Pandemic Progress Report

*07:08 pm* Alright, let’s do this!

The Lock-down was a much-needed relief when it first began but its unprecedented extension has been nerve-wracking. Anxiety, frustration and hopelessness have come as a package!

I took the last 6-7 weeks to argue, sob and sulk in order to cope up with the helplessness I was feeling. While my parents resumed their work from office, I felt like a lonely, left-behind, good for nothing loser, trying to work from home. I didn’t want to agree when my Dad said “we have to live with Corona”. I wasn’t ready to accept “this is the new Normal”. The situation is out of our hands, and with an increasing number of cases, it still doesn’t feel hopeful. So what changed? What made me get back and write this blog?

Nothing deep. It was boredom. You see, I was bored of feeling sorry for myself. I was bored of crying to bed every night, bored of arguments with my loved ones and bored of self-pity. One random night, as I was watching Conspiracy on Netflix I had an epiphany. I realized that if I just change the way I look at things, I can be unbored. I decided not to wait for the situation to get better but to take control of it and do something meaningful in the present.

I took up reading again, starting with ‘The Undomestic Goddess’ by Sophie Kinsella – a simple, light-hearted fiction to indulge in, on a lazy Sunday (or whenever you have time). It was followed by some insightful reads like Rana Ayub’s Gujarat Files – Anatomy of a Cover Up & Shashi Tharoor’s Why I am A Hindu – the later one had been on my bucket list for a long time and it didn’t disappoint. It answered a ton of questions I had about my identity as a Hindu in the current political climate. It talked about Hinduism’s beliefs that are rooted in history, its various interpretations and how they have shaped our present. It provides details on the culture, the heritage and more importantly clears the bias of ‘Why am I a Hindu?’ and provides an affirmation on ‘Why I am a Hindu?’

Ayub’s book was a revelation. Her eight month long undercover operation during Gujarat riots brought too many hidden and hushed stories to light. I would recommend every Indian to read this one and with an unbiased mind to understand, possibly realign their political affiliations. A shocking, stunning read!

Currently, I’ve been reading ‘Jasmine Days’ by Benyamin – a fictional story about South East Asians settled in a Middle Eastern city and how their life changes after a revolution. I have been enjoying it so far, can’t say more until I finish.

Apart from reading, I have been spending my free time in upgrading my knowledge and skills on Linkedin Learning. I had first installed the app in December last year but never got the time to enroll for a course. Four weeks ago, I finally opened this dormant app on my phone and completed a quick course on writing. I am on my second one now and it has been fun so far as it hardly takes 3 to 5 minutes per video.

Back in May, I had attended an informative online session by Satyanshu Singh of the Cinemese Twins on how to write the Beginning, Middle and End of a story. It had helped me gain much-needed guidance on some critical aspects of story/script writing. In continuation of that, I signed up for a month-long course on Coursera – ‘The Craft of Plot’ by Brando Skyhorse. I’ve written three assignments that have garnered pretty good reviews from my peers and I’m looking forward to complete the fourth assignment this weekend, and eventually reaching to the Capstone!

I have become better at organizing my thoughts on paper. I have learnt about some basic dos and don’ts, learnt about the technical details of a script, got some handy tips and pointers on how to write a character, a scene and a setting. I am now in the process of working on a story that I had started last year, and I hope I don’t give up this time. I want to see this story written, it is a special one.

The lock down also gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my parents. We celebrated 28 years of their marriage last month. On some days we watched movies together, ordered in meals from our favorite restaurants, and saw many breathtaking sunsets from our balcony. But watching our little home garden bloom to life has been one of the most pleasureful experiences. I’ve got some amazing photos of the dramatic evening skies and the vibrant, colorful flowers.

I am as average as a person can be, so when I write about how productive I’ve been or how I changed my perspective, let me tell you, it didn’t come easy.

Despite being surrounded by loving parents, and being connected to cousins and friends over calls or messages, I’ve struggled with feelings of loneliness, restlessness, hopelessness and anger (so much anger!). Add to it the monthly turmoil of hormonal mood swings and you have a complete recipe of a mess. It has taken a lot of effort for me to get up and redirect my energy towards better things. Every day is a small step and I am working through it, hoping for a better tomorrow.

I hope you are too 🙂

Found something on the internet that might help you navigate through your gloomy days. Check it out : ttps://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/MindingourmindsduringCoronaeditedat.pdf

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