Looking back at the lockdown – The New Indian Express

Posted: March 25, 2021 at 2:34 am

Express News Service

BENGALURU:This week marks one year since the lockdown was first announced, and our lives changed forever. Going by recent history, whenever our benevolent Prime Minister asks us to assemble at 8 PM, it gives me the jitters. Over the years, we were informed about demonetisation, and attacks by Pakistan when our PM chose to address the nation at 8pm. But in March last year, we had a whiff of what was coming. We had heard of the virus, but for some reason, I assumed that it wouldnt affect India or Indians. I cant explain it succinctly, but I always thought viruses favoured the West, much like aliens in Hollywood movies. Until of course, the day we were informed about the lockdown.

This week marks one year of checking out the website worldometers on a daily basis, trying to make sense of statistics and numbers. A year since sanitisers and masks became a part of our daily lives. One year since WhatsApp groups began spewing venom and religious hatred. This week marks one year of assuming that it would all last for a month, and wed go back to living our lives normally.

In the beginning of the lockdown, I looked at it like an extended holiday for the entire world. It was a childhood fantasy coming true. When I was sent back to school after my summer vacations, I would secretly pray to God to cause an epidemic so that we could all be sent home. When this was finally materialising in front of me, I remember being joyous about not sticking to timelines and deadlines. I remember having to step out once in three days to buy groceries, taking me back to life in rural Odisha.

Two entire months of the previous year were dedicated to PUBG. For someone who never plays video games, the lockdown sucked me into the game. It reached a point where I was dreaming of campaigns of strategies in my sleep. While we were all stuck indoors, the game provided a release for me allowed me to scour through digital jungles to fight for survival. I am not one to boast, but I have a feeling if I kept at it, I could have attempted a career as a military advisor!

Its been a year since we all took paycuts, and took stock of what was important in our lives. One year since people walked to their homes, and their homes seemed like a distant utopia that couldnt be reached. One year since the way we look at the world has completely changed, and while the whole world turnedupside down the only constant in my life was thisnewspaper column.

For a year, I wrote about the pandemic in manydifferent ways. Of the columns over the last year, at least 30 must be about the pandemic in some way. Writing a humour column in the midst of a global pandemic made me realise that it is possible to find humour in the little things in life.Amidst all the ups and downs in my life over the last one year, it is this column that gave me a sense of continuum, a feeling of regularity. And for that, I am grateful. Now, if only adirector reads this column and decides to make a movie about my life!

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Looking back at the lockdown - The New Indian Express

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