Pen by Madhura


Mask-check, sanitizer-check, gloves-check, head cover-check -remember Monica and Ross from ‘Friends’ doing similar checks before flying to London? I now do it regularly before leaving for office.

We are now slowly adapting ourselves to the changed circumstance. Venturing out for work is necessary, but the virus is still there. Precautions need to be taken fully. And that has given way to some weird shopping lists. Please note that I am not at all a compulsive buyer. Rather, I never enjoy shopping for myself. It would take me ages to buy something for myself- first the shopper-me would have to convince the other-me that the stuff I want to buy is indeed necessary. Then I would calculate whether I have to visit some store for that or it can be procured online. And finally, I would go to the Mall or market, visit that particular store which would cater to my current need, buy that stuff and come out. Or if ordering online, try to replicate the similar procedure. You may call me a miser-but that’s how it has been always. But now when I have to have so many accessories daily, I had to stock up these essential items.

The most important component of this checklist is mask. In the initial phase of lockdown, I was going to office once a week. It continued for quite sometime. Hence, I could manage with a pair of masks. But now with the onset of monsoon and daily venturing out, I have got myself dozens of reusable masks. Next is sanitizer. God only knows how many sanitisers I have bought-some pocket ones-easy to carry, some big ones for use at home and office, sanitisers spray, etc. The variability of this product has increase manifold of late, leading to a blooming industry. Before this pandemic, I was one of the very few who carried hand sanitisers while traveling. Some would look at me with surprised eyes when I used to put few drops on my palm and rub it. Some would give me the oh-how-snooty-she-is look. But now hand sanitiser has become the new normal.

The next-not so important thing is gloves. In a humid country like ours, wearing gloves on a regular basis is a problem on its own. However, while availing public transport, using gloves gives us a satisfaction that we are not directly touching anything. Hence gloves have also become part of my new wardrobe. Same goes for head covers-which come in different colours and are used to protect the hair from exposure.

At work the scene has also changed. Work is there as usual, but the inter-personal relationships are at check. We are trying to avoid physical contact as much as possible. Hence there is no scope of having lunch or tea together. Any kind of discussion, whether work related or ordinary chitchat, have to be done over intercom only.

Previously returning home would mean relaxation after having a cup of tea. Now it is a tiring job. I take a bath after returning, washing everything I was wearing using detergent powder and Dettol. Next, I sanitise my mobile and purse with sanitiser spray. After almost an hour I am ready to have some snacks and engage myself to the work at home.

During the lockdown period, like many others, I had also tried to inculcate those hobbies of mine which were brushed under carpet due to paucity of time. I am trying to remain connected to them as much as I can. A little bit of optimism along with precaution is my formula to overcome this troubled time.

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The featured images of the blogs, unless otherwise mentioned are taken by the blog owner and regular photography partner, Pritha. All copyright on the images are reserved.