A diary is by its very true nature is an intensely personal thing, its a place to record our most intimate thoughts and worries about the world around us. In other words it is a glimpse into at our state of our minds.
And while so much has been written, said and most importantly felt, I thought this is the time to pen down my thoughts as this is a once in a life time experience and the memories need to be cherished and shared. So while it was still the month of March and we had just started with the planning of our annual holiday and scouting the right hotels for the stay, the Corona meanwhile had not been so much in the news and life was still going on as usual. While we at home were getting thrilled for the big long break we had been waiting for so long, the plans took an abrupt ‘U’ turn towards the end of the month of March when we watched the news on the television and our travel plans got washed away, they announced that it was a complete lock-down, and that meant that no office for a few days and no schools for a few days and that also meant no maids for a few days. Now typically 90% of us Indians are very dependent on the house-help and surviving without them meant a lot of work at hand 🙂
While we were still trying to come to terms with this new phase that arrived all unexpected and unwelcome into our lives but nonetheless it was now a sad reality and also a part of our lives, we just had to learn to start living with it. And so then we had to start by taking hold of the stock available in the kitchen and then step out and get our groceries and staples because until then nobody knew how long would this lock down last, we grabbed on our masks, grabbed the shopping list and off we went to the stores to make our purchases. On our way we could see the impact the news had made because though people were wearing masks the panic made everyone gather in huge crowds for shopping. There was humongous crowd and confusion and chaos at the shopping stores, I think the news had made most of us go into panic shopping spree. By then nobody had been able to figure out the magnitude of Corona and the impact that it was going to create on the lives of the people.
Back at home after all the shopping it felt like a homecoming, like winning some sort of a battle, the feeling of a warrior carrying packets of rice and veggies, chips and looking endearingly at that favorite box of cornflakes that you managed grab, it felt like some sort of a trophy :D. However we now had one more new additional task, washing everything thoroughly that we had bought from the market. PHEW!! That was quite a daunting task. The entire scenario had changed suddenly the kids were at home, husband is working from home, and so initially it was a euphoric feeling, that everyone was together at the breakfast table and we were able to discuss all the long pending things that had been waiting for ever!!! However slowly the novelty of the situation was starting to wear off and I was coming to terms with the reality and the new changes and challenges that it brought along with it.
Life without the maids seemed difficult initially but not impossible, and with each passing day there were these humongous tasks waiting to be completed, of-course they needed a lot of planning and time management so that I could complete them on time. Now why am I sharing these incidents?? The reasons could be endless but because each one of us have gone through these difficult and different situations in these months and are still trying to come to terms with this new found lifestyle changes and while some of us have also lost our loved ones in this pandemic I felt all the more compelled to share some insights with you.
Now firstly for me these changes made me realize that I need to be grateful to the Almighty for what I have with me, (yeah! at times we are so busy that we forget to be thankful). It made my children not only value the things that they have, but also understand the importance of gratitude and being humble and so while they were getting themselves acquainted with this new found responsibilities, they started off by helping me with the day to day chores, I realized that they were slowly learning to be responsible and independent. It was a welcoming change. They were learning to cook small meals, to keeps things tidy, fold their clothes. Well! The kids had picked up quite a few things and I couldn’t help but smile, feeling proud. In these difficult times my children learnt the value of gratitude, time, and to look at life with a different perspective, and overall had learnt to be independent.
Yes, Nature gave us a beautiful learning to value what we have and to nurture what is given to us, to learn to co-exist with the changes in our surroundings. It brought the families closer, it made us cherish all our relationships including our friends. This pandemic has taught us to protect nature; invest in health; ensure a safety net for the poor; and enhance global cooperation. The climate crisis, erratic weather phenomena, pollution of air, land and ocean have pushed us to a dangerous brink. It is extraordinary that the lock-down period has led to nature regenerating. We saw blue skies again after many decades, pollution levels dropped, and several species of animals, birds and insects staged a comeback. We must try and ensure that these positive developments are sustained so that we do not revert to the old normal, but adopt a new normal vis-à-vis nature.
The incessant greed for material trifles is transmuting into a realization that the most precious gift is that of life itself and thereby all that is necessary for its sustenance, chiefly our health system. The allure of tourist spots and man-made marvels in alien locales faded when they became hot spots of the invisible enemy and we have begun to cherish the safety and comfort of our humble abode. Instead of inane visits to malls and crowded parties, we are investing in family time and our intimate life-sustaining relationships. Families are bonding as never before; and digital media has become supreme in educating, informing and entertaining. Social, or rather physical, isolation, masks and sanitizers rule the roost in the absence of a viable solution for the affliction. One of the biggest transitions has been in the attitude of all right-thinking individuals towards Nature. During the lock-down, after centuries of unmitigated environmental abuse, we saw nature reclaiming its space as the blue skies cleared of fumes and the seas of refuse and animals pranced happily in open spaces without fear of Homo sapiens, the most dangerous species on earth.
Hopefully, in the future as well, humanity will cherish these lessons of humility and co-existence learned during the pandemic, prioritize the general good, invest in meaningful relationships instead of pursuing material wealth and refrain from ravaging Nature.
I would like to end my blog with this proverb
Do write in your comments and share your thoughts.