Back to Basics: A Quarantine Story by Apurva Mamodiya

The blog post is a part of ‘Prologue’ — a special edition of Creative Writing Workshop by The Open Space Society. All About Jaipur is the digital publishing partner for the workshop.

Reminiscing my childhood memories , my favorite part is self made stories that my Grandpa use to narrate. The delight of hearing the stories that were made out of their own experiences is unmatched with any of the  modern stories of now. The charisma  behind his every story was nothing but the very thought behind it , that is to say, to be self reliant . He loved boasting as to how they used to do every task by themselves and I loved hearing him. It was thrilling to know how they use to climb trees in their quest to search food and how they use to cut trees to assemble wood required to make the meal of the day. It was unconvincing to know how they use to manage every housework by themselves without any house help and how they used to make delicacies that even the glamorous sweet shops fail to offer. The life in quarantine has made us relive their experiences.

When I asked my daughter last weekend “ What will you have for dinner tonight?” . She was ready with her wishlist for the entire week and she did not left any cuisine or any dessert untouched. It had to be.Before quarantine, for us, every weekend getaway would mean having a gala dinner at the newest restaurant in town and Pizza . Her favoritePao Bhaji, Gulab Jamun,etc were a few “Out of home dishes”that were only available in restaurants.Fulfilling her wishes was “next to impossible” owing too Lockdown coupled with limited resources. As rightly said “ Time is the biggest teacher”. The quarantine has indeed made Master chefs in every home.Her taste buds got satiated by the sumptuous home cooked “wishlist”.I wonder will the “weekend outing culture” will continue to be the same after quarantine.

Last evening, in our usual “Chai pe Churcha” session, we, me and my husband,  just realised ,it was the first time that we would have stayed at home for too long, helping each other in minutest to toughest task .It is needless to say, family bond , for us grew much stronger. A family that works together stays together. Perhaps, it is not just Family bond, it is every bond that got revived in these tough times. We realised, how the virtual meetings have gained momento , and through video calls via google meet, zoom , etc, we have get back in touch with friends whom we have not talked to in years. Social distancing has actually reduced ”distances”.

Moreover, it seems to us, there will be a paradigm shift in priorities as a result of Lockdown. I would rather say revival of priorities. In the ancient times, as grandpa told, how they would keep family at first inspite of everything, how they use to strive hard to feed the family even before themselves. In our generation, work got priority over family. I personally , being realised of the fact, life is momentary and we don’t know when is our last day, would give preference to family rather than work. Work is just a part of life, not life itself.

As the discussion got further, my husband being from finance community always bring money into discussion and so he commented , “ I can look through the lens of the new culture. This will be the New Normal. “ Reduced social gatherings will reduce the spending on Birthdays, Weddings, Funerals , and an increase in spending on household essentials. I added to his thought  “Itsour youngest daughter’s first birthday next  month .We had the plans of throwing a big birthday party having all kinds of varied cuisines and inviting each and every known that we could possibly think of , lets make it a small celebration with home made feasts and just a few of us but undoubtedly the most memorable one”.

One of my closed acquaintance , in a discussion, revealed that to fight boredom, he has been playing cards from 10  A.M to 5  P.M .  And the rest of the time, it is either “Ramayana” or some ”Netflix Series”  or “anything else” . To him, Life has come to a halt. The lockdown has been the most unproductive.Every damn morning he has the same question “ What to do now? What

‘s next?”  So, is it this lockdown will make us more Internet savy and less inclined towards mother nature. May be, may not be. According to Telecom Ministry Data , India’s Internet consumption rose by 13% since the nationwide lockdown was put in place. It said the daily average consumption in this period was 9% higher than 282 PB data used on March 21 (the day the janta curfew was announced) and 13% more than March 19, when consumption was 270 PB.

The world will be a changed world. Lets accept the new way of living rather let me say it this way, accept the ancient way of living. Time is the biggest weapon and it can change everything. Soon the dust will settle down and everything will be in its place , both outside our home and inside our hearts. May be, this is how, nature revives and reinvents itself.It is time to learn unlearn and relearn from our ancestors.Life in quarantine has directly and indirectly affected life of me and my closed ones, Its time for you  to reflect how it has impacted you!

— Apurva Mamodiya


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