Tag Archives: #lockdown

Corona Diaries – 14

One fine day towards the end of March, our lane was declared part of ‘containment zone’.

A new form of untouchability we experienced. NO deliveries, no shops were allowed to be kept open, except for chemists and dairies. Even then, the dairies would shut within an hour or two.

The Prarthana Samaj market was forcibly shut down by police, obviously, because a death was reported in Brahman sabha hospital, which is situated in this lane. Imagine, for nearly one month, we got NO fruits, vegetables or groceries. All the names forwarded by family and friends of those who home deliver groceries had a mandatory minimum amount or rupees of purchase.

For the first time I dreaded being left in the lurch by the authorities. Thankfully, my childhood and a school friend bailed me out.

Never before, believe me when I say it, even during the Bombay riots or bomba blasts our market was never shut. This was eerie. Dead pan silence. Police moved around like gangs equipped with batons to ensure no vendor or shop was open.

Corona Diaries -13

I have been trying various experiments to keep myself fit. Climb stairs in my building (which are easy on the knees), Mylo walk video my friend sent, yoga, core building, 8 figure, walk in my passage, walk in the lane, on the pavement below, name it. Then like few other citizens I decided to up on our terrace, which I realised wasn’t safe.

All attempts to sneak out to breathe fresh air and see the skies.

Corona Diaries – 12

Living close to Girgaon Chowpatty, we have grown up going to the beach, nearly every day. After the lockdown was announced, I felt stifled, for not being able to see the Arabian Sea.

I never imagined what it is to feel caged, one of the reasons I do NOT like the concept of pets, is precisely that it is a feeling of being caged.

Small things we take for granted– food, our environs, sea, name it we were denied of enjoying it.

Corona Diaries -10

The lockdown brought new problems and challenges, especially for the poor in India. We have a huge population of migrant workers who were stranded as all work places shut. They were left without food and feared hunger.

I’m our neighborhood, the owner of Café De La Paix, Gustad Irani, was a Samaritan to 10 migrant workers who were stranded in our lane. He cooked for over a dozen people twice a day till early May, 2020.

Corona Virus diaries – 9

I had not hoarded groceries, things or food items. In 2019, after the passing of my parents, there were lots of groceries and things. I was forced to give away because suddenly I had so many things in the house. Worse, in the heavy rains that followed, I was forced to throw out things.

In the first week of March, I realised I was short of a lot of veggies, groceries and basic toiletries. I realised I hadn’t stocked contents for my favourite paani puri and bhel. Then began various experiments.

Corona Diaries -6

Suddenly vehicular movement stopped, few people were seen riding their bikes or scooters. Moreover, literally 1 or 2 cars were visible on the roads. This sudden development was a strong indicator of much stricter norms to follow.

The air had become less polluted, one could enjoy the environs better, trees and plants seem to respond to the clean air, while we humans seem to be grappling with the trauma of lockdown.

Corona Diaries-4

With the shutdown we learnt new terminology and actual forms of social or physical distancing. In India, where already distancing and untouchability existed based on the caste system, many of us objected to the term ‘social distancing’, which in the rest of the world meant keep a distance and do NOT be social, or hug and maintain 6 feet distance.

Now, in this cramped and densely populated city, one cannot even find a foot of a distance. Intruding on one’s body space is commonly witnessed. As soon as the lockdown was announced, the BMC drew geometrical designs on the pavements to ensure citizens followed the protocal and stood away from each other.