Corona Chronicles · Life

Now and then

Thanks to COVID-19, we have found ourselves in a pickle. Squashed at home, adjusting, adapting, remembering the pre-Corona days with plenty of time to do all the stuff we always wanted to.

So pickling is one of the activities done with a gusto these days.

Homemade Dalle Chili Pickle. Red hot cherry peppers from Northeast India.
Homemade Dalle Chili Pickle. Red hot, eat at your own risk.   

My work place changed. I learnt what it was to work from home. My sprawling classroom of the school became a desk in the corner of my room. A laptop with a charging cable snaking underneath the chair, a white board precariously balanced on an armchair and piles of books stacked by the side. Welcome to my workstation!

I log in daily, punctually to the second. Can’t afford to dawdle like earlier times to say ‘hi’ or ‘hang on’. In fact there is deathly silence in the room, the family is banished. Tiny windows with tiny people pop up immediately. We talk, we write, we argue but we don’t fight. This is as real as a classroom can be. So is my panic when I find myself out of my virtual classroom suddenly.

Connectivity issues, sigh!

Then there is this little matter of how a sneeze or a scratchy throat puts me in a tizzy these days. Out comes the thermometer, the oximeter, the hot soups. Have to be careful when you live in a family where the oldest is almost 90. A trip outside the gates is like embarking on a quest; we the knights in our virus proof mask, faceless, distant and dauntless.

When the cabin fever set in, we go on a ‘perfectly social yet distant from the crowd‘ activity. A picnic!

Splashing in a stream during family picnic
Splashing in the sun.

I will not deny that it is tough to find an isolated spot when you live in a country of a billion and everyone has the same idea but you persevere. In our case, we walk a long way but it is worth it. Nothing can be as blissful as dipping your toes in an icy stream while the sun warms up your shoulders. Splashes and shrieks are complimentary.

Also the best thing to come out of this Corona trouble was to have my scattered family together in the nest after a long time. My fledglings flew away to college and they were back when lockdown-1 was imposed. Next week, the older one will be gone again. Shopping essentials now include face shield, gloves, sanitizer bottles, dozens of masks. Namkeen and cakes which were a priority are at the bottom of the list.

I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

J.R.R. Tolkien
Rows of masks fluttering on a line against the blue sky.
“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”

We are adapting.

Counting my blessings and thinking happy thoughts. Here and now.

Lens-Artists Challenge : Now and then

13 thoughts on “Now and then

  1. ‘tiny windows with tiny people’ & ‘splashes & shrieks are complimentary’ are 2 of the gems that I could live in those moments.. yes ‘hang on’ needn’t be spoken either , what with connectivity taking that personally!
    A good piece , a nice read & a true reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t stop smiling reading your comments, Pratibha. Online classes and ‘hang’ together are a terrifying option. You connected the dots better πŸ™‚ Thank you for the appreciation.

      Like

  2. Yep! Adapting and getting on with things, slowing down a lot in my case, getting up later in the day and going to bed later at night (I’m retired so can do this), realising that life is for living and enjoying. On a quite different note, love your picture of the chilli pickle but sadly, I can’t eat them! We have a chilli farm nearby and I love going to the farm shop and just looking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never did mention but staying in bed longer is the best part of ‘work from home’. I know it will be tough to transition back once things become ‘normal’.
      As for the chilli pickle, I can’t eat either but the men of the family love it. How are the chillies at the farm, Mari? I am curious for in India we have a variety. This one is commonly found in the northeast part of the country.
      On another note Mari, I’m unable to access your blog. It says deleted. Please guide.

      Like

    1. Oh yes! Teachers, students and their parents, all suddenly thrust into this new world of learning. I suppose, this has been the biggest after effect of the pandemic.
      To think last year, we didn’t want the kids to be in front of the screen. Now we egg them to do the reverse.
      Thank you Amy for commenting. Writing about ‘now and then’ makes me appreciate all that we have. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A very powerful post Sheetal – I felt like I was right beside you experiencing the things you describe. Wonderful writing. I loved the Tolkien quote, so perfect for these times. And your masks floating in the wind are perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your words are like vitamins to my blogging spirit, Tina. Thank you for always being so kind. I’m so happy I found your blog for it opens to a world so different from mine. Someday I hope to be an intrepid traveller like you and click those pictures I swoon over. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Going out very important these days, we are doing this regularly since the pandemic began in March with the 1st lockdown, right now a 2nd lockdown but more lighter here in Germany. Actually wandering the only pleasure, but even in the countryside sometimes too many people with the same kind of ambition and idea. But giving up no solution, light at the end of the tunnel to come ….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t have said it better. We need to be hopeful and perhaps that’s why these days newspapers and news channels in India are focused on vaccine updates.
      Thank you so much for responding to my post, Ulli. Have an awesome weekend, wandering . 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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