I was woken up by my mobile phone’s loud ringtone. I looked at the time. It was 4.45 am. It was the milk delivery guy. My apartment management had stopped all the housekeeping services and deliveries as a precaution against Covid-19. I had to go down to the main gate to collect the milk packets. Collected it, washed the packets thoroughly, stuffed it in the refrigerator, washed my hands diligently and went back to sleep. Today is Janta Curfew – People’s curfew – invoked by the honourable Prime Minister calling every citizen not to venture out and be at home from 7 am to 9 pm as a critical step to contain the community spread of covid-19. He had to grab airtime and talk about this to emphasize the seriousness. For me, I have been following Janta curfew for more than a week now. I went only for the morning walk where I behaved like my orthodox uncle – careful enough that nobody touches me or I didn’t touch anything. That too, I had stopped after Wednesday. So no-cook, no housekeeping, no walk, no cricket coaching, no work/school – all this meant that I can sleep in at least till 9 am. 

Thanks to the habit, I woke up by 6.30 am. I went through my google news feed which was pretty much about the pandemic and the US & China sparring over who is responsible for this pandemic. I placed the milk on the stove and was staring at it till it boiled. The one question that pops up every day, popped out today as well. Should I add sugar in my coffee or not? Question is the same but the answer you get each day is different. Prepared the coffee and spent the next 20 mins in a blank mental space. All I could sense were the smell and the taste of the coffee. My hand was functioning like an automated machine – raise the cup to the mouth, bring it down, bring it up, bring it down. Now, the clouds in eyes dispersed and I was able to see clearly. I was ready for the day. I thought I would start the day by reading a book. I started reading “Master Your Emotions”, a book on emotional intelligence. I was not emotionally attached to the content and I put it aside for another time. Should I workout at home? But it was Sunday today. Rest day. As if I worked out on the other days. 

It was only 7.45 am. At least, 1.5 hours before my family would wake up. What do I do now? I decided to take a shower and started my usual prayers. I did pray for an additional 10 minutes, a little bit that I can do for the well being of the world.

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः|
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु
मा कश्चिद् दुःख भाग्भवेत्।
ॐ शांतिः शांतिः शांतिः ||

May all become happy
May none fall ill
May all see auspiciousness everywhere
May none ever feel sorrow
Om Peace Peace Peace

Then I was all set to make breakfast. My wife had prepared the batter and let it ferment overnight. As I got ready to make the breakfast an important question was thrown again – Is this idli batter or dosa batter? For the uninitiated like me, there is no difference. But there seems to be a slight difference in the ingredient. I was wondering if I should wake her up and ask. But then, like any other spouse with a little bit of ego, I decided to go ahead with idli. If it fails, I can wipe out all the evidence and start making dosa. While the idli was being steamed in the cooker, I thought what can I do next? I had to wait for 12 minutes to switch it off. It was only 8.45. I deserved my second dose of coffee and I promptly made one. 

The time was running slow. Theory of relativity, thanks to Einstein. I thought I should probably write a blog post. What can I write about: a summary of the book ‘The Essentialism’ that I finished reading this week? Or the guest post that I’m supposed to submit next week? Or about the Contagion movie I watched yesterday and its eerie resemblance to what is happening in the world now? Or the second installment of my post about hygiene and being orthodox? Or continue and finish the fictionalized account of my Las Vegas trip? Too many options exhausted me.

I was hungry. I ate the breakfast that I had prepared. And contrary to the assumption that I might have screwed up, it turned out well. With all the formalities done, I opened up my google doc to start writing something. That’s when I heard my son cry. The family woke up. And rest of the day zoomed in full throttle. 

Thanks for squandering your precious time to read the painfully boring first few hours of my Sunday. I will keep you and your family in our prayers.

Feature Image Courtesy: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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12 thoughts on “Dramatized Beginning

  1. I’m glad to hear breakfast went ok, it is the most important part of the day. Nothing like a bit of drama to kick start the day. How’s the curfew? Is everyone supposed to clap for front like staff this evening?

  2. I wish I had some witty comment to leave but I am drawing a blank. Just know I was here and I am glad you shared your morning with us. Means you’re still out there, fighting the good fight. 🙂

  3. Curfew went well I guess. The reports say so. I wont know as I didnt venture out 🙂 Yes we all clapped, rang bells, vessels, whistles.. It started a little slow but then intensity increased. Goosebump moments. Frontline staff deserve more than this. Hope they get recognized after all this is over.

  4. Oh, your morning may have been boring but the post was not at all boring. You made it a fun read.
    They started clapping n ringing and shankh bajaoing at 4:55 and went on till 5:15.. Crazy people! I didn’t clap or ring. All of that celebration was for me too naa… I am a journalist 😛 apne liye thodi taali bajaungi 😉 But yeah I got the goosebumps too. But did you see the videos of people coming in crowds on streets to appreciate? I think it wasn’t conveyed properly that all gratitude was to be expressed in isolation and not as a public celebration. -.-
    I really feel scared about how all the numbers might blow up within days because India has too much bhaichara and can’t keep calm and stay home :/

  5. Sure. taali for you also, but, you can appreciate your colleagues too 😛

    Yeah, saw the clippings. Common sense is not so common, isn’t it? All we can do is hope.

    btw, my wife was confused why people were blowing conch shells. In Chennai, its predominantly used during deaths. Although, in my hometown near Kanyakumari it is used for holy purposes. So much cultural flavours 🙂

  6. I don’t think I need to show off my appreciation with the taalis. Better show it by staying at home. 😛
    Yes, common sense is not common at all.
    As far as I know (my religious learnings are really bad) conch shell is considered sacred and blowing it is for good fortune (in northern India? In UP? I don’t know :P). But then it’s the trumpet to announce war also. So probably declaring a war against corona?

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