COVID19: How to be mentally strong during the lockdown

We humans are not programmed to stay inside for very long. Staying at home for long can be very very unsettling and with the given situation outside, it only makes it worse. Everyone you know is locked down. You cannot visit the market, cannot hangout with friends, cannot go outside for a run, cannot got out for lunch/dinner at your favourite joint. You are getting bad news from all around the world which worries you even more. There is a need to keep ourselves very calm and composed amidst these unwarranted sequence of events. I am too getting anxious about the whole situation sometime but I know I am strong enough to fight it. We have to be mentally strong for ourself, for our loved ones and for the good times to come. There are some ways in which we can try to prepare ourself and fight the traumatic situation.

1. Make some routine and be more disciplined.

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A disciplined routine is the best thing you can do to help yourself. If you are spending your time in an unmanaged way, it will make you bored, leave you less productive and add to anxiety. With a more disciplined approach you will have enough time with yourself to be relaxed. You will have a less burdened lifestyle. Try to fix a time – for waking up in the morning, having your meals, your exercises – essentially all the things which you are doing on a daily basis. Once these timings are in place and have been followed for few days you will realise how relaxed the daily life has become.

2. Exercise Regularly.

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Exercising is a great stress buster be it in any form. You can try some yoga, pushups, aerobics etc, anything can be really helpful . Now is a good time to add regular exercising in your routine. It will give a boost to the mental health and boost your confidence. Meditation and breathing exercises can destress a lot, so one must try them out. There are many online classes these days which I think can be really helpful.

3. Talk to your family, relatives and friends.

Red Corded Telephone on White Suraface

Last night I called 3 friends from my school on WhatsApp(video). We talked after a long long time and it was so fun. Remembering the things we used to do in the school brought back a lot of good memories. It felt so good. It’s a good time to connect to people and share the feelings and show love to them. It can really cheer you up. Browse your contact list and give a call to someone randomly. Simple!

4. Music, movies, games and TV shows.

One of the biggest stress buster for me. I spend a lot of time listening to songs, exploring new genres and artist and believe me if you are a music person it surely makes you happy if you have found a handful of new decent songs.

There is a lot to watch on TV as well. Netflix is reporting a spike in usage time by users. There are a lot of good shows on Netflix. I recently finished Money Heist(Season-4), did not like it much but that’s okay. There are many shows you must watch – Kingdom(Zombie), Altered Carbon, Marriane(Horror), Dark(SciFi) to name a few. I am watching new movies regularly as it keeps me really distracted.

I play PubG regularly. Little PubG break in the day and after dinner relieves me a lot. It’s good that they have set a limit of 3 hours, which I have never hit though. You can try some games these days.

5. Engage yourself in doing random things.

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How does your room setup look like? Do you think it would look better if you shift the bed to other corner? Well, try that out and see. Who does not like such changes. It surely gives a nice feeling. How about a dinner date setup? You can enjoy that as well. It’s a good time to engage in bit of gardening. Writing and reading can also help you relax. I am posting more often on my blog and I keep on exploring some blogs to read – it really helps me kill some time. Cooking can be a great thing to do these days. For me it’s a new thing so I am enjoying it a lot. A self-cooked meal can really make you happy even if it not very delicious.

I am trying to make a routine with all the activities I do with a time attached to it. I will try to share it on the blog. Meanwhile, the above mentioned things are really helping me a lot to kill my stress. If you guys have some other cool ideas, please let me know.

COVID19 Realisations – Cooking is fun but can someone do the dishes or chop the vegetables, please?

15th day into lockdown and I have realised cooking is fun and I am liking the kitchen more these days. But there are a lot of things that you need to take care of, which kills the fun somehow and makes it really difficult specially if you are not into habit of cooking. I had never spent a lot of time in the kitchen so this whole experience is a mixed ride – from fun to irritation to fun again, then to a point where I say chuck it I will grab some readymade stuff. I have spent more time in the kitchen in these 15 days than I had ever spent in my whole life. Cooking a good meal is an art and you have to spend a good amount of time to prepare a delicious meal. I never had that much time with me to try cooking.

