Posted in close to heart, m@dness

The Corona Diary- 2020

Disclaimer: It is one long post. And I mean, long!

I haven’t written a single post this year. Hey, it is not me. Let’s just blame it on Corona like everything else these days.

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2020 was to be a great year, personally. When I woke up on January 1st smiling, little did I know that 3000 km away, a micro organism was just about to shake the world and change it for all or most of mankind. Although it was around in 2019, the Covid-19 gained momentum in February 2020. News of the virus spread like wild fire and soon it was knocking on India’s door too. By mid march, 196 countries were affected. India had reported around 600+ cases by March 26th and 11 deaths while the global numbers were a whooping 6,00,000+ with 20000 deaths.

To contain a community spread and the virus altogether, the Prime Minister mandated a 21 lockdown and thus began this Corona Chronicle. My girl Ms A, penned down a gist of what ensued in the days that we were all locked down in her article. This post is dedicated to the days that we were coronaded!

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Days 1 to 7

We got up whenever we wanted. Worked. Played. Ate. Slept. No problemo! Thank god.

Days 8 to 14

This doesn’t feel right. Lets make full use of this time. We I got up at 5 30 am. Looked at the alarm and went off to sleep till 6.30am. The plan was to wake up, walk and all that jazz. Zilch. So, wake up, eat, work, scream at kids, eat, work, walk, eat, Netflix and sleep.

Days 14 to 50

When is this going to end? Are we going to be stuck like this the whole year? Was the year written by Stephen King? What if Corona is Thanos’s micro army? I don’t have time to do anything other than work! Wake up. Check emails. Eat. Get the kids activities ready. Work. Work. Work.  Pee. WOrk. Work. Eat. Sleep during Netflix binging.

Days 50 and beyond

Ok, that’s it! This is the new normal. Might as well turn around and get used to it. Wakes up early. Cycles. Drinks green tea. Reads Paper. Eats. Works. Wake the kids up. Works. Eats. Puts the kids down for nap. Works. Works. Works. Eats. Netflix. Sleeps.

Hope is what keeps us all alive.There comes a point when it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to do anything anymore. That is when the real work begins. To find hope when there seems to be none.

Quite honestly, we were all happy to spend time together. From those zillion forwards that were going around, one particularly I liked. It was about wishes coming true. After a long time, the father was spending time teaching the kids games and skills. Kids were happy to have both the parents around for a change and showering with all that they wanted. Come on, this was one god given chance to live the guilt free life and indulge the kids in whatever sane things they wanted. We weren’t going to let go of this once in a lifetime chance. So, suddenly the house had hula hoops of different sizes, puzzles, carrom board, books and blocks! Every day was a different experience. I think I was very concsious because I knew the 2 monkeys were constantly observing us and I was pressurised more than ever to be at my best behaviour constantly. It was after all only for two or three weeks, after which the world would go back the way it used to be. Or so we thought. Silly!

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For an entire month the husband was working from home. Thank god! The weeknights did not tire him like it usually does, so, we got to do a lot of talking and planning. Whether or not the money was there in the future to act out those plans, we had the plans yeah! We made a list of the places we want to go to; the things we wanted to do together; the risks we wanted to take; the movies we wanted to watch; the way we want to retire and a lot many other things that we always postponed to think about another day. Yes, we finally had the time and no excuses. However, what I will never forget are the days I got with my girls, Ami and Cookie. The days I’d wake them up; the days I’d watch them sleep in; the times I’d cuddle and sleep in with them; the days they’d run to me and smother me with chocolate kisses; the days I’d cook them their favourite meal and feed them; the days we fall asleep in the noon just talking; the times we baked and cooked together; the nights we’d just binge watch some cartoon or movie and sleep off on the couch and so much more. We taught Ami to ride the cycle while she showed us how exemplary and elegant her acrobatic moves were. Cookie was talking a lot more and I couldnt be happier! The husband learnt to cook more than tea and noodles and he even managed to cook up an entire meal to prove his father in law wrong! Yes, it was a good time and it was exactly how I have always pictured my home to be. 

