And then there was lockdown. Who would have thought that me, who would fly every other month to another city, country, continent, would be stuck in her own home. Yeah, after around 25 years of marriage, it feels just that. Along with an equally old husband and an adult kid.
I have been perpetually tired of being told not to do something (করোনা as spoken in Bangla). So I decided, now I am going to talk of Corona, and have everyone get bored to death. Speaking of which, what is the latest stats like? Everyone is suddenly a statistical analyst and mathematician and probability guru (oh they call them wisdom consultant now) who know exactly what the graphs look like, what the phases should be, and how to flatten the curve, doesn’t matter we still prefer curvaceous options to flattened ones. I mean, how does it really help me to know the curve theory- an upward swing most definitely- especially in the gastric region, burrp, since one is perpetually hungry at home.
The grey cells are working extra at creativity, I am forever creating new recipes (most will be looked upon with distain and like- can we order from outside, anything but your cooking, mom!), or discovering new ways of reducing the number of utensils that need to be washed- you know eating straight out of the pot in which the cooking happened – that is what one pot meal is meant for, right- (no, no, don’t go there, there are pots and then there is the pot). How to use fingers in lieu of spoons. How to get away with cleaning home once a week. And how to avoid a brewing fight between three utterly frustrated people vying for the solitary relaxing chair. See the depths to which I have sunk, with imagination stuck at pots and dishes.
When this whole funda started about working from remote, I was quite delighted. Ah, to be able to avoid the traffic for a few days, gain back those couple of hours to and from office (little did I know the actual gain would be a few kilos). Maybe I can join that yoga class finally. And walk I definitely must- at least 5 kms a day and get back into shape (round was not the shape in my mind then). All quite noble thoughts and ideas. I will have all the time in the world. Maybe also write the next bestseller. The stark reality of the situation had yet to hit.
And then the noisy Sunday happened (I have been warned- don’t call it noisy, clapping is not noise, it is motivation- yup, I do agree). So – as the Sun rose on the motivating Sunday, the maid fell- I mean not really, but into a slumber of “Bhabhi, I can’t come today, we need to clap”. No issues, Sunday is one day, I can manage, I thought self-righteously. And manage I did with a lot of culinary delights appeasing the palate. And then after the cacophony and jingles, came the lockdown. And all hell broke loose (maybe the sound waves were responsible).
Week 1 was, continuing from the previous day euphoria, Oh I will manage. But somehow the days seem to stretch, work expanded to fill all the time, whatever Murphy said turned true, before you could blink it was evening. The routine just became – make breakfast, office work, make lunch, more office work, make dinner, even more office work, with in between time slots for other mundane stuff like eating and cleaning the home.
The next week was decidedly less ambitious. One curry was enough for the three of us, lentils was merely an accompaniment that can be replaced by curd. Bread does not need to be toasted, why does milk need boiling? Work distribution started in earnest. The bad mummy and bad spouse in me woke up and devised a devious scheme that ensured my husband would no longer sit idle and at least spend one hour a day less on whatsapp. My vicious and cruel intentions included my son, who had to do a few chores too, complain if you must, but just do it. Ignoring the fact that I can do whatever it is better, parking the ego in the closet, think of the ROI, saving the 10 minutes from doing another chore is priority number 1.
Self- righteousness at its peak. Netizens remind us we should have gone back to our roots, how much better the environment is, how you can see Pluto, the last planet, if you squint a little; folks are creating traditional recipes religiously, for want of a chef (and unless you put it on social media, it isn’t complete). Every smart person in the world is getting better at whatever it is they do, and they have to tell the world and disrupt the limited peace of poor old me (need to give them a piece of my mind), teaching and preaching, you must come out of lockdown with a new skill! Online classes, oh the mouthwatering recipes, the challenges, Am I the only one who is seriously tired of the information overload pushed down my throat? Really, the only skill I seem to be learning is how to delegate more work to the unsuspecting mortals at home. I must be getting better by the day as the husband has started volunteering for tasks too.
And then my husband decided (to be completely honest, I decided for him), that he would take the bold step of removing all his hair on the head. It is important to be location specific here. And then I finally learnt a new skill, the art of using trimmers and razors on a round, sometimes uneven surface, and removing the sparse population of hair on his head. I am happy I did quite well in fact, just made a couple of nicks where blood spouted. Not too bad for a first timer.
With all the heinous hair-raising experience behind me, I have been giving broad hints to my son as well, but he refused to acknowledge it. His hair and beard are all over the place and he keeps giving examples of one celebrity after another in defense – if they can keep long hair, I can too. Is it that he doesn’t trust my deft hands to do the needful or he really wants to look like the wild guy from the wild!
The last straw was when after a few weeks, I decided to take a stroll along the walking trail, and the looks I got along with – madam – it is not allowed, the police are checking. So back home, with
we and Netflix ,
burgers and a drink,
busting stress in the thrillers,
on the couch with the Millers.
Amidst the fast and the furious
Mind it, the situation is hilarious.
So what if it is the lockdown?
I still need to calm down.
Work or no work
I am going berserk!
Fighting with the family
Is what I’d do even normally
Peeved at being @home
with pocha and a broom