After several failed attempts, one cancellation and a reschedule later I received a big grocery order from one of the app-based services. My happiness knew no bounds when I hop skipped jumped to receive the call on the intercom but was beaten to it by the husband who gladly ran downstairs to collect the order. We celebrated that all 15 items on the list were delivered. Smaller accomplishments have been way more fulfilling during this lockdown. Just the other day a friend wanted some old newspapers and I lend her some, at the doorstep which she collected following the social distancing protocol, and she sent a long message at night that she is so happy that her kitchen counter is now way less messy courtesy the old newspapers.

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COVID-19 has taught us to live without a lot of things. Professionally it has taught us that we can work in pyjamas, convert meetings into emails, eat at home seven days in a row, cook with whatever is available and so on. It has also taught us that we are fortunate to be able to continue with our lives and have with us people we can call our own, who will wipe our tears when we are sad. There are millions in this country whose lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic who are jobless and as a result homeless. There are many experiencing loneliness and panic because they are stuck alone and any amount of messaging and video calls and social media cannot cure that feeling. It is not easy to live with the fact that I don’t know when I will next hug my mum.

It has also taught us that we are fortunate to be able to continue with our lives and have with us people we can call our own, who will wipe our tears when we are sad.

Coming out of this pandemic, hopefully, we will have certain policy changes which will ensure that the have nots in the society are better-taken care off, but to have certain personal changes is in our hands.

Life as we knew it is changing rapidly while we have all locked ourselves up in our respective houses. This inability to step out even when you want to is a humbling experience. It is teaching us to value the simple things in life, making us seek happiness in things which money can’t buy. It is teaching us that standing under the blue sky is such a privilege, how breaking into hugs when you see familiar faces is such a luxury. That getting pushed out of the Delhi Metro or being stuck in the Mumbai traffic has its own charm. At bedtime, I count my blessings that all my loved ones are still untouched by the deadly virus. You can call it luck, grace, blessing or simply because they are following the norms of social distancing correctly, but it gives me hope. As soon as we go back to our fast-paced lives, it will be very easy for us to forget that this ever happened. Can we do something to make our realizations more permanent?

It is teaching us that standing under the blue sky is such a privilege, how breaking into hugs when you see familiar faces is such a luxury.

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As we gear up for another fortnight of this indoor life the only thing that can get us going is hope for a better tomorrow. So, what is it that you want to do on the other side of the lockdown? I am not thinking of a holiday. I want to go home. I want to be surrounded by friends and family, eat at my favourite restaurant, give a compliment to each of the staff members who made the experience worthwhile. Walk down my old college campus once more. Go back with my husband to places we frequented as a couple before getting married. Not think twice before lending money to any of the people who work for me, value my neighbours more. I want to meet all the people I know once more and say thank you because you have made me the person I am today.

Picture credit: Paul Skorupskas, Unsplash

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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