New Normal!

Masks, gloves, sanitizer – world’s new normal!

Inspired by Shweta’s Saturday Six Word Story Prompt (6WSP) #77 – June 12, 2021

I have never participated in any contest here on WordPress and this is my first time, I am hoping I have done justice to this amazing initiative by Shweta. It is a really unique way to make writing and interaction on WP exciting and open for all. I hope I am able to participate in more of these and eventually be able to write fiction more accurately 🙂

Upside of the lockdown!

49/100

Firstly, thank you to amazing people who wished me well on my last post and I do feel so much better today. We still have a bit of bodyache and maybe I will share my experience in detail if I feel it might help someone. For today, I want to look at the positive side of this horrible virus because that’s how we feel better. Isn’t the first step to feeling better wanting to feel better? 🙂

So, I was just thinking about what is going on in my life generally and where do I stand (I am not someone who does this very often) and I just thought about how much has changed since March 2020! Life was a whole lot different and honestly I do want that life back, mainly for how carefree we were. I guess this is something everyone of us has gone through at some point since 2020. So let me talk about the positives, what changed for better?

1) I got to see so many sunsets!

If you know me, you would know my love for sunset and sunrise. Before lockdown, I was always working during the time of sunset and on weekends I was either out or sleeping. Thanks to lockdown, I saw so many sunsets and the sky changed to every beautiful color I can imagine 🙂 will always be grateful for this one.

2) I tried to cook!

My mom never really forced me to do anything all my life. She is my big supporter who wants me to do what makes me happy and cooking never makes me happy. Eating food makes me happy and I hardly eat if I cook. However, during lockdown we realized how everyone needs to know basic cooking to be self sufficient. I do enjoy occasional cooking and learnt so much of it in lockdown. Yep, I also tried that trending banana bread.

3) Danced alone to my heart’s content!

I love dancing. I am no pro, just your regular club dance crowd that goes wild on bollywood. Lockdown took away the luxury to dance in club so I decided to turn my room into a club! With just the night light on to give the led effect, I used to dance alone (almost) every Friday night to commemorate the start of weekend and it made me feel so relaxed and happy.

4) Learnt that I was capable of being in a long distance relationship!

This one might seem funny. My boyfriend and I are both from Bombay but we met every weekend and sometimes on weekdays too. For me to know a person just texts are NOT enough and I am not a call person, at all. I cannot be with someone whom I cannot spend my time with, it just would not make sense. Yet, when put to test we did manage it and that still shocks me!

5) I (tried) to organize my room!

I am a lazy person when it comes to organizing but I was so bored that I ended up doing that too! Well, I tried. My mom and grandma were so happy, that really made this worth it. I do want to inculcate this habit of organizing into my daily life. I am pretty good at it, only I don’t do it much!

6) Learnt it is OKAY to not do anything!

With so many people wanting to be productive, trying to achieve all sorts of lockdown goals I was just concentrating on what makes me happy. It took me a long time to be okay with not being productive 100% of time. Doing nothing is fun if it makes you happy and it is absolutely okay. Anyone who judges you for it is a terrible person.

7) Started this blog!

While writing has always been my happy place, my go to, I had stopped blogging. Lockdown got me back to it and also made me start the 100 day writing challenge!!! It has made me happy and keeps me on my toes. I always have something to look forward to. Writing is now a part of my routine and I really enjoy it.

Hah! So not a bad lockdown eh?! I can understand if productivity is different to different people but for me the lockdown has been good. Ofcourse I had down days, mental breakdowns, crying for no reason. I struggled. What’s important is that I got back up and took the new day as a new start. Someday, I will talk about the struggles I faced too. For today, let’s be happy with the good side of it.

What was your positive from this lockdown?

Down but not out!

48/100

Quick one to not break the streak. I got my first vaccine jab yesterday and while my bodyache started in like two hours after the jab, the last 24 hours have been super hard. Constant bodyache, high fever and headaches have been my companion. Even now as I am going to bed, I have a temperature of 100°C and a lot of bodyache. The arm where the syringe was jabbed is sore since yesterday and has become stiff. People who have been jabbed told us that this should be sorted by tomorrow so I am hoping I will feel much better tomorrow. Sorry that this is more of an update than an actual write up.

Would like to leave at a positive thought, first impressions are not everything. I had a very different first impression of someone who is a dear friend of mine now. Ofcourse, we need to adapt and compromise to develop the relation but it’s all very worth it. Sorry for the random thought but it has been in my head for a bit now 🙂

Humanity is not trendy!

18/100

It’s Sunday, my weekend is almost over and while I expected it to be the happiest time, sadly it was a mix with sadness and anxiety overpowering the happiness.

On Friday night, I was on call with my best friend who was considering to go to a “private party” the next day and I made it absolutely clear that she should not (for obvious reasons). You know I have always believed if you explain things to people logically (which honestly was not even needed as it is pretty obvious), they will understand. This has been a brilliant reality check for me. People will do shit even when you nicely tell them not to. My advise and concern fell on deaf ears. What’s worse? I actually called her the next day because I REALLY needed to speak with her and the phone was “out of network area”. I knew she’d gone to that party. She had her reasons and while everyone is at their own discretion, I don’t think people care when they do something that is illegal or should I say, criminal? Considering the circumstances. If you are out partying in a pandemic, it is illegal and if you come out unscathed it is sheer luck and while very good for you, it still does not change that what you did was shitty.

