Excursions

by Amit Gawande

I am getting used to this new normal

Empty, lifeless streets. Calm, soundless surrounding. Few overly protected bodies strolling around.

No cars. No motorbikes. No home delivery agents. No horns. No flights zooming through the skies.

Waking up early, trying to get into some sort of routine. As my mind attempts to convince me that it just doesn’t matter when I wake up. A morning tea with family, the ears listening to and the brain doing it’s best to ignore the updates from the news.

I know very well that there’s not going to be any significant change to the state of the world. I am mindful that I can’t expect the things to be back to any form of normalcy anytime soon. But I still have ears to the news - in search of that one downward trend.

Or that one act of human kindness that will bring a smile to my face.

Yoga at home. A half an hour walk across the rooms. And balconies. At home. Work, as the mind wanders every now and then. At home. Play board games, silly pranks with my daughter. Dance. Be foolish. At times play some outdoor games too. But just inside. At home.

Spend evenings with family. Look outside to the empty streets, the calm surrounding. At those few strolling bodies.

Hopeful that I will soon be able to go out. Not being afraid. Or circumspect. Not alone. But being carefree. With family. Take that impulsive walk or a ride. Go for that long drive.

Hopeful that it won’t be so eerily quiet outside. And inside. At the same time, thankful that I’ve my family close to me to lean on to. To gain strength from.

Today marks 14 days that we have spent locked down in your homes. The at-home routine has become our new normal now. I am getting used to it.

I spent the evening today with my daughter, looking out to the clear skies. She asked me nonchalantly why can’t we go outside. And before I could answer, I saw her roll her eyes and blurt without a hint of sadness in her voice, yeah, the virus”.

She wished it will go settle onto the hilly forests that are visible from our balcony. She wished us, just our family, got fairy wings. So that we could make the clear, empty skies our home. The purity, the genuineness in her wishes, her thoughts brought a smile to my face.

I know it is this zeal in her that will help me pull through this exhausting time. This new normal is fine with me.