Who knew that the, ”See you tomorrow” would turn into a ”When will I see you again?” so quick. The sudden announcement created a lot of anxiety. Life for some is now at a standstill, I don’t just mean the minimum wage workers, who have been affected terribly. The coronavirus pandemic has changed how we work, play, and learn: Schools are closing, sports leagues have been canceled, and many people have been asked to work from home.

Even though I was right there home, it seemed like nothing more than a distant memory the smell of the dew in the morning and the juicy, tangy cherry red tomatoes in our lush green garden, reclaimed life in my memory.

It is not uncommon knowledge that life will not be the same again, at least not for the next few years. Life has changed, it is not clear yet if it is for the good. I study more and somehow watch less T.V  than I did compared to when I went to school. The bright side is that I get to play with my brother, Reshaan, playing a game of catch with a water balloon is my favorite.

Watching his face light up with a smile and squeal with a content laugh as the balloon explodes on my face. What I experience then isn’t anger, its tranquillity. A blanket of peace and calm unfurls over me. Knowing that we’re here safe in our homes. Waking up every morning looking forward to seeing my dad at home rather than 1500km away in a city I don’t know. That joy is short-lived as I walk towards my laptop enacting my school.

It was like a cornucopia of homework. Looking at it, I surrendered myself to this universe, where I was nothing more than a momentary speck of flesh and blood in its infinite land of work. Learning through a screen is not nearly as effective, oh how I crave to see the chalky uneven surface of the blackboard! But now it’s a way of life I have to follow, whether I like it or not.

I also decided to learn a new instrument and work on the piano. I settled for the harmonica since we already had one. It was fairly complicated at first but then I got the hang of it. Plus my notes from the piano could also be transferred to it, so that was a win.

Of course, my mother wasn’t going to stand still and watch me have so much time, and I soon found myself mopping the whole house! (maybe just once). I also decided to take this time for personal development and read tonnes of books, and my brother found himself being asked to do the same. One thing led to another and now we had begun an inter-family reading workshop.

My heart gets heavy thinking of the healthcare workers, who are out there risking their lives for our safety. While we are wrapped comfortably in blankets sipping coffee they are wrapped in hazard suits sipping oxygen from cylinders, they too have families, children to get back to, wives to hug.

Being stuck in four walls does take its toll after a while, you find yourself overthinking and working yourself out. Sadly, this was not much different from my daily routine. The closest thing I had to the outside world, was the rooflessness of my backyard. Like a dark void that you can’t escape, it gives a strange sense of solitude which I am not used to.

I can’t seem to shake off the feeling of fear that I get in my stomach every time my parents go out to get groceries, a knot that loosens only when they come back. Once I did go out to get stationery from our local shop and looking up at the sky I felt enormous gratitude. I do not know if this is the calm or the storm.

Pay Anything You Like

Viraat Arora

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