The gist of it is that someone in their group needed a “mental break” and forced them to go. I’d call this emotional blackmail and would definitely question the said friendship. Is it friendship if you pressurize your “friends” to commit something that is not just illegal but also life threatening? Either my definitions are misplaced or they actually believe in “friends that die with/for each other”. News flash, you won’t die alone and that is the ENTIRE PROBLEM. If this goes haywire, you will be putting others at risk too. Now, how selfish can someone be who does not care about others because they need a “mental break”? If I have to be absolutely honest, the entire situation disgusts me. To add some color, these people have closed ones that have been infected severely with covid. If seeing the impact on people they love did not stop them, what would? Come to think of it, I was naive to have even asked them to not go. Why the fuck would they listen to me when staring at the damn virus taught them nothing? People like these are a problem bigger than covid. Even a small adjustment like “staying the fuck home” is something these privileged people will not do. It is hurtful, stupid, irresponsible and selfish. Who am I kidding? If they can ignore advise, what will this rant do? Naive again.

Lastly, I would really like if people stopped throwing “mental health” as an excuse to do shitty things. You being anxious or needing a mental break DOES NOT HAVE TO COINCIDE with breaking law and risking others. This could have been solved in tons of other ways but no, they chose this with complete knowledge of how wrong they are. If I broke the law, I would not be able to sleep at night. Forget me, I know my family would be anxious for entire 15 days (the risk period to be infected if you go party without a mask) if I went. I could never ever put someone through this because I wanted a break. All your talks of positivity, being nice, caring and keeping things happy are useless if you cannot keep your ass home during a pandemic. What a sad day for humanity!

You are what you think!

6/100

It’s been a tough week and there is so much negativity around us due to covid. Anxiety and other impacts on mental health are more prominent now than they were earlier. I don’t think our generation has ever seen these many deaths and the condition of deaths is such that we cannot be around people to console them either. I think that is the worst part, not having anyone around for support.

Yesterday I was watching “Taare zameen par” and was reminded of the story of Solomon Islands. This story was first mentioned in the book “biology of life” and while there is no scientific fact behind the story, it does make one think and ofcourse the villagers stand by it. For those who do not know, the story says that in Solomon Islands if they want wood from the tree that is too big or thick which makes it impossible for them to cut, then the villagers gather around the tree and curse it, for 30 days, and eventually the tree wilts and dies. Lots of trees are cut daily around the world and yet this practice stands out. To brutally put it, while other trees are murdered this one is forced to commit a suicide. So it all really brings us to buddha’s saying “you are what you think”. If any living being is forced to think or believe they are worst and reminded of it everyday, it is only natural to start believing it.

It is a very scary yet an important story. What my personal takeaway from it is that when things go south, it is very important to be your own judge and believe in yourself. Seek people who support your energy, do things you love and just remember that there is a lot more to life than what others think of you. Life should be led with your own perspective as base. This does not mean ignore feedback or go on being wrong, it means it is okay to introspect but that should not lead to overthinking and over analyzing. Overthinking is the pathway to anxiety and we would not want to be anxious. Choose happiness, even when it is the most hard thing to do, choose it. Current scenario has showed us how tough things can get, count your blessings and be grateful for the comforts we have. Remember that you were in a better position than most when pandemic hit and use this as a motivating factor to lead your life, shunning away the negative thoughts that are stopping you from moving ahead.

Breathe and smile, it is a luxury these days too, breathe.

Flip side of the coin!

5/100

It was just yesterday that I mentioned how we are missing the voices that can do so much to amplify the resources and influence the people in correct direction. Today, let’s flip the coin and see it’s other side.

On the other side we have people who do voice their opinion and are also helping to amplify the resources in best way possible. Here, there are some who are doing the good work with no opinions or additional comments. A simple amplification of needs and the supplies. While there are some who are using their voice to criticize the wrong doings and also to amplify the needs. There could be multiple reasons why someone would be motivated to voice their critical opinion without fear, maybe they cannot stay shut seeing all the suffering, maybe they have been affected personally by it or maybe they thought that we live in a democratic country which allows freedom of speech. If you watch from afar, yes India is a democratic country where we can speak our mind, the closer you dig into it, the more deviation from democracy will be visible.

We are allowed to be democratic until we do not say something that shows badly on our government. It is just a larger version of what happens in indian households where fights or problems are not spoken of publicly and we all portray like we are a happy family because “log kya kahenge” (what will others think of us). Similarly, our government is concerned that what will the world think reading these critical things about them. They are apparantly okay with world seeing 3.5L cases a day (actually could be more severe in number) or so many people dying daily but not with someone saying they did a bad job. One recent example of how India is a conditional democracy (which is a paradox) is how 50+ tweets of different individuals were deleted by twitter. Some suggest they were deleted because they created panic, some suggest it was because they were critical, some suggest they were deleted as information was false. I wonder if those who have speculated incorrectly will face a deletion or a ban too? If the tweets were wrong, why was there no correction done for same? Why were the people not told what went wrong? How is deletion an answer? This is an effective suppression of a voice you don’t like. Oh and government has made themselves legally capable of doing this so there is nothing illegal about what happened.