I will briefly tell you my background. I stayed with my parents for the initial 16 years of my life. For the next 6-7 year I had to move out for higher studies. Then, I got my job in Gurgaon and have been staying here for last 9 years. I was never bothered about the food. There were tiffin services, cooks at different point of time so I never had to learn cooking. I have always a craving of eating good food but sadly I have mostly compromised on that. And now that I have to manage 3 meals a day, for last 15 days, it seems like I am spending the whole time in the kitchen. Cooking is really fun. For people who start learning, they can actually see the transition from shit to a very tasty food and that makes one so happy. But the whole arrangement of things, cleaning the dishes, cleaning the whole mess the new star chef has created make everything very tough. I think most of the newbies would agree on this. Cooking would really be fun when you have someone to help with your mess. Can someone do the dishes or chop the vegetables, please?

Black and White Remote Control on Table

Add to it the work from home scenario. Those update calls can really screw up the whole routine. You have to get your breakfast ready before the first morning call. Thankfully, the breakfast is easiest of the three meals. It does not take a lot of time and gives you a good start of the day. Then, there is a call around lunch time, mostly after the lunch. Lunch is really hectic. It takes nearly 1 hour to prepare my lunch – including the dishes, chopping, cooking and then some cleaning again. I finish eating my lunch mostly by 2-2:30pm in the afternoon and by this time I am very exhausted. The evening snacks is around 5.30pm. I like cooking dinner and I have been focusing more on having a delicious dinner everyday. To me cooking lunch sucks. Cooking lunch is such a drag for me and I just do it because it challenges my survival, but cooking dinner is really fun and I never complain about it. I really put my heart in it.

I got to try a lot of things in the kitchen in these 15 days. I have cooked a lot of things – half cooked rice to burnt rice to super oily and super spicy curry to very bland and tasteless curry. Slowly, I perfected few things, got some good idea about the measures and quantities which make me feel good now. I am sure many people around the world would be struggling in the kitchen. The fight for survival teaches you a lot of things and hopefully makes you stronger and wiser. Cooking is not really tough as I always assumed but it does demand you to pour your heart in and it asks for some patience as well. After all, nothing leaves you happier than having a self-cooked delicious meal.

COVID19: The world was not prepared for a pandemic

The world was not prepared for a pandemic. Countries were not equipped with enough resources to identify the risk, deal with it and minimise the damage. They were busy pouring funds in everything but not in something which could combat this unforeseeable pandemic. No one could imagine the economic implications the pandemic could cause, trillions of dollars washed off the market. Coronavirus hit the world in January 2020 and in three months the world has crumbled down and there is no clear escape. It showed the world how unprepared it was. The wealthiest and the most equipped countries could not do much but to face the wrath of this deadly virus. The economy is tumbling down at an unexpected rate. Too much efforts have been put in by the governments across the world. Too much resources have been deployed, a lot of money has been sanctioned for the fight against the virus but no one seems to be a clear winner. Everyone is just thinking to minimise the damage and no one seems prepared for the future.

Coronavirus is more than a pandemic. This situation is no less than a war. It has left us with very few choices. We are already witnessing a lot of changes. Social distancing is the new way of living. Countries have sealed their borders. The airlines sector has gone for a toss and tourism completely slaughtered. The world around us is completely shut at least for some good 3-4 months. No hangouts, no parties, no strolling down the streets, no gathering, no movies, no shopping – everything that we were used to of doing is not normal any more. Lock yourselves down is what the situation demands. If you are a little casual about the virus situation that’s an alarm right there. You have to be very very careful of what you do, where you go, whom you meet. There are just too many restrictions this pandemic has put on us. The virus can even hit us harder if we are not much careful about it.

The aftereffects this virus is going to have on the whole world is unimaginable. There is a big uncertainty that is ahead of us. We are living in a world of uncertainty and there is much more to come. The world around is on a long pause and a resume seems very far fetched. We cannot expect the virus to just vanish some day and our lives become easy. It would take a lot of time and effort to find a vaccine that works and beyond that making it available to the whole world would be some task. No one is sure how long this pandemic will keep disrupting the normal life around the world. The economic disaster which the pandemic has already propelled will make many lives very miserable. We are riding a wave of uncertainty with almost no hope of the wave hitting the shore any time soon and even if hits the shore, who knows about the damage already done.

COVID19: The air is too fresh to breathe. We need smaller lockdowns regularly.

After the first few days of 21 days lockdown in India, the air started to get better. With almost the entire population locked in their houses, no vehicles to move on the roads, major industries closed down – there was a major change in the pollution level in the country. I am living in Gurgaon, one of the most polluted cities in the country (Delhi is even worse). During Diwali (Nov. 2019) the air was quite dangerous to breathe. I remember I started using air-purifier and even bought a lot of flower pots for the indoor air to be clean. It was not much of a relief. The air outdoors was filled with smoke and dirt. The air around was hazy and there was a low visibility than usual, seemed like it were cloudy outside for many days. I had developed a severe allergy because of the bad quality of air. Here is a brief of the Diwali 2019 situation.

