March 24 marked the anniversary of the nationwide lockdown. India downed its shutters and called for strict implementation of law and order in order to curb the spread of the pandemic. Everyone resorted to a way of coping with the unprecedented times. While Dalgona coffee and banana bread were the highlights of many people’s quarantine, there were others who adopted quirky coping mechanisms. Well, whatever it is, the fact remains that we have survived. Bingedaily spoke to Indians who tell us about their journey as the lockdown completes a year.
As the lockdown completes a year people have mixed feelings
Mingel Fernandes had a roller coaster of a year. As the lockdown completes a year, this professional has mixed feelings. “We entered into the pandemic not knowing what it had in store for us. There were certainly positive aspects such as the work-from-home culture, a laid-back life, saving immensely on time and money as travelling was almost negligible.”
Similar to many working professionals, Mingel counts himself as lucky as the lockdown brought with it several perks that would otherwise not been possible. “I could wake up 5 minutes before the login time and start working!”
However, with time, people started reaching a saturation point. “No one was used to having all family members in the confines of home for such long durations. It was chaotic, to be honest. Our patience level was tested!”
While there was a fun side to the lockdown, there was also the tough side. “Extended family time, lunches and dinners together, quality time, rising up to new Instagram challenges every day, zoom calls to ring in someone’s birthday, and life completely changing.”
“I spent the first half of the lockdown just trying to adjust to this new atmosphere. I tried to beat the laziness by working out. I even learnt a few chords of the guitar before I broke a string! I can now proudly say that I am able to make some perfectly round chapatis,” chuckles Mingel.
He adds that the craziest thing about this time was not getting a haircut and the picture is proof!
“Fast forward to today, life hasn't been the same since the lockdown. I have just learnt to appreciate life even more and always be thankful to the Almighty for this wonderful life, for my family and for a handful of friends. I do not know when the pandemic will end but we are all in this together.”
Some perfected their skills as the lockdown completes a year
For Sahil Kalyani, the real deal began a couple of months into the lockdown. “Everyone was out of their motivation to conquer the world. Work became demanding, zoom calls became difficult to arrange due to clashing schedule. That's when I thought of developing a new hobby.”
Right from his school days, Sahil had enjoyed playing the piano on a smartphone app called 'Perfect Piano'. “Thinking this would be a good time to properly learn the instrument, I placed an order for a piano on Amazon. It proved out to be one of my best investments so far. Not only did I get engaged in a new activity apart from work, but it also sparked a sense of creativity within me. It helped me increase my focus and concentration as well.”
Being locked up for almost an entire year can make any person change. “After being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the month of September, and being locked inside my room for 14 days, I realized the importance of one of the most ignored things - our health. Not just physical but mental health alike. We, humans, are inherently social creatures, and being locked up without any human interaction can lead us to have a severe toll on our mental wellness.”
As the lockdown completes a year, Sahil has learnt the importance of the little things. “Regular exercise, taking small but frequent breaks from sitting on a chair for long hours to walk around, eating healthy etc. I even made a new year resolution to go for a morning walk and followed it religiously. This lockdown certainly changed me a lot, for good, I guess,” he signs off.
A new relationship that sprung from the lockdown
The start of 2020 was very busy for Lillian Mendes and then out of nowhere COVID-19 hit. Everything came to a standstill especially for Lillian since she is a dance teacher. Classes stopped!
“You may call this lockdown a blessing in disguise because that’s when I starting chatting with Tushar, a college classmate who I hadn’t seen in 20 years. He had married a good friend of mine but tragedy struck one day. He lost her to an accident and luckily Emma his 6 months old daughter survived after being in the hospital for many months with severe brain injury.”
“We started chatting and realised we really had feelings for each other. Chats went on to video calls and as we couldn’t see each other during the lockdown I asked him to be my boyfriend on a video call and he said yes! After months we had an opportunity to see each other.”
“Cut to the present day and it has been a year already. His daughter and I also share a wonderful relationship! She’s 13 now and loves to dance so we make videos together and Tushar shoots them for us! I couldn’t have asked for a better 2020 because he also got me started into my baking business called Lilhomebaker which was another lockdown surprise!”
The year had its tough side too. “I did lose a lot of close people to COVID-19. 2020 was tough and it did make me realise not to take life for granted and always give people a chance! Tushar had been messaging me way before the lockdown and I was so busy that I didn’t pay attention and finally because of the lockdown I found him and we went from college classmates to soulmates!”
Did you venture into something new during the lockdown?
Rahul, a geotechnical engineer who has been into photography and poetry for a long time, decided to explore the domain of boudoir photography and nude photography during the lockdown. “I connected with a few people by chance and that is when it all started.”
“Initially it was only poetry on their pictures but subsequently we met up and shot a few projects and the response has been amazing. Most of the times the thoughts flow out from the pictures and the compositions vary as per mood,” says Rahul.
Rahul also picked up cooking and food photography for a bit during this time. He recalls the irony.
“I was exploring self nude shots as part of the nude photography. I was also bingeing on the stuff I was cooking up. It was like I was photographing the food before and after!”
What did you do during this one year of lockdown? Chances are, you have a hell of a story to tell.