The Upside of Lockdown- By Kaajal

Before 2020, lockdown and quarantine were just words that you might use while playing scrabble. But now, they are not just words, but a reality that we live by. Without a doubt, we all have ranted and raved against it, calling it a necessary evil and grumbled about when life will ever be normal. Normal is a word that seems light years away now. It wasn’t normal to wear an N95 mask, compulsively wash hands, sanitize surfaces and maintain social distance but with the Corona virus encroaching on our lives, this is the new normal. Sure, it’s easy to succumb to the constant cribbing that is rampant on social media and I will be lying if I said that I didn’t complain at all. I have lost track of the number of times when I have told Kinjal to “wake me up when 2020 is over”, and I have felt deflated and frustrated every time the lockdown was extended in phases. To make matters worse, where I live has been marked as a red zone, which means no relaxations whatsoever.  The lockdown has taken a toll on several people’s mental health and it’s not easy at all for extroverts like me to cease all social activity and live in isolation.

I could lament at length about how much this ‘sucks’. Pardon my language but that’s exactly what this feels like. A year back, it would be unfathomable that a sneeze could bring the mighty world to a standstill and claim so many lives, but sometimes life can give unpleasant jolts and the most as well as the least that we can do to tide over these tumultuous times is learn to look at it with a renewed perspective. Yes it is challenging, yes it’s unprecedented but yes we are invincible, we are stronger than we think we are and we will get through this too.

I have come to realise over these past few months that this particular dark cloud does have a silver lining! So now, without any further ado, I’m going to tell you what I think are definite upsides of this lockdown.

1. We are safe and that’s what really matters

I know it’s stifling to stay cooped up at home all day, especially when we long to go back to our normal routine- be it hitting the gym, catching up with friends at a coffee shop, shopping at a mall or watching a movie in a theatre, but given the current circumstances it is best to stay indoors, because safety always comes first. No matter how irksome and challenging it is to remain in house arrest, at the end of the day, all we want is the safety and well-being of our loved ones and if the simple act of staying at home ensures this, then it’s definitely worth it. So, instead of complaining about our lack of mobility, let’s take this moment to be grateful because even if we are stuck indoors, courtesy the lockdown, at least we are not alone, we are with our family and that makes these hard times a little less painful and a little more bearable.

2. It’s summer break for everyone!

Do you remember the last time your dad had a summer break? Can you recollect when your mom wasn’t bustling around to get groceries or rushing to her job? Before the lockdown we were all working and hustling constantly but now, we all have a mandatory summer break! Granted, some of us have WFH, but you can now do it from the comfort of your home and in your PJs! No boss breathing down your neck and no office politics to drive you crazy, just you, calmly typing away on your laptop, working peacefully at home! We all crave our carefree childhood and long summer holidays and this time we all have a summer break! No one is going to school or college, no one has office, we all are at home with our families so why not get back to our carefree childhood days and enjoy this unplanned break. It’s the perfect opportunity to read that book you have been meaning to read, to pursue a hobby, or simply catch up on your sleep! Quite contrary to what William Henry Davies says in his famous poem Leisure, “we now have time to stand and stare.”

3. A Chance to Spend Quality Time With Family

When was the last time you really had a meaningful conversation with your father? When was the last time you put your head on your mother’s lap and let her ruffle your hair? When did you talk to your sister or brother and by that I do not mean have an argument or fight with them. We fail to realise that we hardly spend quality time with our family. Have you ever taken the time to really be there with them and be totally present in the moment, without worrying about the hundred other chores that await you? If you haven’t been able to appreciate their strong support and presence in your life, then this is a great opportunity to change that.   This lockdown, play games with your family, have real, deep and heartfelt conversations with them over a cup of tea, give them your undivided attention and shower them with love and affection because they deserve it the most.

4. Appreciate the little joys of life

If nothing else, this lockdown has surely made me realise that I have taken the little, everyday pleasures of life for granted.  Simple things like walking in the park, sitting by the sea and gazing at the setting sun, hugging my friends and family, driving my car, shopping with my mom and sister or getting a haircut, have now taken on a whole new meaning for me. Once the lockdown is over, I am never going to say no to random plans made to meet friends,  and now, more than ever, I appreciate having coffee and pastries at my favourite cafe. Moreover, I am truly grateful for all my past travels, short getaways and holidays and I can’t wait to get on the plane and explore new places once again. It’s true what people say, you only appreciate something when it’s gone and now that I can’t do any of these things, I miss doing them terribly. But this sense of loss brings with it a deep feeling of appreciation that makes me determined to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate all the little joys of life that that I once took for granted.

Now that we are inching towards the end of the lockdown, I have come to realise the underlying truth behind the maxim ‘Every dark cloud has a silver lining’. At first, the lockdown seemed like a definite downer, but now I have found not one, but several reasons that have convinced me that it is indeed a blessing in disguise. So, the next time you feel like complaining or criticizing the lockdown or any other situation in life that seems challenging, stop and look at it with a renewed perspective because when you do that, you will discover that it has an upside too!  

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