Now, the most surprising part was people not realising it. The government did its job by asking people to use less vehicle and more of public transport but that did not help much. People would still use their private vehicles, the industries would still run and it took nearly a month or so for the air to be become breathable – which was still in a bad category on AQI index. The problem is no one cares much about the air they breathe. They do not even think it is affecting their lives. I mean, they will complain now and then but no one does his/her bit. I am even careless many a times. I do not shut down my car’s engine on the red light very often. Caring the environment is not in our character. We are knowingly/unknowingly destroying it minute by minute and we do not even think about it.

Come to think of the current situation. We are under lockdown and it just took 4 days for the AQI index of Gurgaon to drop to as low as 25, which I do not think is ever possible in normal scenario given our attitudes. My question is – should not we try for it? Even if we keep it under 100 on a regular basis, imagine the impact it is going to have. Imagine the younger generation breathing a fresher air and growing healthier. Have we ever thought about it? Now that the governments across the world have taken drastic measures to fight Coronavirus situation, we should and we must try some extreme measures for keeping the environment clean. Why not regular lockdowns, something like every fortnight. After all it is for everyone’s benefit. The main question is – do we really care?

The lockdown started on 25th March. Here are couple of screenshots showing the pollution level in city on 27th March and 29th March.



COVID19 Realisations – Domestic Helpers are such a luxury

We are under a 21 days lockdown in India. This essentially means if you are a sane person you would not move out of your house unless there is an utter emergency. A 21 days lockdown can teach you a lot of things. One of the things is how much of luxury are the domestic helps and how much dependency do they have in our lives. In India we can hire them for a very very affordable price. They help you with literally everything – dishes, cooking, laundry, cleaning the house, helping in the garden etc. You can go beyond that also – there is no limit. A domestic help who can do these things can be hired in a range of Rs 10,000 (about $150). And now I realise that it is nothing.

The maids usually visit in the morning, wrap things up in less than couple of hours. Even before you are having your breakfast, like a genie, your entire mess has been cleared up. You are not bothered at all. You find the kitchen is super fresh, the floors are shining, the clean windows letting in the fresh breeze of air. In the lockdown these domestic helpers are not allowed to move, so we have to take care of all the things. The kitchen does get very dirty, the sink gets flooded with utensils and blocked water, the floor looks gloomy with dust, peels of fruits and vegetables coming out of the garbage bin – is what the initial few days’ scene looked like. We are now getting a hang of the household activities and trying to minimise all the clutter we were careless about before.

Slowly, I have come to realise these domestic helpers are nothing sort of angels in our super busy lifestyles. They take all the pains to make your days shiny and nights relaxed. We need to recognise them for their efforts. We have to give them more respect, they deserve a lot of that. Less of that haggling when they ask for money and more of love and care is what they need.

COVID19: Coronavirus is more than a virus.

Well, I have to get in a habit of writing more and more. There is a complete lockdown of 21 days here in India. I have been working from home. Work part is not much disturbed. Being a software person, home and office are one and the same. It’s all about the laptop, internet and some music. Work is home and home is work.

There has been a lot of realisations in these lockdown days and there are still 9 more days to go. Even after that one may not be as mobile as they were earlier. This virus has killed everything – social life, personal life, economy, travels, weddings, celebrations. The world is not the same, at least for next few months. People are caged in their houses, streets deserted, malls closed, public transportation halted, no more morning walks in the parks, not hanging out with friends. The world has come to a still, and the places which are not are paying heavily for the carelessness.

There are so many challenges for a person under lockdown the first being he has never been programmed to be this situation. And that is why it is more haunting. Well, couple of initial days were not so bad, to be honest, but 21 days is really hard and one has to slowly and gradually make him stronger for that.

बाहर डर का माहौल है । There is a sense of fear when you step outside. A crowd in a grocery store is a big alarm. The coughing person on the cash counter at the grocery store is a big alarm. They are really a lot exposed as they have to deal with so many different people daily. It’s scary sometime to go to the grocery store. Till this virus takes a little breather we really do not have any option at hand. Nevertheless, life has to go on and it goes on irrespective of all the uncertainties. Hopefully we will come out as a winner from this pandemic.

