There were old people walking with sticks, kids clinging to their mother’s arms, some people in uniform, a group of hippies, and hundreds of people briskly moving on the premises of a tightly packed Bengaluru airport. However, they all had one thing in common—a mask on their faces.
By Manasvi Gupta
The last day before the suspension of domestic air transport, I somehow managed to book a flight back home from my hostel—nearly after two cancellations. After stuffing my essentials into a bag, I went for a walk to dump all my plans into a bin, as I realized that it was the end—my college was being ended abruptly.
Chandigarh—my hometown, which was already under a partial lockdown, made my travel from the airport to home way longer than expected until my father somehow managed to come and pick me.
Later that day, the words: “There will be a 21-day lockdown across the country, starting from March 24,” flashed across all news channels and my bubble of returning back to my college, burst, making the loudest sound. The optimism left in me made me hope that I would return for my convocation in early May.
The initial 2-3 days went in a finger-snap and were a treat for my taste buds, as I savoured on the home-cooked food. I immersed myself into the world of words, sitting on the rooftop and simultaneously admiring the Shivalik range of the Himalayas and the sunsets.
Gradually, my online classes began and a sense of boring daily routine kicked in. I got glued to my laptop screen—sometimes for classes and assignments, while other times for Netflix. My mobile screen time also shot up. My sleep schedule got disturbed and I started feeling angry and irritated.
However, when a few days passed with me feeling depressed and curled up on the bed, I decided to break the monotony. I started participating in family discussions, flew kite, cooked, and played badminton with them. It felt as if I had got the chance to relive my school days.
The lockdown, however, made me realise the importance of family, introspection and meditation. It gave me the opportunity to become a better version of myself, and to acquire alternate skill sets.
The lockdown period felt as if someone had paused the time and I can enjoy it in any way I like—sans questions, sans judgements.
(Image credits- Manasvi Gupta)