Staying @Home

Busy as busy can be, I still have no time – like it always has been!

We are on the 14th day of a nation-wide lockdown in India in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown was announced suddenly, there was hardly any time to plan and think. It was a desperate situation. We didn’t have a choice. The virus wouldn’t wait, and we had to slow down its spread. It’s been the world’s largest lockdown, where the 1.3 billion of us have been asked to stay home for 21 days, that took off from March 24. While this was the need of the hour, it has led to several complicated situations. Not surprising though, in the world’s second most populous country and it’s complex and varied demography.

It’s a Tuesday. A weekday like this would usually revolve around office for people like me. Whether we like it or not, office takes up a large chunk of our day and thereby what we do for a living defines a large part of our lives. Most of the people in my circle have suddenly found themselves in a work-from-home situation, especially those from the corporate sector. While some are used to that culture, many aren’t. Then, there are some others, especially those working in the government sector, who are grounded at home with no work at all. Both these groups are grappling with their newfound and unusual situations. Initially, there was a sense of excitement of being at home, even with the Covid-19 gloom hanging in the air. That is now slowly giving way to boredom and restlessness.

Many are struggling hard as they juggle their office work, house work, children, and family. This isn’t easy, being used to the assistance of maids and cooks. Drawing the boundary between work and home while being at home is a difficult task. Then, there are others who are making good use of their free time by investing on things that nourish their souls. Some are sketching and painting; some singing and playing musical instruments; some designing creative videos and so on. A couple of them even displayed hidden talents that I that we never knew existed.

Amid all of this I am pretty much where I always was – lockdown or no lockdown. There aren’t any drastic changes in my life.

When I am in Bangalore, I am mostly holed up in my home. I have been working from home for nearly 4 years now. I am not required to go to office. Though, I did go once or twice a week but even that was at my discretion and sometimes I wouldn’t step out for an entire week. Neither my manager nor my team bothers about my whereabouts, as long as work gets done. So, my weekdays haven’t changed at all.

On weekends, the crowd and the traffic were deterrent enough to contain me in my little nest, except those occasional meeting with friends. However, I used to have people visiting me, which would happen quite often than less. I would also step out for grocery and other essential household items as I always preferred buying from the local market rather than online markets. Since I live alone, such outings were not in plenty. It wasn’t required.

There’s only thing that is significantly different now. There’s no travel, no outing, no planning for the same. Ironically, I am not missing them at all. Not just yet.

And, as always, I still struggle to keep pace with time. I just have no clue where all the time goes! Or maybe I do. The social butterfly that I am, even though I stay at home most of the time. No, not social media but connecting with friends and family over phone calls and WhatsApp messaging. And that does eat up a lot of my time.