Ejecting things like daily commute to work, making small talk with colleagues, eating out, meeting friends over coffee or drinks, and travel from life surely freed up some time in the last few months. Part of it was taken up by the need to accommodate excessive amounts of anxiety, paranoia and hand-washing. The rest of it has been a mash-up of several unrelated things.
Early on, one of my wisdom teeth broke. Half of it is solidly grounded in my jaw. The rest of it had to be binned as I am too old to place teeth under my pillow. There’s also a gaping hole in the part that’s left, so I dig my brush in multiple times a day now. Still waiting to get a dentist’s appointment because my situation doesn’t fall in the ‘urgent’ category.
The work day has two notable highlights worth sharing. My employers were exploring the development of a potential medicine for COVID-19 and I had the privilege of working on the communications plan for it. Unfortunately, between regulators and several other decision-makers, it didn’t progress too far, but that didn’t stop me from nerding out over what happens to the lung when it’s infected and how the medicine’s mode of action could be communicated to the world. The other more personal highlight is my shifting desk that follows the sun. Its original spot is in the corner of a room, near a south-facing window. As the sun charts its path through the day, I carefully shift the desk and all its inhabitants closer to the window too. Typically, by 3pm, the new position is about four feet from the original and our downstairs neighbours get a full view of me
day dreaming talking on video calls.
In the early days, before many fitness classes moved online, and when we were literally only allowed to step outside once a day, I used to go for a run around the block every couple of days. I recorded some of my best runs ever in terms of the distance I could cover without needing to pause. It felt great, but not enough to keep me going. As soon as Julia introduced the Zoom classes, I ditched the run for some thumping of our carpeted floor with zumba and bollywood dancing.
As the days became longer, C and I spent many evenings watching Byomkesh Bakshi on YouTube and playing rammi in bed. We grew up with different rules of the game in our respective homes, which helped mix things up for us through this time because let’s admit it, the game gets boring after three rounds even if you’re winning.
Weekends have been a different kind of challenge for us because before the pandemic I used to have to negotiate with C if I wanted a stay-at-home day. In the last few months I’ve cooked a super special Kerala style egg roast among other things, and painted that wall I mentioned earlier [which everybody luurrrved (virtually)]. I also adopted a new hair care routine. I ditched my fancy shampoo for a more natural vitamin E-based milder one. The conditioner, which my mum always told me was a bad thing, has also been bid adieu along with my curl cream. I’ve instead started using fresh aloe vera in damp hair. But all of this happens after a few hours of leaving in a mix of olive, coconut, castor and vitamin E oils. I’d anyway moved to a weekly wash a few months ago and said goodbye to all heat use over a year ago. The deathly state of my hair has finally started to improve. Keeping fingers crossed for this one!
Time and days have kept ticking along, while this bunch of red roses have frozen in time. They came home one weekend in February and have been on centre stage ever since.
Day 139 today.
Anniversary dinner was great with Italian food delivered at home and C’s jazz playlist playing in the background.
Ah, the early days of India’s lockdown also brought with them some video calls with extended family. Initially I was uber-excited to see everybody after several years and relive their old jokes and quirks. That wore out quite quickly though. I remembered why I never enjoyed visiting them while I lived in Delhi, or why having them over didn’t excite me much either. Thankfully the calls were just a fad for everyone.
Entries in the relationship diary, ‘Coexisting in Corona Times’ have slowed down considerably. When I started it my hope was to simply journal our survival (?) through the lockdown. At that time I didn’t think we’d get mired in this new way of living for the foreseeable future.
Peppered through all of this are assignments I receive from grade 9 students of a school in India. Clearly their teacher has the same name and a similar ID. GDPR aside, I now have insight into English and Computer Science lessons, kids’ skill level, and some innocent but entertaining faux pas. I do my part and let them know that they’ll miss an assessment if they don’t send the email to the correct ID (which I don’t have and some kids are too thick to understand that). One kid even got some tips from me on fixing his graphs’ legends – I know I would not have liked to see his errors if I were RB, the teacher.
Now, how many of my life updates are complete without a mention of an Emergency trip to a hospital? This one involved some serious preparation with gloves, masks, sanitisers, clothes that we knew could immediately be thrown into the washing machine upon return, and so on. It was another looong night at the hospital, involved a fancy and scary af head scan, but thankfully I don’t have brain cancer and was sent back home after a series of exams. I even managed to appreciate the late night sky and fresh air on the way back.
Lately, I’ve enjoyed living with unwaxed arms and legs and happily wearing summer dresses at home because the weather is hot and my husband is a nice man.
Until next time,