The Corona Quarantine

I dreamt of being locked inside my house with my family ever since I saw the chipmunks Chip n’ Dale chomping on nuts and reading books by the fireside while the winter snow painted a white landscape outside their window in the Mickey and Donald series. Walt Disney had impressed upon my young mind that life was to be enjoyed no matter what happens around and how cold and bleak the world may be. Then I happened to see the animated version of ‘the ant and the grasshopper’ story and it was deeply etched on my young mind that we deserve a happy break  after a hard day’s work.
The story of life continued, I grew up, got married and became a mother. And I would tell Shubham that one day we will take a break from everything and enjoy just like Chip and Dale. Many Sundays and other holidays came and went by and so did vacation after vacation but the chance to live a day like the chipmunks never came. Either we would be going somewhere or others would be coming over, weekly chores were to be done, a little drive in the evening and then there was this and that which kept happening and my dream remained, just a dream.
The recent lock down due to the Covid 19 virus was the condition that brought with it the opportunity to live my dream. Everything was closed, monthly grocery was in place and being a sensible lady of the house, I had stocked up a little to last a fortnight.
We had a timetable in place, work till four and the evening is yours. We are not the TV people and a hyperactive media is not for us, besides the people on various WhatsApp groups shared so much info that we preferred staying away from the covidexperts. We lived my dream on 20th and 21st. I told my maid to stay home on 22nd and the day was still spent well. But then the news of infected people grew and a complete lockdown seemed imminent. I told my maid to not come till the situation normalises, and took a quick trip to the bank, to be prepared for any eventuality. The roads were deserted, all shops closed, no veggies and grocery to buy, no public transport plying, the trains halted, police enforcing section 144 and everything looked bleak. The bank had put up a drop box for dropping cheques that needed clearing and would allow only one customer at a time. It also didn’t have enough cash to give to a businessman who needed it to disburse salaries to his labourers. The vegetable hawkers, fruit sellers and daily wage earners were the worst hit with their source of income gone. The private clinics too were closed and I wondered what if there were a medical emergency?
There was no beautiful landscape but only gloom all around even as the lucky ones like me could still live comfortably within the confines of our homes. Yes, there was more time for one another, more time to pursue interests, catch up with friends, introspect, clean that cupboard one had long wanted to, picking up again on the interests we just didn’t have time to go back to, more time to read or binge watch the movies. But the picture outside my window was not what I ever imagined to see. And it dawned on me that life could never be as rosy as it appeared in a childhood movie. I painfully realised that life is the biggest lie, and the battles we fight are the mirage that keeps us going. None of it actually matters and we don’t invest in what actually matters.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Amitabh Mathur says:

    Silver screen rarely gives real image… rightly said, yet to discover what actually matters in life.

    Keep writing 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said. Thank you very much.


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