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Apparently, the lockdown for 2 weeks was a teaser. Just when we think we have it all figured out, the universe throws us a curveball. So, we have to improvise. Whenever there is a crisis that I go through, I have learnt that it is best to take it slow and look at it as one bad day. The hashtag that has kept me going the whole time was #OneDayAtATime and it has been working well. When you look at 21 days or 40 at a stretch it can be overwhelming. You could choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst that can happen or you could step forward slowly and assume it will be brilliant. So, I took it one day at a time. I plan out what I need to accomplish when I wake up and plan the kid’s day too accordingly. It became a routine as the days passed and it was fun. Yes, there were mad days too. Yes, there were times I got frustrated because of the workload, but in the end I think we will all make it through in one piece. However, honestly I was terrified. How was I suppposed to keep the kids occupied wihen I had work to do? How would they react to this lockdown? What would their little minds remmeber about this period when they grow up? I think, with all these activities and things we kept doing with the girls, for the girls, the point I was trying to make to them was that hardships are bound to happen at some point or points in life. When they do, I want them to know that home is one place they can come back to and take it slow without a care in the world.There were quite a few lessons we learnt along the way and I am sure it will all make sense one day.

So many things changed in the world. Some good and some bad. I dont want to remember this time as a bad thing, although it was for a lot many people around the world. Maybe Ill write a post on that later. For a few days at least we woke up listening to birds chirping. There were horses and donkeys and monkeys on the street.Stars were more visible and we even saw a space ship!For us, the kids got new friends. Old friends reunited and chatted about cooking and parenting all day long. Ami now tells me which song she wants me to sing to her at night or when we are having that rendezvous on the balcony. Cookie speaks a lot of 3 word sentences. Tango listens to the girl’s commands. Dad binges on Netflix and Amazon Prime late into the night with us. We no longer cared about whether it was a weekday or weekend. I think somewhere during this period, we learnt to live the moment. We learnt that there is no point trying to fight the time we are now in. It is best to take it one day at a time.

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I do know that there were millions who suffered and some lost loved ones. I am sorry and I can only fathom what they must be going through. Banging plates and lighting lamps wont bring them back. The future changes quickly unexpectedly and completely and most often we are left wondering what to do next. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find ourselves back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way.  In all these days, the front liners; the health care professionals; the police; the social workers and those noble volunteers who gave it everything and risked everything to ensure that the world gets through this pandemic a little less scathed. A lot of people have lost good friends. Family. All good people. Some died because they put their life at risk while trying to save someone. They will all be remembered as heroes. We will neither forget those who served out of the spotlight, to whom we owe our highest gratitude. 

Day 75

As of today, the world numbers stand at 5596550 and has claimed 353373 lives. Nations have been feeling the economic, political and socio-emotional impact of the lockdown and striking a balance looks tough. Work from home is not as easy as it seems. For anybody if you ask me or for a majority at least. Bachelors and bachelorettes who are staying alone suddenly crave companionship to break the montonous life. Married folks with a full house are rearing to go out to office and get some “me time”. There are reforms and small revolutions. The barely visible enemy did not just come to destroy our things or our people. They seem to have come to befoul our way of life and turn it upside down. To foul our beliefs. Trample our freedom. It will take a while for us to bounce back and it is mostly on each one of us. In this however, they granted us the greatest gift – a chance at our rebirth. Rebirth of the planet, at large. We will rise like never before, stronger, wiser and ever more resilient.

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One take away or maybe three that I have from this period is:

#1- Do not take anythnig for granted. Never.

#2- Remember, the best things in life always come at a cost, they are never free.

#3- Saare Jahaan Se Acha Hindustan Humara- Modi or Soni, I am proud of my country and always will be!

If I am still inside the house on Day 100, I’ll write another post as long as this one 🙂

Do not let the miniscule thing with spikes ever kill your spirit. Stay Safe!

