It is most fortunate that I am dealing with the lockdown with my husband and kids for company. The fridge is reasonably well stocked. There is space enough to go for walks around the house itself and dogs to play with. I am very grateful for my collection of books, the internet and assorted tech. which allow us to reach out to family members and friends, keep ourselves occupied and entertained. Some of us even get to work from home, thanks to trusty laptops and that is such a blessing.
Not everyone is this lucky though. That nationwide lockdown announced at 8:00 pm to go into effect at 12:00 am clearly took many by surprise and workers belonging to the poorer sections were left stranded far away from their families without any means to commute. Some have been reduced to trekking for hundreds of kilometres with young children on their shoulders without even basic necessities like food and water to keep them going. I can’t even imagine what it must be like for daily wage workers deprived of their livelihoods and left with very little means to fend for themselves. The economic repercussions of this unprecedented global crisis and our collective anxiety over whether we will be able to limp back to a semblance of normalcy is enough to cause most of us to break out into hives, which is why the idea is to keep calm and as busy as possible under the circumstances.
It is what I am doing at any rate with varying degrees of success. On some days, I am so calm and collected, I freak myself out as I do my Yoga, potter about the house cleaning up hitherto neglected corners, participate in fun group activities on Whatsapp groups that mercifully does not include the dissemination of fake news, scary conspiracy theories or bizarre theories for beating Corona, write like a fiend to work my way through the woe, narrate the Mahabharatha to the kids in instalments and get into only mild arguments with the husband over whose turn it is to do the dishes or bring in the clothes.
There are moments when I am a wreck though. There is so much simmering panic over stalled projects on the work front that it is all I can do to keep from bouncing off the walls, while wailing like a demented banshee. The realization that we are barely a few days into the lockdown and it already feels like forever and there are those who are insisting that it could be extended indefinitely freak me out completely. At times, like this my poison is sugar and I love and hate myself for not stocking up on Ferrero rochers, cupcakes, Snickers and bounty bars, cheesecake, and tubs of ice cream having anticipated my tendency to stuff my face in times of stress which have previously resulted in my size ballooning out of all proportion to my optimal weight (not that I am in fine shape at present).
And have I mentioned the ocean of chores! At this point, I miss my maid so much more than I can say. How the dishes pile up! The husband helps out and even the kids wash their plates after they have used it because they are all too aware that a sink full of dirty dishes is one of the things I loathe most in the universe. But even so, I feel like I am knee – deep in the stuff. Even making a cup of coffee or tea fills me with dread because there are going to be mugs, saucepans, and spoons to wash. Don’t even get me started on the terror brought on by cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner! And let us not forget the laundry folks! I am ever so grateful for washing machines but let me confess that it is still a pain in the patootie! No wonder the cavemen limited themselves to bark and animal skins, which could be used and discarded in addition to being totally eco - friendly J
|Hermione Granger would disapprove!
Wish there were friendly elves or other magical beings who would invisibly and quietly dust, sweep, swab, do the dishes as well as the laundry, cook me delicious, healthy meals, and give me awesome massages to fix the knotty spots beneath my shoulder blade and the gnarly areas in my lower back. They would be so much cuter than robots who if the Terminator and Matrix movies are to be believed could mean the end of us, (as if we need more end of the world scenarios!). And while I am wishing for the impossible, I wish there were Corona virus fighting sprites who would do battle with this annoying virus and obliterate it from the face of the Earth!
Since I have whined more than is usual by even my admittedly abysmal standards, I shall sign off with a few lines from a poem penned by my daughter, Veda:
Shine like glitter
Or be calm like water,
Even melt like butter
But don’t rot like the gutter.
Be happy and shine
Don’t be gloomy and whine.