaced the noisy sounds. Locked inside the house, I sense something has changed quite drastically for sure, the different types of birds that have started visiting my garden is proof of it.
Perhaps, the only constant thing is the shouting of the vegetable sellers. However, even the scene is different here. Covered with masks and gloves, they now sell the vegetables at a bit inflated price. But again, I find that okay because they are risking their lives, and they rightly deserve that extra penny.
The empty parks
In the evening, at around 5 pm, the park in front of my house used to get filled with throngs of people slowly. From playing children to older men and women walking with sticks, it was a delight to be a part of such a colossal ambiance. Now, the park remains empty. Few souls emerge during the night to take an evening walk after dinner. However, the number of figures can be counted and it’s never more than four. It’s a strange thing that when the pollution level of Delhi has dropped, you will find people wearing masks.
I still order the basic grocery online. Instead of placing the packages directly in the hands of the customers, the delivery guy places them near the door. Everything needs to be washed thoroughly. I was never this careful in maintaining hygiene. But now from time to time, I panic and run to use the sanitizer.
I started observing small things
The cars that are parked along the street are no longer cleaned. The vehicles are now covered with fallen yellow leaves. Every now and then, one can find dogs sitting on it like a king. The number of dogs in society has increased. Or was the count the same, but now with the people locked inside the cage, I have started noticing the huge count of dogs that exist? It’s strange how I’ve started noticing things that I never bothered about.
Also, the shops no longer look the same. Picking products directly from the store is now forbidden. A yellow and green rope surrounds the shop that I once, visited regularly. One cannot step inside this fragile boundary. For a change, people were following the rules without being told. There’s a fear in the air and you can sense it.
The adjustments that I have made
I am an introvert and therefore, I didn’t have to adjust much. It looks like an extended vacation for me. The adjustments that I’ve made don’t look much significant in comparison to other people especially the ones who needed to move out for work.
I’m learning to cook
I’m a lazy person and I don’t prefer to cook. Most of the time, I used to order online either from Swiggy or Zomato but now I have started cooking. The infrequent video calls to my parents have now become a daily affair. My mom and I are bonding over food now. She describes the recipe and watches me while I cook. And I, on the other hand, return the favor by telling her whether the food was tasty or not.
I’m turning into a potato
An evening walk is now not possible. During the initial days, I used to do light exercise but now I don’t take enough effort to stay active. The amount of junk food that I consume has also increased considerably. Sometimes, once a week, I skip a meal or so and comfort myself that I’m not becoming fatter.
I discovered a comfy zone
I’ve discovered a very comfortable space in my room. It’s a brown couch with a flowery golden design placed in the corner of the room. For hours, I squeeze myself on that couch to read. I have downloaded a whole lot of pirated pdf books. I actually spent a day converting the pdf files into .mobi format for transferring them in my Kindle. I now realize why books are said to be best friends. Sometimes, when my imagination runs very high while reading a book, I end up sketching. In short, I’m taking this time for a creative outlet.
To earn my living, I write. I work as a freelance writer for two clients. But now, I’ve taken a break and now I work for one client only. I’ve decided to invest the saved time in my blog. And now I am blogging regularly. Also, I have started doing random courses on YouTube. Now a day, I’m learning about modern poetry. I’m trying to appreciate the beauty of poems written by Robert Frost.
Life doesn’t seem that bad if your keep your mind engaged.
Wild thoughts during wild scenario
COVID-19 lockdown has made things malleable. It’s hard to distinguish between workdays and weekends. The weekends can be transformed into weekdays and the weekdays can be transferred into weekends. One just needs to ask their heart how they want to spend the day. And once a decision is taken, you can magically make the conversion.
Reflection and introspection
These times are reflective too. I think everyone has received enough time for introspection. I’ve realized that even though I’m considerate, I’m selfish. As long as my family and the loved ones are safe from the deadly virus, I’m okay with almost everything.
Also, I’ve realized the importance of being grateful for the everyday mundane task that we take for granted. Just in a wink, all the ordinary things have been snatched and you are left to wonder when can I really cross the boundary of the society. When can I visit my college again? When the virtual touch will get real again? When will I get to eat the delicious paani puri again?
But I’ve realized that there’s no point in wondering. In fact, it is essential to accept the present in its raw form and count the blessings. Aren’t we lucky to be alive now? Aren’t we lucky to stay connected with our loved ones? Even though it’s a virtual connection, but it’s there. And I’m thankful for that.
I think it’s important not to think much. In such difficult times, one will easily end up overthinking. And that would be a dangerous thing. And therefore, I prefer to engage myself with all sorts of things. Things that would have looked ridiculous during normal days. Life is short and there’s no point in wondering if you are looking like a fool. It’s all about keeping yourselves happy. It’s all about fulfilling the hidden desires of the heart.
I have written a poem jotting down my feelings during COVID-19. The title of the poem is “I Wonder”
It will first attack your mind,
Amidst the daily grind,
You will welcome an extra layer of concern,
You wonder when the normal days will return?
Why you want to stay alive so badly?
Why you want to pass the remaining time so sadly?
Because of your laziness.
Your thirst to make a name,
To earn all the fame.
You wonder, will everything ever be the same?
Going crazy out of sheer boredom,
In the sight, not a single tantrum.
Everyone is trying to grow,
A carefree expression has started hiding the sorrow.
You wonder, for how long will it last?
By the time, it ends will everything turn into rust?
What are you craving for?
The hands that always rise to bless you?
The words that always manage to soother you?
The safety of your loved ones?
The cure for the heartaches?
Their survival instead of yours?
When it rains, it pours.
Crawk, walk, run, work
School, college, office
Parents, spouse, children
Life seemed to be a long journey
Is it really a long journey?
Was it a long journey?
In case, you are wondering how you can keep yourself enjoy during the COVID-19 lockdown, you can read my post on a mini guide to keep yourself sane during the COVID-19 pandemic.