Epilogue

Quoting (after cutting out some not so relevant parts) one of my personal favourite dialgoues of President Thomas Whitmore from Independence Day:

“Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We’re fighting for our right to live. To exist. We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! “

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Posted in m@dness

Age gracefully

When I was very young, very very young, my mother used to pick out what I was to wear each day and lay it on the bed. I hated it. One of my earliest memories is praying to God that he’d make me an adult fast so I could choose what to wear. Memories of my mother fade with each passing year. Blame it on the silver things that crop up each time I comb my hair. Or maybe its time.

When I rifle through old photographs and search my brain for forgotten memories, I see a gangly version of myself, gazing into the future. I used to read Readers Digest, not understand a word,laugh out loud and reserve understanding to the future.I would paint lines and circles and a renowned artist would call it Abstract Art. I would become a teacher and pile up assignments on my students. I aspired to be the girl in the advertisement, sipping chocolate margherita on a colonial balcony, my tresses billowing behind me.  I would be one of those bikini-clad women who all look alike on a Goan beach.

At some time, without my knowledge, the future arrived. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like anything I planned. I am not a teacher nor the girl in the advertisement . I exist in a continuum of endless cups of tea! I am 30. I cannot drive a car. I cannot speak a foreign language. I haven’t written a book, yet. Young nephews and nieces have graduated from calling me ‘chechi’ (a Malayalam coinage for ‘elder sister’) to aunty.Ugh! I still have no idea how shares work and can no longer put it down to my innocence and young age. It has its perks of course. I have now learned the art of doing bottoms up and am legally allowed to do so. I can multi-task. I can wake up as early as 5 am. Earlier, I pretend-laughed at people’s jokes because I didn’t get them. Now I pretend-laugh at their jokes because I get them.

Still, everything seems to be happening in a rush. I’m not ready to be a 30-year-old. Mentally. I’m not ready to be served wine/vodka at a restaurant; I want good old coca cola. I’m not ready to be asked my opinion on the nuclear situation in Pakistan. I don’t want to whine and sulk about paying bills and running errands. I hate acting old! I don’t want to.

I wish I could go back in time and narrate a few life lessons to my 18-year-old self: don’t smile so smugly at the camera. In ten years’ time, you’re going to look at yourself and wonder at your own gawkiness.  If you thought you got high on chocolate, wait for the real deal. Don’t be scared to talk to that boy you like. For that matter, don’t be scared about speaking your mind or doing what you think is right. Everything is fugacious.

In another ten years, you’ll wonder at your stupidity aggrandising someone who turned out to be just like you. Don’t take everything in life so seriously. Have fun, do something illegal. Remember: Your past becomes the raw material for the anecdotes of your future. Your dreams may be rooted in fantasy but your plans are rooted in reality. 10 years from today, you wouldn’t want to look at a photo and think that you too could’ve been part of it.

Oh, and tell your future self: stop trying to be profound. Dont be afraid to act your age. Not a minute older, not a minute younger. Age gracefully.

elderly-woman-holding-hand-mirror-reflecting-young-woman

Posted in close to heart, m@dness

Note in the mood-28

When we were children, we wanted to just grow up and be adults. Like really quick. Being adults enticed us a lot and maybe thats why we loved playing house house. Maybe we thought that life was a lot cooler as adults. Remember when you were a kid and your biggest worry was like whether you’d get a cake for your birthday or would you get to eat chocolates the next day. I remember my relatives and elder cousins telling me to enjoy my schooldays while it lasted coz it was the time we would be free of any responsibility. Today when I see children playing house house ans daddy mummy, I tell them to go out and play something else while they can. I tell them that they have a lifetime to play house house and live the adult life. The poor children think the adult life is happier and a lot easier and a life free of exams and tests and homework. They think its all about cooking, partying, love and office! If only they knew.
Adulthood is responsibility. Adults have to be places, do things, earn a living, and pay the rent.  Everyday is an exam, a test that you must most certainly ace. Its not just you, you are responsible for all those that surround you,  all those whose lives are a part of yours. The scariest part about responsibility is when you screw up and let it slip right through your fingers. There are no weekdays,no weekends. Its just one loooioooooooonnnggggggg neverending day. Unfortunately once you get past the age of braces and training bras, responsibility doesn’t go away. It can’t be avoided. Either someone makes us face it or we suffer the consequences. And still adulthood has it’s purpose. I mean the guiltfree shopping, the love, the no parents telling you what to do, the life after the responsiblities… if ever…that’s pretty damn good.

