Ever since China reported to the WHO of a mysterious pneumonia-like illness spreading amongst its vast population on Dec 31st, 2019 – the world has been in a constant state of upheaval. Then, on Jan 7th, 2020 – this lung jarring illness was finally identified with a name: SARS-CoV-2 medically referred to as Covid-19.
In close to three months of its existence – asCovid-19 made its way around the globe– it has caused widespread chaos and fear in its wake, with thousands of lives hanging in the balance. And as the world retreated into a 2-week lockdown, the news of this deadly virus has syndicated its way into our lives through a number dedicated channels. Be it those unending WhatsApp forwards, un-muted Google alerts, social media, phone calls or your next door neighbor who can’t stop talking about it.
While this has resulted in a ‘man-vs-virus’ war-like scenario, with man on the constant defense, always looking for our next hopeful victory – there is one primal question we forget to ask our fellow comrades: How are YOU personally dealing with it?
Back in my school days, when I didn’t haveconcrete plans with friends and distractions like Netflix, Instagram and YouTube weren’t invented yet, sometimes I’d spend my holidays huddled under a blanket reading for hours at an end.
I’d start reading my book in the morning and I’d get so absorbed in the stories of the lives of the characters that I wouldn’t even realize when the morning turned to evening and the evening turned to night. And, as I sat for those countless hours tethered to my book, beyond the golden glow of my bedside lamp – outside – the air cooled, the sunlight dimmed, traffic jams became thicker and my windows became foggier. On colder days, my mom would surprise me with a mug of hot chocolate and a plate of fried potato smilies.
I haven’t really given much thought to styling my hair for most of my life. When I was a child my mother gave me the ‘fringe cut’ with straight hair at the back. It remained my haircut for years.
The first time I really took charge of styling my hair was in my early adolescence: I grew out the fringe and started to center part my hair. The second time was after graduating school when I got myself the ‘layered cut’. It was the rage. The third time was at the end of Junior College when I started to dislike layers and got myself the ‘Victoria Beckham’ bob.
I’m sitting on a lounge chair overlooking a vast swimming pool. The sun is out but the giant umbrella above me is keeping it at bay. Basking under the cool shade, I slide further down into my chair. My eyes are shut, but somewhere in the distance I can hear a child-like laughter.
I learned early on that I have a bad affliction of not making concrete weekend plans. Usually I’m just lazy, but when I do, it’s mostly a one-on-one with a single individual friend who I can speak to at length about life.
A couple of weekends back, I made exactly such a plan. I reached out to an old friend after nearly 2 years, and to celebrate our union we decided to meet for brunch at quaint little café on a hill on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The location was a mid point between both our houses – symbolic of our mutual excitement to see each another.