Some days I wake up with butterflies in my stomach and other days, it’s that ‘exam feeling’ in my chest. In other words, some days I’m so anxious that this lockdown life feels like an exam I desperately need to pass with good grades. If I don’t, I’ll fail and I’ll have to go through one more terrible year of exhausting home chores, no social life, desperation to find true love before I die, work all day every day to survive the uncertain future because of my fear of the unknown, and if this list is not long enough, I have more.
No points for guessing that it’s the kind of life nobody would like to hit “repeat” on. I hope not at least. This is exactly why I also think we should, each one of us, must start caring about our planet more than we did before. So, we don’t have to go through a terrible, restless and helpless time like this again.
Something you can start with is looking at the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Act, something that should be practised actively. Something that should be a rule and not an exception today because we can help today, and helping today is better than regretting tomorrow.
Moving on, as I’ve mentioned before, there are bad days and there are good days. Bad days are bad but the good days are really good. On my good or probably neutral days, lately, I pick up a pint of beer and sit with a drawing board to recarve my life, my future. I’ve been getting this funny feeling, something I don’t have a word for yet.
But it’s a feeling like the one I got when I was 20-21 years old. 9 years later and towards the end of the lockdown, I have started feeling young again. I’ve started feeling like the world is my oyster, yet again. If the environment is forcing me to hit the RESET button, I might as well - so I am.
This lockdown has rubbed many people in ways, more in the wrong way than right. It did me as well. But just very recently, everything I was pushed to do as a result of the lockdown made me feel freer. For the first time in 5 years, I was forced to pack up a house in Mumbai and stop paying rent because we were supposed to leave right before the lockdown and that didn’t happen.
So we were left with no option but to pack up the house and move to Delhi. Delhi is home, where my mother lives. We obviously didn’t have enough time or freedom to find a new house in Mumbai.
Now, I’m in Delhi, and I feel homeless even in my own (mother’s) house, and I feel fiercely and hopelessly free. And I don’t know what to do with all this freedom, time and flexibility.
I feel like flying again. I feel like taking the risks my younger self would’ve taken unflinchingly, when there was no ‘image’ to care about and no company to sustain. I once landed in Mumbai a few years ago without a job. I was paying rent from my savings while looking for jobs and mind you, I was only looking for a job that seemed exciting to me.
I was just confident that Mumbai was the city for me, so what did I do? I just flew down, without worrying about the future and the uncertainties. I relate this lockdown and the ups and downs that it has brought with it, to that time, when I was young and still protected from the madness of the big bad career and status driven world. The fact that all of us have been pulled back to ground zero even though our starting lines were different, it makes me feel less lonely and more like a survivor.
I don’t know whether it’s grief or the circumstances or the survival instinct, I don’t even know where I want to live next. That’s the one thing I was very clear about in the past few years - Mumbai was where I wanted to settle if I were living in India for the better part of my life.
I really won’t be surprised if I land at a gorgeous cottage in a hill station for the next month since the ‘work from home’ culture allows me that and no better way to experience it fully, no? I think what I’m feeling also stems from the fact that I really don’t know when or if I’ll experience such a thing in my lifetime. Hopefully, not. So, I want to live the ‘now’ to the fullest.
Every morning I wake up with a new dream and a new goal in my head, but more than that, I wake up with a new purpose every day. It may make me sound confused and indecisive but be it. Currently, I’m working on so many things hoping to do justice to the new me. I’m learning to code, learning to write a pathbreaking web series and also looking forward to doing a full-time job, a thought that’s never occurred to me ever since I quit my previous job 3 years ago. I’m feeling things I probably would’ve never felt if it weren’t for covid19 and this lockdown.
This is the new me, the ‘lockdown me. The me, who is dealing with the grief of this biggest pause and change in our lives in a weird but positive way, I suppose. Am I the only person who’s going through this feeling? Do we have a word for what I’m feeling? I don’t know but we’ll find out soon enough since we’re writing history every single day during this time, aren’t we?
ALSO READ: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,
Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18,
Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23