image

Posted in RoMa Chronicles

Love Bits-7

They walked side by side, barely touching. Each lost in their own convoluted worlds. Ironically, every thought that flitted through the trapped corners of their minds had one common focal point – the other. As the path they chose seemed to peter out right in front of their eyes, swept left, right and centre by the storm that was ravaging their lives, they were left in its wake helplessly wondering how they even happened on this particular path, that too together.

Brought together by society, bound together by fate, they wondered if love would ever grace their union.

Unknown to them, Love had already intertwined their lives together, at the same time. Their hands just needed to inch a little closer. Their hearts, a little more giving. They need to learn to weather it together, to accept the other’s support. The perfect ending, already deigned in the minds of higher beings, is them finding the boat of togetherness and the oars of companionship.

To part ways in the middle of the storm was not what was written for them, for they have tasted what it feels like, known what it could be like. And neither would ever feel or be complete without the other ever again.

Posted in close to heart

Not(e) in the mood-26

So I am super tensed and apprehensive and all those negative adjectives you can think of when you say future. And its raining again. And so I am in of those questioning moods! Again!

Why is it that we always choose what is not good for us?

Why do forbidden things beckon us to them like SRK to Karan Johar movies?

Why can’t people follow instructions?

Why do people take so much time to select a candidate for a job?!

Why cant people stick to whats written on paper!?

Why do people get so finicky about religion and caste and sub caste?

Why do we prod the hornet’s nest if only to see how painful the sting can be?

Why do we touch the flame of a candle even though we have been taught that fire burns?

Why do we load up on Lays and Pringles even though we know it’s crappy?

Why do people(their stand basically) change according to situations?

Why do we justify our lack of drive with the excuse of taking the ‘less trodden path’?

Why are we so quick to judge?

Why don’t we ever let go when we shouldn’t hold on and hold on when we should let go?

Why do we get jealous when a loved one gets something good in life?

Why does the car have a speedometer(thats wat its called no?) upto 220 I think when normal people go only till 140?

Why do we bitch about things we have no control over?

Why do we try so hard to impress?

Why is it sometimes very difficult to write, to listen and to undersand?

Why don’t we care enough about more people?

Why do we experience un-abandoned glee in taking advantage of those below?

Why do we love so deeply and hate so fiercely?

Why do we refuse to listen and insist on talking?

Why do we derive all-encompassing smugness from proving people wrong?

Why do we argue about pointless shit?

Why do we hog like pigs and then complain about those love handles and beer bellies?

Why do people smoke n drink in excess, knowing that they’ll get killed eventually?

Why do we like seeing money burn? (metaphorically, of course)

Why do we follow the herd?

Why do we love take-outs and not cook-ins?

Why do the little drops of rain make us dreamy?

Why does that toothless baby with an apology of a smile make our insides become coarse potato mash?

Why do our fathers’ invoke an unfailing sense of security?

Why is that ‘ghar ka khana’ can never replace the most opulent chinese gourmets?

Why do we have an ever-persistent hopefulness of winning the lottery?

Why do we count the days down to our birthdays?

Why is childhood the most cherished part of our lives?

Why does out heart do a teeny somersault when we see our names on a privileged list?

Why do we not let go of hatred and jealousy?

Why do we blame other people for our unfulfilled desires?

Why do we exist and not live?