I intend to write a lot more and I hope that will help me kill some time. Take care you guys, stay safe and sound.

A Bong Land Away From Bengal

Chittaranjan Park (Bengali: চিত্তরঞ্জন পার্ক), aka C.R. Park is a neighborhood in South Delhi, and home to a large Bengali community in Delhi. That’s a very known fact. People say, if you want to get a feeling of how Durga Puja is celebrated in West Bengal, then go to this place. I visited this place on the last day of Puja and witnessed the show and it was totally worth it. 


The Bengalis go little insane during Puja period. They have their own way of celebrating it. Seems like there is a sudden induction of too much happiness in these people. And thanks to whatever it is, the place turns into an electric one during the Puja. The streets were decorated with light bulbs – not too bright.  Too many people walking the streets. Kids shouting, girls giggling and ladies blabbering. Too much of chit-chat and I could not hear myself at times. Initially I was little disturbed by the noise, but after I walked enough along with the crowd I start enjoying it. And then there were things around which kept me engaged. The sound of drums, flock of girls in ethnic dresses dancing on a stage nearby the Pandal, a beautiful woman in red embroidered sari singing some classic Bangla song, young girls chatting shyly with boys near the food stalls, smell of fish in and around the Pandal. Everything was oozing out of itself some kind of Bengali class. 

Though I am not a great fan of Bengal/i, but one thing I must mention that I like is – they carry their culture wherever they go. You must be having some Bengali family living near by and they having your mind blown off with some great foods or at least some great variety of sweets. They make you feel the impact of rich culture own and they belong to. A single Bengali family can form community of its own and then slowly engulfing the people near by. A small place secluded from the typical charm which Delhi carries was what the place appeared. The streets reminded me of  a typical Kolkata streets minus the crowd part. It was indeed a nice experience. 

The Greatest Fear Of All – Fear Of Death


No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.”  – Plato.

I am not fearful of death – of my death – but I get too much scared when someone dies – someone close. I am fearful of the fear and silence that it propels in the  surroundings. I am fearful of the all the other scared faces around me, of the mournful smell of the air. I am fearful of the darkness with which it overshadows the brightest sunlight. The tears of all the disturbed souls that soon would flood the universe haunt me. The  swelled-dry-lips and red-wet-eyes of all who are suffering the loss weaken me. How cruel is the fact –  that this astronomically huge span of life would be destroyed in a blink of an eye and would leave everyone behind in pain -it tortures me a lot. Death, by far the most stupid and preposterous creation of God is the greatest fear of all. 

A couple of days back I lost someone. A person who was not there with me for the most of the time of my life, but yes there was this noble and magnanimous image of that lady which was alive in my mind,  my heart and my thoughts for so long – it was all shattered. The image which was just so alive and so vibrant – talking to me smilingly – was all missing in the very next moment.  It was like a black-hole of silence and fear and pain created somewhere in my heart and ’twas drowning me in. I was scared and was never scared this much. I cried a lot – alone – many a times – but that was even drowning me more. I was crying and thinking about the condition of those who were closely related to her, those who had spent their entire life with her.  How pitiful their conditions would be – unimaginable ! And then I was cursing God for  he was the only one who scripted all this drama and was watching it being enacted. Preposterous.

I do not want to leave people behind me tormented and crying in pain. I now know how it feels. But I can not help it. I know they will cry when I am gone, miss me more than ever. But why? Why God has created such nonsense circle of Life and Death? Why on one hand does he put so much strength and positivity in Life and then despise his own creation and spread fear with Death? And why does he not bestow the humans with the power to overcome that fear? Why does he let them suffer? These unanswerable questions will haunt everyone – everyone who has felt death so closely. One can not escape this only irrefutable reality. But then why is this truth so untrue that no one want to face it, to believe it? Death is  evil and the God himself created this evil.

Rest in peace the pious soul of the lovely and beautiful old lady; you shall always be there in my heart. 

Killing Of A Hope

I followed the news channels and newspapers over 3-4 days and there were numerous of news which left me miffed. I do not generally involve myself in going through what’s all happening in my country because my heart is afraid of and can’t take anymore these descriptions of rapes, murders, fraud and vandalism. But they come to you anyhow to annoy you, disturb you, haunt you and leave your mind in a state of paranoia. No one knows whats happening out here. You are never sure about the things which may happen to you.  Look around yourself and see what this world has turned into. Never a peaceful place was this world, it has gone more clamorous.

