The year 2020 is one that we will not forget. Covid-19, of course will get all the credit.
On top of my mind are two personal losses. My good friend Ahmed, suddenly succumbed to Covid in July. Not a day has passed when he and his family haven’t been on my mind.
And earlier in May, my uncle Bala moved on after a few years of battling illness.
We haven’t travelled out of Mumbai in a while. Haven’t been to Bangalore in over 16 months! (Though my husband Srivathsa did on a family emergency.) We catch up with mom and the rest of the family on the phone and on face time.
My last trip outside the city was before the impact of Covid, in early February, to Vadodara for the National Masters Meet. I had started getting back in touch with basketball for this very reason, and it was great that it happened when it did. Got to see the “statue” too.
Our last outings in fact weren’t much later – South Mumbai and a Women’s Day painting workshop in the neighbourhood.
During the early days of lockdown, I figured how to make face masks, and started stitching and distributing them.
It was very fulfilling to have been able to help in ensuring that our society’s waste continued to be segregated at household level. This meant that hundreds of kilos of dry waste remained recyclable, and was picked up by the municipality separately, in the absence of waste vendors to whom we used to sell this before lockdown.
With staying home, I started running indoors. April-June were hectic months with multiple exercise challenges every week. I ran my first 10km ever, indoors. In November, for the first time in many months, I did a short outdoor run.
Both our boys are now in university. Gautam was lucky to finish the Std 12 boards before lockdown, so he was at peace (and we too) unlike many other students. He should have been at Ashoka Sonepat and Siddharth at HKU Hong Kong, but both are at home with classes online. It’s been nice to have them around.
Gautam assembled his own desktop computer. Good for online classes, and for gaming (which was the main focus). Good to use for work as well (he has recovered much of the cost of his computer through working).
Siddharth has become adept at haircutting.
For the first time ever, he donated blood, during the lockdown in May.
We have managed without a house-help for the last 8 months. While our home isn’t spick and span by any yardstick, everyone in the household has been contributing to the housekeeping. The kitchen has been active, but we’ve also been able to help a local lady, struggling to make ends meet, through her home tiffin service.
Our Baldwin school batch of 1986 caught up on Zoom, a grand get-together of girls located all over the world, nudged into happening by the lockdown.
Our Puttenahalli Lake trust PNLIT turned 10! Ten years of maintaining a lake, reasonably successfully, is quite an achievement – by a great team of trustees, volunteers, staff and donors.
I turned 50 during the Covid lockdown (and so did Srivathsa). Over the hill now!
I took on a different and additional career path with Citizen Matters. It’s been six months as a journalist (of sorts). Many new contacts and acquaintances made, and much more clued in to local activity and citizenry now. Please do check out mumbai.citizenmatters.in.
Tomorrow is just another day, but everyone is looking to 2021 with hope. Hope for the “normal” life that we had at this time, a year ago. Hope that we we won’t have to think twice before going for a stroll, or dropping by at a friend’s house or going to the playground. [Though many office-goers may be feeling otherwise!]
We know that the virus isn’t going away in a hurry just yet. Today I stumbled upon a stranger’s tweets that puts it in perspective. People are still dying all over the world.
As we hope for “normal” we must remain vigilant. The vaccine that is already in use, is hoped, will help in protecting us. But the root cause which will be the ultimate solution, is yet to be addressed. David Attenborough’s warning video is 6 months old. Let us hope that we take heed soon.