13th March - I took an unscheduled flight home. Greeted with warmth, I settled into my nest in the northeast corner of the country. A couple of days later, COVID -19 was declared a pandemic and on 24th March our country went into lockdown. On 13th June, I would have completed three months in this house, far away from the world. Since 2004 this is the first time that I have stayed home for such a long period at once (I have been in a hostel all this while). It has its pros & cons. I began making a list when all this started to note every new thing I learnt, just a way to encourage myself - a ticket of reassurance. Having lived away from home for 15 years it wasn’t really comfortable. My father’s screams woke me up at 6:30 every morning, well he doesn’t need to scream anymore - my internal alarm has been reset now to 6:30. My mother no longer needs to drop three texts and two missed calls for my call back, I ‘bother’ (her words not mine) her too much now. I regretted the person I had become, one that avoided home & family, but this long-overdue and unplanned stay changed a lot of it. Using screens isn’t allowed in my home, we have time bars set, it’s a strict household. Initially, I found this very difficult considering the little time we got was also botched by bad reception but then this led me, us to do things we normally wouldn’t. Read, write or play together as a family. It’s been 73 days since I left this house and there are many things that have been difficult like maintaining relationships that matter. All our relationships have been thrown into an unprecedented state of long-distance and suddenly all the stereotypes have come true. There have been many lonely nights here, difficult ones, with rain pouring down. Innumerable nights were the news has left us questioning life - deaths, crashes, cyclones, leaks, earthquakes and racism but you are not alone, we are not alone. Humanity has won bigger battles and will win this one too, sometimes I question the cost of it all but then let go - I read this somewhere, that until Tarzan doesn’t let go of the previous branch he can’t swing to the next one. The world has become a wild, unpredicted adventure and the only away through it is together, by swinging to the next step.
The Basket Case
The Basket Case is an initiative for people to share their experiences in an attempt to reconnect with themselves and connect with others. We plan to do this through various themed series. Yours Truly" is a series of personal accounts of significant experiences that occurred during the quarantine period. This series is meant to be a cathartic experience and to allow others in a similar situation to understand that they're not alone.