Because we are human. And imperfectly so.
Posted in m@dness

Just how would we know!?

Its raining here in DXB :). And you know my everlasting romance with it, so here I am in one of my introspective moods while watching it from the “place”.

 “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

This quote from Forrest Gump has always been the tagline of my life. People who take quick decisions always amaze me. Taking decisions have always been a huge task for me. From chosing a dress, deciding which restaurant to eat to all the major milestone decisions, theres’s always stress and time involved! I mean how will we know that the decisions that are taken (the ones that matter anyway) are the right ones?! What if your life changes with that one decision!

For example, deciding to move to a foreign land on a permanent visa after years of wondering whats it like to live outside the country one is born in (and quitting a perfectly stable, well-paying and permanent post) knowing that there is no job in waiting and knowing that years of experience will be thrown aside and career has to be started from scratch and nobody even remotely close to family or friends. How do we know if it is the right decision to actually live the dream?!

Or deciding to pursue something that’s nowhere in our scheme of life. Change our whole lives based on a hunch that plan A might just be better than plan B; how do we know that plan B is what we are supposed to be doing in the first place?!

Or get married. How do we know that this is the person we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives with? How do we know that we’ll have the same romance, beautiful and lasting beyond death, which our grandparents have? How do we know that it is not the biggest miscalculation that we ever made? Personally, I had a tough time at this one!

Or deciding whether to put down your paper at the office. With a job that isnt what they offered on paper and a salary that is way below what was told and with interview calls coming. How do you know if you should take a risk and just quit and attend interviews or hold on to this company and let go of opportunities!

Or how do we decide to leave behind family and friends when they need us the most, just because we think we can do more for them by leaving than staying and know that is what we are meant to do, rather than be with them?  How can we be sure that we are doing what God wants us to; what he has written for us??

I guess,the truth is, we CAN’T know. We just have to take a deep breath,  do it and get it over wit and more importantly, live with it afterward. If we are lucky and have been true to our conscience, the happiness comes. Otherwise, god help you!

Until then thank god for choices! Yes, I am sulking because of the options and decisions I have to take because of the choices but have you wondered what life would have been without those options or choices?!

P.S- The place happens to be my workstation! Don’t tell 🙂

Posted in m@dness

Rambling-8

To dream of a world where nothing ever went wrong, no relationships ever went sour, and things happened so smoothly that at least I didn’t have to bother about damage control. Is. Stupid.

To get depressed on realising every time that that ideal world does not exist. Is. Fatal.

Will I learn?Ever?

Posted in RoMa Chronicles

Happily Married- for a month

We celebrate a month of our marriage today! Ro and I!We!Us! Exactly a month ago, we got married. How time flies. Its strange too, a month and I still dont feel married. Thats in a good way! I havent changed. He hasnt let me. Maybe I have become a tad bit responsible and a little less talkative but I seem to be getting more resilient these days. So as I watched the Internet guy make my home a wifi zone, I thoought this should be my first post from my zone, dedicated to my man. Its funny, I always thought married couples were complicated. I was wrong. Its fun. Marriage is fun and you know you are happily married….

… when he laughs at the jokes she cracks, even the ones she doesn’t find funny

…when see you soon becomes that one thing she simply loves typing

… when she is doing experimental, creative cooking and he says it is yummy

…when she says good morning with a happy and satisfied face and really means it

… when she goes hyper over the silliest things and all he does is listen. Intently. That’s all she needed in the first place

… when right after a day of work and 2 hours in the traffic,he drives 300 km just to take her to a place that she had mentioned she wanted to see and herself forgot about it.

… stupid, baseless arguments. Anywhere. Home, elevators, cars, parking lots, airports. And feeling very stupid about them later.

… when he downloads all seasons of Grey’s Anatomy just for her to see, if ever she gets bored.

… when she sings to him and he falls asleep smiling

… when her feet finds  his beneathe the comforter at night, even after another nonsensical fight

… when he spends precious morning minutes explaining routes to the city and then says he will come and pick her up.

