I was staying with my housemates in Pune when lockdown 1.0 was announced at the end of March. Like many others, I also, could not travel back to my home town. Therefore, I thought to make these days more productive as “ I kept complaining about the monotonous life and not having time to do anything extra”. I decided to make this time more prolific by doing all the things I ever wanted too.
I was working from home. Initially, it was very difficult to manage office work along with household chores (as house helps were also not allowed). But in a week or two, I started managing things and everything got settled. I changed my routine and even started practising yoga followed by meditation. I made sure to have a proper breakfast so that I don’t have to cook again for lunch (yes, I made a habit of skipping lunch).
Adding to this, I started giving time to some of my faded hobbies; like I started reading books, I started taking care of plants, baking different varieties of cakes & chocolates. I even found little interest in cooking, so I made a habit of cooking something good for dinner. I learned varieties of foods item in a month and kept sharing pictures to show off on my family’s Whatsapp group(I know most of us has done this).
Some days, I was very productive while other days, I was too lazy to get out of my bed. I didn’t even realize how first lockdown (21 days) got over. I made good use of all the days. Moreover, to keep the negative thoughts away, I completely avoided watching news channels.
When the lockdown 1.0 was about to over, I got to know about the lockdown 2.0, which was extended till the 3rd of May. Many people felt sad about it. However, I was absolutely okay with staying home. My routine was still the same but, somewhere around my heart started wishing for going home. Since all the commute services were already shut, there was the only option left to travel by road that too after following a long procedure. Travelling by road would take so much time and could be very risky. Therefore, my parents wanted me to stay back to avoid any kind of risk and I agreed to them.
When lockdown 2.0 was about to over, my housemates started leaving for their hometowns, this made me a little anxious and want of being with my parents started increasing.
In the next few days, I started feeling monotonous, my routine practices started failing. I started feeling bad and even upset at times for no reason. I started sleeping more. To come out of this situation, I even started practising ‘Reiki Meditation’. But still, there were times in a day, I feel upset about living alone. I desperately wanted to go home. I was staying in a beautiful house with all the privileges. All my family/friends were just a phone call away, they even made sure to keep regular checks on me through call, video call, Whatsapp, etc. I had all the options to pass boredom like binge-watching or listening to the radio. But I just don’t feel like using any of these. I was eagerly waiting for airplanes to start their services so that I can travel and reach home.
And the day came, when the Indian government announced the details of airplanes re-assuming services. I was so excited and quickly booked a ticket from Mumbai. After a day, I came to know that ‘Nisarg-cyclone’ is going to hit Mumbai and near-by regions. Unfortunately, my flight got cancelled. Due to cyclone’s effect, there was power outage in our society for almost 3 days, and even shortage of water for some time. These were creating more annoyance. There were times, I cooked food with the help of a mobile’s flashlight and there were times when my mobile phone was shut down due to discharged battery. Since most people have already left for their hometown, there was silence on the floor I was residing.
I always tried calming my mind and being an optimistic person I always think – “Everything happens for a reason, something good will happen soon” to let go of all negative thoughts.
As days passed, I noticed my mornings and afternoons are quite optimistic. I was mostly occupied with cooking breakfast, cleaning, office work, and other household chores but as soon as evening approaches, I start feeling depressed. Somehow it became difficult for me to sleep at night. I believe I suffered from insomnia.
Being not sure, how long I am going live like this, I started focusing more on writing, reading, sketching but still once in a while I feel upset without any reason. My routine and food habits also started degrading. I was not at all happy staying all alone in the house. I just want to get out of this situation as soon as possible, so I started searching for more alternatives for travelling home.
I spoke to my parents about this, as there was no flight, travelling by road was the only visible option. But travelling close to 900 km, with an unknown cab driver and passengers, was again a challenge. My Dad took this very seriously and enquired every inch of cab drivers and other details. Only after adequate enquiry, he booked a cab for me. I travelled after two days of confirmation and tagged all my plants and necessary stuff along. I, with 4 other fellow passengers started our journey towards my home town on a sunny weekday afternoon.
I did not know anyone of them, it was an offbeat experience for me to travel by road with all unknown peoples.
Our journey started smoothly. By then unlock 1.0 has started and there were so many vehicles on the road, most of the shops and hotels were opened. We all gelled up in the journey, all others were just like me, travelling to their parents taking all possible precautions. We took few stops for dinner and refreshments and our driver sir continued to drive throughout the night.
The next day, early morning; just when the sun was rising, a tyre of our car got punctured and we had to stop on a deserted road. Fortunately, we all got a chance to witness the gorgeous sunrise in the middle of the road with rarely anyone around. The view was extraordinary. By the time the driver sir was changing the tyre, we all took a few pictures of the beautiful rising sun, which looked like a fireball through the crop fields.
After fixing the tyre, we faced another challenge – the car’s fuel tank started leaking. We searched for a mechanic and got it repaired. We wasted so much of our time in all these but learned a desi hack that if the fuel tank gets leakage, we can fix it using the mixture of ‘m-seal and lifebuoy soap’.
This is how our distance of 18 hours covered in almost 25 hours. All of us were very exhausted.
The driver sir dropped me first. I went for a checkup in the nearby hospital and by taking all the precautions, now self-quarantined at home.
This lockdown has taught several things to me. I never got a chance of working from home before. Therefore, I was happy with this decision, but in a little while, I realized it was tough to manage office work along with household chores. There were times I was content but then there were moments, I was gloomy. I always imagined living alone in an apartment. I kept seeing positive experiences of people living alone in their apartment and therefore wanted to experience the same. But, when I got a chance to live alone, even after having all the privileges, I realized it was not my cup of tea.
It is strange how we all get influenced by seeing things & people; but when we individually experience them, we realize what our heart wants!!
To all who are reading this, Stay positive, Stay happy and stay safe !!