Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Lockdown diaries - a new day, everyday

Life takes a strange and mysterious turn when you least expect. Sometime in February, news about the virus in China started trickling, and before we knew, it was a worldwide pandemic. No country was spared. And then, our Government announced a total lockdown! This was something which we had not experienced at all, ever. 

Comforts which we had taken for granted, like having maids, cooks, home delivery for groceries and medicines, ordering food online, and not to forget the comforts of living within a gated community, where even the garbage disposal is taken care of by the housekeeping staff! All this came to an abrupt halt.

The topmost thought and concern looming large for all us women was, 'How are we going to manage without the maids and cooks?' A part of my mind was trying to give reassuring positive signals suggesting that we might still have that teeny bit of chance that this nightmare would come to an end soon and life would very soon be back to normal. Something like, here today and gone tomorrow kind of scenario. 

So there I was clutching at straws as the saying goes. But going by what I was reading, I knew doomsday had arrived. And so it was with great trepidation and a very heavy heart, I informed my maid that she was to go on a paid leave from the very next day until further notice. I had absolutely no 'notice period'!

Well, the grind started two and a half months back and is still continuing. What with senior citizens at home, we cannot take the risk. The initial few days were tiring, but if it had to be done, it had to be done. No two ways about it. 

Very soon life turned into a rhythmic cycle of cooking, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, washing, and so on and so forth. Whatever time left thereafter was taken up in finishing assignments that I had taken up. Before I knew the day had just flown past! Yes, there are days when I get up in the morning and feel lazy just thinking about doing all the chores, and then there are days when things get done in a jiffy. So right now I am all pretty set and pulling along.

This is not to say that it is all hard work and no fun. On the contrary, I must say I am enjoying the lockdown period. For one, my husband and my son are now working from home. My son who otherwise would visit us 2-3 times a month was now home 24x7. 

I am pampering them with homemade delicacies, though once in a while my son does complain about not being able to order outside food. So I try and whip up menus to suit all. I have embarked on a culinary journey. I experimented with Spanish cuisine which we had immensely enjoyed during our visit to Spain. The Paella, Patatas Bravas, Spanish omelet have become part of my cuisine. Mexican dish Guacamole is being relished with nachos, potato chips, cucumber, carrots, and other veggies! I am also adding Indian cuisines from different regions! So my culinary repertoire is expanding.

When it came to veggies and fruits, thanks to some volunteers, we are being pampered with a whole array of them literally brought to our doorstep by the farmers themselves! Fresh avocados, different varieties of mangoes, different types of jackfruits, grapes, litchis, zucchini, bell peppers... the list is a long one. It is a win-win situation for the farmers as well as for us! I guess, back then when things were normal I had never gotten around to buying so many varieties.

The icing on the cake is family bonding which is happening big time. Summer vacations meant looking forward to visits by my sisters and my nieces and nephews. This time too we did not miss our rendezvous! We have them in our living room every night - virtually! Thanks to WhatsApp video calls. Every day new games are being planned out. Every night all three families are on video trying to solve riddles, puzzles, play atlas, scrabble, jumbled words, and so on. All this is going on till late in the night.

Over the course of these three months, I have learned several things. When problems crop up just face them and move on. I can make do with what I have. I can definitely do without things which I thought was essential. What I thought was very important was never so in the first place. Yes, if health permits and circumstances are conducive, we can definitely manage without the maids and cooks. No matter what happens, life goes on. There's a new day, everyday. 

This is my lockdown story. What's yours? Do let me know.



Unknown said...

Very nicely written! I agree whole heartedly. We are also enjoying experimenting with different cuisines and trying to make family time more fun!
Loved reading your article!

Tonse Ganesh Shenoy said...

Before Lockdown I never went to a kitchen - During Lockdown Peroid lots of Vegiie Cooking all alone myself - Nowadays I can manage myself to do the tasty Konkani Vegetarian dishes on my own - Thats my Memories during Lockdown & that too without any one's help - Tonse Ganesh Shenoy

Unknown said...

Good one shobhana!well written.we are also experiencing same feelings.

Unknown said...

Well written Shobhana
Looks like the lockdown period has been a family bonding time.So it is blessing in disguise.Hope the bonding continues minus the virus.

Sandy said...

You have penned what we are also experiencing... every word of what you have written is so true. I too love the idea of all of us spending such lovely time together, even if it means doing dishes or mopping floors. and will be beautiful memories in the years to come. The flip side to this is the invisible virus which we hope and pray makes a quiet exit so that we have our old life back which we shall value now instead of taking it for granted... somewhere we have developed more empathy, humanity and yes the world shall be a much better place now....thanks made a very good read.

Dhruv said...

It's a forced work from home but having experienced it for 3 months, now the thought is why it should be called forced at all. It's given us more time for work and for family.

Shaloos space said...

Love this ma'am💖. I'm sure we all share the same feelings and experiences. Beautifully penned.

Deepta Sunil said...

I loved reading this one. And I would love to get those recipes too. :D