… when opening the door for him when he returns from work becomes the best time of her day

… eating cheap chinese and feeling like it was the best dinner ever

… when he gulps down that black coffee she made with a smile and then asking her to  make sure she puts sugar in the cup the next time

… finding out that the one place where she can really be herself, with all her hits and misses, is in those hugs he gives her  everyday

… discovering the joy of being in the kitchen together

… wondering why tickets have suddenly started costing twice of what they used to 😉

…making budget cuts and realising that some things are so useless! Like hand cream, face cream, leg cream. Thats why they have one body lotion na!

… when he pretends that she is the boss, and she revels in the glory of her recent promotion 😛

… learning to put his white shirts separately in the washing machine so they don’t end up pink 🙂

…hiding his once blue shirt and praying that he forgets about it!

… sharing dreams. Career, family, children – life

… rediscovering the good things in life they had recently forgotten. Like ice cream!

…when he eats ice cream for 1dhm so that she can have her 8 dhm galaxy ice cream:(

… financial planning. A lot of it!

… when he  learns to live with a female 😛

… unsolicited advice/ feedback. On everything starting from the amount of oil and jeera in food to her blog posts

… when she wakes up in the middle of the night and listens to his quiet snoring, looks at his childlike innocence and then falls asleep with a smile on her face

… everything that shared smiles can mean

… when he launches into one of his drunken ramblings and  she falls off the chair laughing and wondering how someone can be so sane and so, so mad at the same time

… finding this little place with beige walls and one balcony many months ago, and making a home out of it.

… the smell of morning coffee

… when he wonders why the bathroom in his one time bachelor pad has suddenly been smelling a tropical haven

… going grocery shopping together, and for some strange reason, laughing through the fact that one whole cover went missing

… when his car becomes “their” and yet the gyaan on banging the car door too hard never stops

… a little bit of knowing and a lot of discovering

… the camaraderie, the friendship, this knowledge that they are growing up together, and that, many years from now, they will grow old together and will have a history of their own

… this comfortable, effortless, mad,everyday love..

Here’s to us! To a month of mad mad married life and to many many many more to come.

 

Posted in close to heart

Happy Blogoversary!!!

6 years, 470 posts and 141 followers. 6 years of writing random nothings. 6 years of fetishes, failures, heartbreaks, and eyesores. Of psychology, philosophy, men and friends, hangovers, complete-lack-of-social-life, first job, HR philosophy, family, unbelievably stupid arranged marriage matches, and then that one perfect match, falling in love, enroute marriage, changing jobs, changing cities. My blogs have seen it all. 6 years of my life are documented in various blogs, phase by phase, trip by trip, song by song, book by book. I don’t think any of this is ever going to be of any consequence to anyone except me. But then I started blogging for myself, didn’t I? I guess that is why this sustained interest even after all these years. There is nothing else I have stuck with for so long. Nothing except real people, albeit very few.

I am reproducing two posts from my first month of blogging. In italics is the old me talking.

-beginning of ancient posts-

The first post ever –

Then – 

wel its jus the begining of a gr8 journey…well this is jus about me me n oly me!for all those who think this is a f***ed up blog, am goin to keep it the way i wanna keep it n every1 else can jus get used to it…if people dont like ma blog or me,well…tough beans!!its a free country and i don need anyone’s permission to b the way i want or to write i want..this is how i am n wil b..take it or leave it!n oh this is jus the start!!!

And-
I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes. Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.”
Back to now-
Ha. Nothing has changed except my love for writing! I am still obsessed with myself 🙂 but yeah the regulars who have followed me for a long time now says my writing has improved. So, maybe I will end up writing a book after all. On that note, Happy Anniversary to my writing and Happy Birthday dear Verisimilitude 🙂
Those of you who simply adore the blog and want to send gifts to it, please let me know! I shall figure some way of getting it here 😉
Thank you for loving us.