When in lockdown mode, I always promise myself that I am going to make it to the other side having padded up my resume to sizeable proportions in addition to pursuing worthwhile pursuits that don’t include wishing that this is all over. The idea is to eat right, work out diligently, follow it up with yoga and meditation, read as many books as possible, write up a storm and churn out a Booker Prize winner, take a class to learn how to invest my meagre income brilliantly, practice my adavus diligently so that I am not the despair of my dance teacher, spend quality time with family members and reach out to friends for support while the rest of my country deals with an Apocalypse Now type situation.
In the interest of
furthering my noble ideals, I swore off social media and WhatsApp because it
became increasingly obvious that it is entirely possible to while away all of
time while doom scrolling on Twitter or checking WhatsApp forwards for anything
that is remotely interesting or true. This precipitous decision was further
prompted by the suspicion that I am eventually going to disappear into the
digital void leaving only my spectacles behind in the physical realm we occupy.
Plus, the fact, that I now consider a day to have been productive if I remember
to wash my hair.
It wasn’t too much
of an ordeal, especially since I am allowed OTT. I played more with my pups and
talked to my daughters about how the pandemic is making us all feel besieged, which
is why we all need to remember to be nice to each other, stay calm, blah, blah.
It was quite the rousing speech, and I felt the kids had totally imbibed the
wisdom I was trying to impart. But that was before they got into a shouting
match and swore they were no longer sisters. I would have intervened but I was
busy fighting the husband for the last scoop of dark chocolate gelato.
When one is not
vertical scrolling away to ignominy, there is plenty of time to reflect. I realized
that I haven’t done any of the things I was supposed to have done by now. There
has never been a good time to follow through on my plan to make like Ibn
Battuta or Marco Polo to explore the unknown. I am yet to learn French cooking
at Le Cordon Bleu or earn a doctorate in Criminal Psychology. I still can’t
drive a car to save my life and haven’t rocked a pair of stilettos ever. These
things make you question your entire existence. Which is why I decided to write
about it in a bid to make today feel like it counted. A little.
This column originally appeared in The New Indian Express.