LIFE IN A BOX
25th March will always be remembered as the day Lockdown 1.0 was imposed in India in 2020. The lockdown resulted in many households incurring huge financial losses. Many migrants also had to walk barefoot to their homes. This was the dark side of the lockdown. But, as it goes, “See the silver lining in everything.”
The lockdown was the most resplendent time for me. We remembered our epics- the Ramayana and the Mahabharata watching them on television. Many other old shows too were aired on DD National. Many competitions were organized and I participated in so many competitions, that later I had trouble recollecting whether I had sent this painting as a response to this competition or that one. I have a large folder still on the laptop with images of my paintings and some of my essays. Like the government traced contacts of people testing positive for the COVID-19 virus, I also traced the competition’s brochure while sending my painting because there were so many competitions occurring simultaneously.
I also indulged in various DIY (Do it yourself) at home in the CE (the Corona Era and not the Christ Era). Online classes were a new experience for me. Struggling to find clues to connectivity errors and learning new features of Zoom, Google Meet and Webex among many other meeting apps was an awesome experience. The daily bulletin to see the no. of COVID-19 cases reported became a ritual I followed daily. On rare days when I missed the daily bulletin on COVID-19 due to some odd reasons, I immediately logged in to the government’s official website (after all we had become so tech-savvy).
I also learned to cook many exotic new dishes. Also, I started checking out many new cooking websites to l cooking restaurant-like dishes as we couldn’t go out to eat. Some funny incidents took place in this- like bringing malai instead of milk when my mother asked me to fetch milk from the refrigerator. Traveling is one thing I relish and this was topped the chart of things the COVID-19 virus forbade. To tackle this problem, I discovered many websites where you can tour any part of this beautiful planet on your computer screen sitting in the comfort of your homes. I toured our vibrant country India and I amassed a lot of knowledge about this incredible country India.
I also sent such links of virtual tours to many of my friends who had birthdays in the lockdown period. Another discovery of mine was the usage of E-cards. I never had a clue about how to use them but the lockdown gave me an insight into this aspect of virtual life too. Being from the computer age, I learned this technique very quickly. I sent these E-cards to many relatives and friends of mine. A thing about E-cards that amazed me was the variety of these E-cards. Ranging from season greetings to an odd laughter week card, there were so many of them. Learning to code was a feat this tiny particle (FYI- the coronavirus and not an ordinary dust particle) pushed me to do. I created some HTML projects, missing many tags, and later rectifying them. My love for plants and nature grew even more. I started many eco-friendly practices like composting and rainwater harvesting in a bucket or a mug and many household chores with my mother. I kept making many mistakes and received a scolding from her in return.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught me a lot. I thank this virus for making me better and as a gratitude promise to the virus; I promise him that I will never forget the hygiene lessons taught by the pandemic. Let us overcome this virus together. To conclude, I add a quote, ‘Be strong now because things will get better, it might be stormy now but it can’t rain forever.’
*Saikrit Gulati, born on February 6, 2009 – 13 yrs old – having hobbies of reading and writing on Indian History, is a student of 7th class at St John’s High School, Chandigarh, author of two books titled Indian Monuments – a Golden Heritage and Gardens of Chandigarh published by Unistar Books. His first book was published when he was just 10 years old and has figured in India Book of Records for being Youngest Author of the book on Heritage.
Views expressed are his personal. He can be contacted at [email protected]