I remember this instance from my childhood. My father used to read newspaper very minutely. He would read every peace of news every time. And when he would finish, I would grab it and check what was so important out there which kept him so indulged. I would find only useless rubbish things –  partly because I kept myself off from politics and big write-ups and partly because I used to find the small news interesting. One day I asked him –
“What do you read the newspaper for?”
“To know whats all happening.”
“But I only find news of theft and fraud and land disputes. They disturb me a lot. Don’t you get disturbed? What else do you find there which I do not?”
“Did you check out about the new Dam Project? The central government has approved it and soon it is going to do wonders to many people. Won’t they be happy? Do not you think it’s a great news?”
“No. I think I missed it. I shall check it again.”
“I knew you would never read those things or let me rephrase my words – you would never find such things interesting. Son, there are always some bad things happening around you, creating frictions in your mind, deviating you from real pleasures of this world. But that does not mean you start loosing hope. Hope is what drives this world, will always be the most important factor for the mankind to sustain. Whenever you are surrounded by the clouds of grief and dismay, hope is the only thing you can count on.”
“But does not hope weaken you?”
“How can it do so?”
“Let’s say you only hope and hope for something to get better, for example – this society to get better. And you know it never is going to be. In that case your hope is bringing you nothing. Is it?”
“What would say about those poor villagers who got today the news about Dam Project approval? They were also hoping. They were hoping that if something be done and the floods never strike. They were hoping if they were not turned to homeless refugees by the flood. Hoping that their crops were never destroyed. Hoping that they would even for once get to see what electricity looks like. Now did this hope weaken them? “
“No. Not at all.”
“You know many people take this hope thing wrongly. Hope is not presuming that a thing is going to happen for sure. It is rather convincing the heart that the thing may happen and be prepared for it. You may have to celebrate or may have to feel bad. But you never win or lose when you hope. Do you try doing something when you hope for something? No, because you have tried doing all you could and now it’s the time to just sit and wait. So there stands no chances of winning or losing. You write an exam and then you hope that you get good grades. You do not appear for the same exam for many a times to get good grades, that would be a such a flop case.”
“Yes, I get it.”

Do I hope for anything now? Do I ever convince my heart that things are going to get better? Not at all. This country of mine has turned into a rat-hole. But it used to be something different till when I was a child. Now when I compare today’s condition with that of 12-13 years old, I find myself very tormented. This ain’t the same world which my father had then promised me it would be. Everything is totally preposterous. There is this air of angst in which I am suffocating. Nothing can be done now. No reform, no rebel, no riot nothing can help. You can not do anything but just sit back and rue the day you were born and let this whole craziness eat you up.

Morning’s Mine !!

One morning, which is usual as all the mornings,I hear a hard knock on my door. “Let’s go to the mess,its breakfast time”. I hear that knock.What the hell!Why is this happening? My minds instructing me-dont you dare open your eyes,otherwise the eyeballs are going to pop-out.I need my pillow to put on my ear-God damn it, where’s it?? I spread my hands to every part of my bed I can, but my body’s not getting slightest of movement. My pillow’s missing. Fuck it – bastard’s missing. Suddenly I feel my leg’s feeling it somewhere.” Ahh, thank God – I got it – you just saved my morning from getting screwed”. I grab the pillow, put it on my ear and make sure that even the most tumultuous thunder doesn’t disturb me. But, I can feel that the knock is growing louder as the person’s getting no response from me. He reminds me what I had said to him last night. “Friend, I’ve been missing my breakfast for last 4 days due to oversleeping. I dont want this to happen tomorrow again. So, please wake me up in the morning anyhow. Do whatever comes in your mind.But, please!! “, he says. I am listening all these shits.”What a stupid he’s,he takes everything so seriously”.I am thinking this and cursing myself for whatever i said to him last night.

Eventually, he gives up. “Fuck off. Dont you dare say me to wake you up any day. Its all wastage of time. I am leaving. “I am hearing all this with all my ears,he leaves and I take a great sigh of relief. “Good, you are gone, now I can have a sound sleep. “Pressing hard the saviour pillow on my face I push my self to a deep sleep, deeper than ever.

After about 1 hour I feel its time to get up. I try very hard to lift my body off the bed,seems that the bed has clutched me tightly and it doesn’t want me to leave it. A commitment that I make to it just before I sleep is to break,so it tries to savour every last moment that I am spending with it. Finally I detach my body, mind and soul from my sweet and lovely darling, promising that i will be back again with a lot of love and the next night will be more entertaining for it.