This year isn’t the same as last year,
For last year brought with it a long awaited break from the constant nagging of life,
It was but a vacation for divulging in undiscovered knacks,
It was the silence before the storm.
But now we crave for that hectic life where we vexed over the simplest of issues,
And living experiences we had only dreamt about.
Once atheist, we have now turned to the almighty,
With whom, not so long ago, we used to bargain on starry nights for our finances, future, and so much more
These seem like trivial issues now, as we look up pleading for the warmth from our loved ones and the basic necessities of life,
Somewhere over time, we seem to have lost our basic rights
We’re all struggling to comprehend the tenacity of the second wave, and our internal battles with these newfound feelings of sorrow, grief, pain, and fear as we engage in self pity. Hear from some of my friends and teammates how they are making it through!
A walk down memory lane
I close my eyes and picture home,
A bustling city, with aromatic streets,
Familiar faces with twinkling eyes, and welcoming smiles
The unmatched frequencies of the voices of my loved ones along with the daily shora gul all harmoniously amalgamating to form a beautiful symphony,
That I now yearn to hear
We rushed to get colors, right after our exam ended, today we’ll play holi, we decided. We’ll stay up all night till we have to part ways tomorrow, the day of our mid sem break. Call us kids or regimented adults, we were sleep deprived for the past week, and we decided to take a nap, promising to wake up at the tick of midnight. But we didn’t, our hour long nap turned into 8 hours of sleep, and we woke up to find our roommate gone. “We won’t forgive you for not waking us up when you were leaving”, I told my roommate on the video call. Hey, she said, I didn’t have the heart to wake you guys up, I thought we were meeting in a week, how could I have known?
Try to be happy with the simpler things in life,
Find comfort and get nostalgic over a juicy mango,
Or chit-chat with family and friends,
Remember the daily hustle over a cup of chai or coffee,
Listen to your favorite playlists and chuckle as you go through your phones’ gallery
Remember the lost, as you take up their hobbies
Keeping sane has been tough, with our daily routines torn apart, and our future more uncertain than ever. But even in these times, where distraught and discontent cloud our minds, we attempt to hold on to fleeting moments of happiness to muster courage, and get through the present, whilst eyeing the future desperately, trying to predict it.
Ever since covid first began we have been rummaging about for hobbies to pursue, attempting to feel productive and doing something worthwhile. This helps, it keeps our mind immersed and enthralled, distracting it from festering forlorn thoughts.
Sahithi was one of the first people, I knew, whose house COVID had shooketh in 2020,
“It took my household by a storm, it was unprecedented, I was at my lowest when my maternal grandmother passed away. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. It was a tough time for all of us, my mother had to handle all the formalities, without hinting to my grandfather, who was still recovering from COVID, that his wife was no more. This wasn’t the end, a few days went by, and I noticed I had started to experience breathlessness, I quarantined in constant fear, that I might have unknowingly transmitted the virus to my paternal grandparents. As for what got me through? The need to provide solace to my grandfather and mother, who were grieving my grandmothers’ death. I took to oiling my grandfather’s hair just like my grandmother would, and attempted to recreate her beloved pickle recipe, only a tiny bit of which now remained. To all those who’re now grieving, trust me give it time, you’ll heal, support the ones you love and remember the ones you have lost. As for keeping sane during lockdown, Every time I need a break or get bouts of enthusiasm, I immerse myself in workout regimes, painting, and of course getting ready and practicing dance moves with my friends over video calls and chit-chat sessions.”
For Sarvani, her family, friends, and netflix served as the biggest support system,
“Throughout lockdown, getting on regular calls with my friends and just laughing my worries away has been my favourite thing to do. Despite them being so far away, it felt like they were right here with me. And when things were getting too much, I would just tune out the world and immerse myself in shows and movies. They transported me into another world and helped me detox every now and then. Then comes family, oh family was the biggest support system during this time. All of us confined to the same space, we bonded, laughed and roasted each other more than we ever did before. My dad annoying me during online classes and my mom coming in to scold him while holding a plate of fruit for me to eat, were some of my best memories in lockdown.”
Dev on the other hand painted his thoughts and derived his strength by focusing on the display of unity COVID had brought with it.
“The past few weeks have been extremely heartbreaking & daunting for me. However, seeing people unite to provide support to the needy on virtual platforms has given me hope & strength to sway through these times. I also used art to help deviate my attention from the ongoing crises & reduce stress. My prayers with all those who lost someone in their lives & strength to those struggling hard to save lives. “
Covid got along with it, an uncertainty in our lives, Akshita shares her experience of dealing with financial instability, and staying optimistic,
“I lost my job due to the economic crisis covid brought with it. I was constantly anxious, questions like, how will I earn money?, and what should I do now? Were storming my mind. I actively applied for jobs and gave interviews, and not long after, it bore fruit. I am now working again and can support myself, but as and when I feel low, I get on calls with friends, recently we celebrated ones’ mehendi ceremony over video call. I have realised people may not be there to hug you in real life, but they remember you in their hearts and virtual things are a thing, so get on call and reach out to your family and friends.”
Ankita couldn’t meet her family for a long time. She got back out though, and you can do it too.
“I was alone during the lockdown last year and had so many negative thoughts. I shared these with my family and friends. Implementing a friend’s advice I started practicing gratitude and manifestation daily. Along with this I touched upon my creative side, and took to dancing, journaling, and upskilling”
Nadashree had hit rock bottom and here’s how she got through.
“Last year, I was a month away from completing my master’s when the lockdown was declared. It was a moment of uncertainty because I couldn’t figure out what to do next. I couldn’t meet my friends or have a farewell party with our lovely juniors. At some point, I felt like I hit the rock bottom. But I didn’t want to be in a low situation, instead, I started to do the things I love most. I started reading more books from around the world, filling the empty pages of my journal with my thoughts and feelings, sometimes with stories. I took the opportunity to polish my French language skills which I learnt during my college. Also started to learn a new language along with taking online courses for the subjects which I have an interest in. It helped me bounce back from my lowest point.”
Akshaye who’s a fanatical football fan was devastated when on March 20th, it was announced that in addition to suspension of college classes football leagues too were cancelled.
“The one thing that is really keeping me sane during the pandemic is video games. It is the only thing that is constant in a world that keeps on opening and shutting down. I love football and during the early period of the pandemic it was shut down so games kept me in constant. I have the privilege to use a gaming console so playing open world games and exploring those worlds really kept me sane. I felt grateful when I got rejected for post-graduate courses. I was planning to take Clinical Psychology but it was something I was never passionate about, and with those rejections it was clear it wasn’t the right thing to do, and the pandemic gave me another chance to introspect and recalibrate my path forward”
Stay Strong, We’ll make it out
As we face this catastrophe,
We hope you remember,
We’re all in this together,
And it’s okay to grieve and breakdown,
So cry it out,
And attempt to be to others the support system you need.