Today, March 3rd 2020, Sunday is a day to remember.
Firstly, the country has declared “Janta Curfew” today. Secondly, for the first time in the history of independent India, we the citizens have been instructed not to come out of our houses.
The novel “Corona” virus pandemic is slowly advancing into our nation. Preventing the epidemic spread among 1,376,233,435 people is a mammoth challenge that faces those in governance.
Their only measure to contain the spread was by declaring a blanket lockdown. 7 a.m in the morning to 9:00 p.m in the night, no individuals except those approved by the local enforcement is supposed to step out of their house.
As a mother of two, being locked into my 900 sq.ft house feels nothing less than exhausting. After a long day of household chores, cooking, babysitting, refereeing between my 7-year old and one year old, I decided to take to the break- To connect with myself.
I also wished to get a glimpse of the world outside. Never since my birth has this city been void of its people. ‘Janta’ meaning people in Hindi, are though to contain, I thought. Will there be adherence to the government’s order?
To see for myself, I decided to get an ariel view from my house terrace. My elder son rushes behind me, offering to come along. Well, It’s been a long day for him too, I thought. What’s Childhood, being inside four walls? I agreed for him to come along.
Opening the door of the terrace felt relishing. The sudden immersive feeling of walking into the open-air can chang moods instantly. After a 9-hour day within four walls in a hot summer, this is all that we needed.
Soaking in the warmth of the evening twilight, my elder son and I head towards the corner of the terrace to get a glimpse of the road. “There must be someone on the Roads,” we thought. To our surprise, the road was empty.
There was no trace of human activity there. The streets which are always buzzing with activity sported a deserted look. The kids who cycled around and played football were untraceable. The group of students who religiously practiced Yoga, around the corners of the street, were not there either. We couldn’t spot the elderly citizens who otherwise walked nor the local street vendors who sold flowers, onions, and garlic in their carts.
The only being we could see was “Whitey,” our street dog. It was, in a way, her day. The entire street was free for her to roam. She seemed to be enjoying this momentary exclusive jurisdiction over her territory.
The deserted street was also pleasantly calm. The voices which were otherwise silenced by urban lifestyles were today audible and loud. The sound of the breeze, the swaying of the leaves, and silence of the neighborhood – it was loud and clear.
As the breeze fizzed and leaves swayed, the birds chirped. At least five different chirps were distinct. Unfaded and rhythmic tunes of chirp looked like the entire Avian Community was singing in thankfulness for this human lockdown.
As we stood watching and relishing these very sights of nature, the gentle breeze waved to stroke my skin. The cool gentle breeze! Oh! It had the power to lighten up the toughest of minds.
I look up, into the sky, and there they were, Crows, Pigeons, Black Durango, Myna, and other birds whose name I know not. All flew, dancing and making merry in the twilight sky. I could even spot the three eagles soaring in a tri-formation in the upper sky. Slow yet steadily, they moved forward, at the same height, distance, and pace.
While yet watching and being immersed in nature’s D-day, the sound of claps emerge from the neighborhood balconies. Whitey, who had walked around in all prowess for the entire day, was now clueless. Looking around, she feared the unknown. It was a clap that our prime minister had suggested to us, citizens, to do in appreciation of those to stood in the frontline to fight corona disease. It was 5:00 p.m in the evening, and with no fellow being in the purview, the sound of the claps grew steadily from the balconies of the street. My son and I clapped along. After all, the healthcare workers, food delivery guys, cleaners had to be acknowledged, and this is the best thing we could do. My son is all the more excited. He may not know the noble motive behind the claps, but he sure enjoyed being a part of doing what he was doing.
After about 10 mins of clapping, we retreat. With a smile on our face and a sense of being content with the community gesture we just did, I look at my son and tell him, “it was a good day, indeed.” He nods with the same affirming energy, and we head back home!
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