The nationwide lockdown, announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, due to the Covid-19 crisis in India has been the strictest in the world. The Indian middle-class has largely worked from home in this period, while balancing household chores. The lockdown also meant an end to social activities — such as eating out, going to the theatre, or meeting friends. The lockdown, which was scheduled to end on 3 May, was extended by two weeks Friday.
ThePrint asks: What were you planning to do post-lockdown and how will you spend two more weeks?
I want to visit the Delhi Zoo when this ends. The lockdown has felt like a cage so far
Senior video producer, ThePrint
The first thing I was planning to do, before the lockdown was extended, was to visit the Delhi zoo. I know it seems strange but there’s a larger metaphor here.
I feel the lockdown and the self-isolation exercise has, first and foremost, been a forfeiture of our freedoms. We’ve almost been caged since 25 March. I find myself often wondering if this is what animals go through in captivity.
On many days, I have been a tiger filled with anger and confusion. Some times, a monkey that’s restless or mischievous, or a bear, constantly hungry and lazing around. But on the whole, I’ve felt like a bird, yearning to soar the skies.
With the extension of the lockdown, the only way to redeem my desire would be to watch these animals on-screen — BBC Earth, Discovery and Animal Planet, as well as viral videos on Instagram, Reddit and Twitter. I also want to binge-watch shows like Tiger King. We humans often belittle the rest of the animal kingdom, but, perhaps, now we find ourselves envious of their freedom.
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I will read books for the rest of the lockdown period, and be thankful for food on my plate
Lockdown has humbled me and taught me the value of food. I realised that food is a luxury that not everyone can afford. It pained me to see the pictures of hungry migrant labourers waiting in line for dal-chawal. I also had to survive the lockdown by sometimes eating bread and butter, or just fruit. This made me feel privileged over the few times I could eat delicious meals.
The other thing that comes to my mind when I think about post-lockdown life is Triveni Terrace Cafe at Mandi House. I used to meet my friends and sources for stories for coffee there. In fact, Triveni Cafe was the last restaurant that I visited before the lockdown and had a great lunch. The coffee and food are made with love and compassion. The first thing I will do after the lockdown ends is go back, enjoy a cup of coffee and thank the hardworking staff.
But I have made up my mind that even if the lockdown extends to June or July, I will survive reading books. I have a lot of books to finish on Bihar.
I will uninstall Netflix and other streaming apps once the lockdown ends
I’ll uninstall Netflix and all other streaming apps once the lockdown is over. Even though I am not into binge-watching and don’t get time for it, it has been the only source of entertainment during the over 40-day lockdown. So, my brain is associating all entertainment with binge-watching.
If this trend isn’t reversed, I will no longer find other things entertaining in my life. At the same time, the trend cannot be reversed during the lockdown, because there isn’t much else to do, but it can be mitigated.
So, for the next two weeks, until the lockdown ends, I’ll gradually reduce the time I spend binge-watching. I will do it for the sake of my mental health even if it means voluntarily asking for more work from office. Many people will be in the same position, and I’ll be sharing my experience with others to help them through this.
I can’t wait to smell coffee at a cafe again. Until then, I will enjoy the lockdown silence
I can’t wait for the lockdown to end so that I can take in the aroma of fresh coffee beans upon entering a cafe, or strap on my shoes to go for a run in the park where older men and women gather to do some laughter yoga. I quite miss the sound of their forced ‘ha-ha-ha’, which turn into childish giggles whenever they exchange a look with a friend.
These five weeks have been full of silences, my earphones have stopped working and my family doesn’t really like my taste in music. For the first time in a while, I’ve let my mind be vacant, so the next two weeks, I plan to enjoy this silence that I’ve just gotten comfortable with a little more — it’s making me treasure the tiny little things that fill my day.
The next two weeks, I’m going to take full advantage of the privilege of having a roof over my head, food on my plate and wifi in my house. Until I can run again, I’m trying Zumba and dancing. Top recommendations — Zumba by Patrick and Fitness Marshall on Youtube.
By Pia Krishnankutty, journalist at ThePrint
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