Thursday, April 09, 2020

Condensed milk and Corona induced blues

‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Or so we have been told. My mum keeps telling me to watch my mouth, so I will refrain from cussing out the idiot who came up with that particular idiom. Probably one of those curmudgeonly football coaches during a particularly rousing pep talk where everyone in the immediate vicinity was sprayed with saliva as the grunting, heavily perspiring players were exhorted towards greater exertions. Anyways, I keep repeating the damn thing like a mantra, during rough patches, determined to forget that I am nowhere as tough as I would like to be.

Initially, I told myself to make the best of this lockdown. Work out twice a day. Master all the difficult yoga poses like the handstand, elbow stand (pincha mayurasana), crow pose (bakasana). Write every single day. Stay ahead of the chores. Learn something new – perhaps a new language or sign up for one of those online courses. Teach the kids something. Try and work on the vegetable patch which I have always been meaning to have (The drumstick tree is thriving and so are the curry leaves, in addition to my faithful cactus, so yay!) Practise my adavus, perfect my araimandi and blow my Guru’s mind, when dance class resumes. Stay as positive as possible given my naturally cynical bent of mind, try to limit the panic attacks to one a day in the privacy of my mind, etc.

The first two weeks weren't too bad. I was physically active and somewhat productive. I can do the handstand with wall support and can hold the crow for 5 seconds on good days. Nowadays, though, I spend a good chuck of my time trying to think up excuses to skip my work out, then settle for a quick half – hour session and spend most of it in the corpse pose (shavasana). On the writing front, I have managed to put up a few blog posts, though mostly I stare at a blank document and wonder why nobody has come up with an instant fix for writers block yet, before giving up.

As for the chores, I like to think there is a smoothly functioning system in place for getting things done with a degree of efficiency. Even as I kid myself, I can’t help but think it is too damn bad, I didn’t get a letter inviting me to join Hogwarts. It would have been fun to learn a few domestic spells and magic the drudgery away (among other things)! My brain and mind rebel every time, I try to urge both to sign up for an online course or attempt to learn a new language. Apparently both would rather go ‘tsk tsk’ over the trolling on Twitter, depressing newsfeeds determined to make us feel worse about the Corona situation or idly browse through pretty pics of celebs on Instagram who are positively glowing after 4 hour workouts,  guaranteed to make us feel even worse about ourselves.

I did do a few storytelling sessions with the children, taught them some simple recipes as well and harangued them into doing something besides plonking themselves on the couch to play games on the computer and watch the telly simultaneously. I even managed to dance a little, though it feels like wading through treacle on some days. And I did not get around to practising the adavus unless you count the two minutes when I rehearsed the Nattadavus with the kids. As for the araimandi, I quit before I even began, telling myself that the knees would grumble loudly in protest and I ought to protect them at all costs. 

Over the past few days, my energy levels have been dipping in earnest. I have a wicked case of the blues and it is hard to summon the will to get out of bed and do anything at all. The only reason, I managed to get through the daily routine today was because I was terrified that if I don’t, the dishes will pile up in the sink and eventually manage to break through the roof where they will join hands with the dust monsters to kill me. Even so, the temptation was strong to cower under the covers and tell the family to have cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Or whatever they find in the fridge. (As for me there is Nutella in my secret stash, but I left it there because I tormented myself with images of myself ballooning to grotesque proportions).

Thanks for the laughs Modern Family!
It wasn’t all bad though. I whipped up dessert, and comforted myself only with the leftover condensed milk, even as a bullying voice in my head informed me that the sugar demons are definitely going to get me before Corona does. And I watched the series finale of Modern Family. Like most formerly great shows, it seemed to have run out of steam a few seasons ago, but the finale was nevertheless worth a watch. A heartfelt end to a beloved show, it was particularly moving to watch it in these days of fear and unease, when so many of us are near and yet so far away from loved ones. 

One of the things that was great about the show was that it tackled so many sensitive subjects with warmth and humour, without being political or militantly woke. It has changed the way, so many people look at LGBTQ rights, same – sex marriage, adoption and immigrants. A reminder if any were needed that few things have the power of art to bring about change in this complicated world where for every step we take in the right direction, we inevitably take two backward. Which is also why I will always have more faith in art than people.

Comfort food in the time of Corona!
Long story short, it made me tear up a little and took some of the Corona – induced blues away with it. My spirits lifted a bit when it rained for a brief spell in the evening, before it ceased altogether and left the atmosphere so muggy, it felt like a sauna. Moving on, if the newsfeeds are to be believed, the lockdown with be extended to the end of this month. At the very least. The good news is I still have a few tins of condensed milk left. Ammunition against Coronasura! Hope you are all doing okayish? Let me know if you need anything… Unless it is condensed milk. 

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