The proverbial ‘ides of March’ brings with it hardships and true to its nature, the country decided to go under lockdown. The virus that once was China’s problem came home to roost. My first encounter with the severity was when my temperature was checked while entering a friend’s apartment in Gurgaon. The next day as I got off the aircraft in Jammu, I was asked to fill in a form with a detailed description of my whereabouts and my travel itinerary. Not only was I surprised but I was pleased that the government was taking timely precautions.
With the lockdown in place, the question was how to occupy my time. Thank god for Netflix and other online streaming services. I knew I could watch all the movies and shows I had missed over the past few years. Books were the other alternate. Thankfully, I have grownup kids and not many home responsibilities and I thought I could pass my time happily. Little did I realise that the mind revolts when it’s fed inadequately. By the third day, I couldn’t watch another programme on the screen nor could I turn another page. I needed a system to get me through. I needed a sense of accomplishment to sustain me over each day.
Exercising was important. Though I am lazy to the core, I needed extra motivation to drag myself out of my cosy bed each morning. Fortunately having cats help. They wake you up without fail and without consideration every morning like clockwork at an ungodly hour!! They replace the alarm clock by far!!
The first week I spring cleaned the entire house, twice. I had been constantly travelling over the past couple of years and the cupboards had become my dumping yard. I needed to declutter. How do we manage to hoard useless things over time? I found my college identity card and my examination hall card!! Needless to say, they went back in for safekeeping! : )) I paid special attention to the garden and was duly rewarded. We did not have to buy strawberries this season and with spring still around, the flowers were a pleasure to watch.
When there’s not much to do the stomach decides to become a separate entity all together and would constantly whine like a spoilt child. So, cooking is what I turned my attention to. By now, I no longer buy bread from the market and I think I can start supplying my products to a small group of friends post-lockdown.
I’m grateful that I’ve a couple of dogs too and a big enough garden to play with them. These days have been special for all household pets. The owners have been home and all have generally been in good spirits with stress at the lowest ebb.
It’s been a relaxing time and I thank god that I have a roof over my head, food on the table and good health unlike too many unfortunate.
Poonam is an educationist