In a gist, is it a democracy if there are acts and sections in place which can either suppress your voice or cause legal harm to you?

To the good people I know!

4/100

““The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

I am no one to define a good or a bad person, however we will all agree that there come some scenarios where this distinction is as clear as black and white. There is no gray. So is it enough to be good? We did not do the bad deed, we are the good people. Is it okay to not stop the bad? The most common thing that I have seen good people do is “to do nothing at all”.

Personally, my blood boils when things are obviously wrong and I do my best to voice the same, correct people and help in anyway I can. However, I have seen so many people do or say nothing because there is no direct impact on them. The most common and relevant example for this is “apolitical” people. When this politics is killing people, you being apolitical is as good as helping facilitate those deaths. One of the few people I had just started looking upto as an influencer is “Beer Biceps”, Ranveer Allahbadia and was harshly reminded how we should choose our heros wisely. He recently tweeted that a person’s political opinion should not matter to opine about that person and then went on to suggest he is apolitical and that his ideology is “Don’t complain if you cannot do something about it” and he advised how he has brought change. So, homeless people should not complain because they cannot do anything about their poverty? Muslims should not complain because obviously their religion cannot be changed? What exactly does “don’t complain if you cannot change” mean here? To me, it only reeks of privilege where this person who has access to everything easily came to top and is now shitting on people beneath him. He is someone whom so many people look upto and he can use this to INFLUENCE people in the right way but hey, his job description says fitness so rest is not his responsibility. I am certain he flunked moral science class in school. This is exactly how the evil wins because the good people just sit back and watch the world burn.

This is just one example, right now tons of bollywood celebrities, rich people and basically the most privileged section of society is either running away, hiding or vacationing. Is it fair that they receive so much love from common people and when it is time to give back some of it? Is it fair that so many people are still saying or doing NOTHING to voice against problem makers?

To be extremely clear, not common man and not the influencers, no one should have to step up and assist someone who is dying or about to die because of covid. It’s someone else’s job. Common man is stepping up because authorities are NOT doing their job. When you see deaths around you and you have the power to make the difference but you choose to close your eyes because that’s convenient then you are letting the evil win and you are just as bad.

Cannot survive alone!

3/100

Can I start by saying that when I opened the blog post to write a new one I was so excited that I am doing a third one already, I MADE IT TO THREE!! However, as soon as I typed 3/100 I realized I have a LONG way to go still, it’s just three!

Anyway, what are your thoughts about meeting people and spending time with them? Friends, family or colleagues. I mean how does the prospect make you feel? For me it depends on situation, meeting immediate family and best/close friends is always a joyful event that I look upto but meeting distant relatives or colleagues just causes anxiety. To add to this, I think covid has changed something related to this aspect inside me. From looking forward to meeting people I love, now I yearn it. I know we keep in touch digitally and how it is the need of the hour to stay put at home but not being able to feel warmth of people we love, do baseless talks, jokes or just be in silence around friends and family is a joy that has been snatched due to covid. In bigger scheme of things, it is a very small price to pay for human life I agree but does not mean it hurts less.

I am particularly touchy about this today because a couple of friends who stay near us dropped in to say hello and I felt so nice. There was nothing out of the ordinary that happened, we just ate, chilled, joked and that’s that. Yet, it made me exceptionally happy that I saw another human, other than my husband (for him, I, anyway, am thankful but this just hit different bro). I know it will take a lot of time for things to get back to “normal”, we have been told this is the new “normal” but can universe just allow us these small joys every now and then without causing anyone any harm? Surely, that is not too much I ask.

Too close to home!

2/100

I have already been struggling looking at all the misery in India due to second wave of covid. Whilst am trying to help people, it is not systematic and sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But you do what you can, so I am trying. What comes with it though is realizing how many people are suffering, how uncertain life is and how inadequate we, as country, are medically and structurally. While this is harrowing enough, things got too personal this evening. My friend’s mom is hospitalized and although she is doing better, the hospital has made us aware of shortage of one of the medicines she needs. Since then we have been trying to source this medicine with no luck. To imagine that a big portion of my country is going through this is simply terrifying.

There is no other thought in my head except that I need to help in everyway possible. If you heard my voice on call now, you would hear panic, hurt, fear and despair. I am scared and numb at same time. I am praying that my next lead pans out, praying she gets better. Lot of prayers and positivity for her. However, this is not how it is suppose to be for anyone. This thought is always there nagging at the back of my mind fighting with another thought that we cannot change what has already happened and we just need to work to fix the current situation.

While I continue this internal war, all I want is safety and health for my loved ones. Whoever reads this, please pray for health and safety of those affected.