As I settle down to write about the lockdown an insistent sparrow comes knocking on my windowpane. Not shy of people, of being in close proximity to the built environment and particularly asking for nothing, it came by to say a quick hello stare at my screen and went its way. As I stay inside the cage this intelligent, social bird came by to say a quick hello and probably cheer me up a bit. Staying indoors is a lot like staying in the cage, in a demarcated space with family in close quarters and friends just a phone call away. This Lockdown has only made me grow terribly fonder of my walks at Lalbagh, pumping music at a brand new hotspot, in-person catching up sessions with my friends, dressing up for meetings, travelling across the globe on yet another adventure, delighting in brownies from Labonel or treating myself to a full-course Indo-Chinese meal at my favorite restaurant that dishes out piping dimsums, going swimming in the cool blue waters of the Bangalore Club, swimming in the salty waters of God-knows where my next destination could have been or simply stepping out for a spa and shopping weekend with my bestie. Better yet, send my little hero to play school for a couple of hours as I catch my breath or dash out a drawing is a thing of the past. As I sit down to entertain him with activities after activities I feel the need to get out, step out, refresh my mind and get a life! No amount of jumping jacks or split jumps seem to help, the endorphins are just don’t do what a walk in the park could effortlessly do, or a swim in the sea could easily achieve! The wise find happiness in what they have, contentment in what they receive, but this is not a question of happiness, it is a question of more happiness.
The only silver lining, well turns out that there are silver linings in everything, is that I am ever so grateful for the world outside. The Lock-down hours and staying indoors have made me look inwards constantly. And a journey into the should-haves, could haves, would haves is so unnecessary. I’d rather jump on a plane and make a journey to a place of wonder. Meditation is a new revelation, and the hours on concentrating on the breath there is peace, quiet and a subtle joy that is worth encapsulating into daily existence. Life’s distractions, although a tad plenty, are what keep the restless going I surmise, the journeys to inexplicable destinations, the travels to unknown lands, researching about a place, its architecture, getting there and immersing oneself into new worlds, whole new worlds so different and so alike your own. Never one to complain about noisy crowds or of lousy travel times, I could as well immerse myself on the drawing board or on construction sites, better still in nature or pointless shopping escapades. The unlimited family time has definitely been a bonus! That said, blessed are those who love staying home, the home birds, the home-bodys. For no domestic Goddess, for the explorers, the adventurers and the happening happiness seekers this is a cruel life, a caged life. The to-do list lies full, full of things to do at home and for a while done, the zoom calls, the improvement projects, both home and self. The love for the planet, for the fellow creatures, both mankind and alive-kind alike has grown leaps and bounds. Wildlife may have not exactly entered the Thames as the zillion memes have indicated, but they have entered our hearts. Every single day I stand out on the terrace during the hours of dusk and watch the sky unfold a beautiful ballet of colors. Sometimes powdery blue speckled by slits of pretty pink, sometimes a lilac with touches of golden yellow. It makes one recall of the Aurora Bourealis, just inverted in colors and non-dynamic, but just as beautiful. Life is beautiful in or out, in the mind or out in the world. It has been a lesson worth learning.