Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Life in Lockdown - Day 8 of 21, April 1, 2020

Day 8. April Fools Day. No one's laughing though. The joke's on us.

Also turns out to be my late father's birthday so I spent some time tinkering with a blog I wrote about him a few years ago. I'll knock it into a proper shape soon. Right now I am adding some detail here and there as I get information about him and his life. Ever since I saw Coco the movie, I have become rather conscious of the departed souls feeling good when they are remembered. (It would have been difficult to keep him homebound in times such as these I think.)
Pic courtesy - Satish Nargundkar
Friend of mine called from the US and gave me her update. She reckons that what happens in the US will happen in two weeks in India. To her credit, her advise to stock up a bit when the shelves were cleaned out in the US two weeks before our shelves went empty did come true. People are still flying about, partying, bars are open..she said... Or things to that effect. She was very appreciative of  PM Modi's decision to lockdown and how everyone out there was appreciating his move as well. Currently, her main concern was the exponential rise in cases in her city - from 1 to 37000 or something like that - and her advice was that it could happen here too. Hmm. Let's cross that bridge when it comes and thanks for the input.
I've decided not to look at numbers.

Cleaning, Calling 
Today was - cleaning, calling reading, eating, watching a movie, meditation, cleaning, calling day and had little time for anything else. I did watch a National Award winning Assamese movie from 2017 'Village Rock Stars' which was very different. Nothing like your regular movie but I loved it. Caution, it won a national award so be prepared for an art movie.

Anjali's online classes are getting longer - today was an hour and a half. Tomorrow its 2 hours. She seems quite happy by herself. I spoke to Ranjan, Keerti, Gautam, Kiran, Abhinay, Miskil, Peddakka, Nalini, Dr Savithri, Joel, Don, Chandran and a couple of others. Choudary called me early in the morning with a strange request - why don't you stroll across the road to the mental hospital and check out the scene he said. I wondered why.

Alcohol Addicts Having a Tough Time
So Choudary put me on to a local farmer who lives near his house at Shamshabad. Balraj told me that his mother was addicted to drinking toddy everyday and she spent a good part of the government pension on her daily tipple. Ever since the lockdown, she has been having withdrawal symptoms - no eating, no sleeping, hallucinating, talking to herself etc. Worried for her mental and physical well being Balraj somehow secured some toddy and kept it at home. Apparently, the bootleggers are in business and are selling some stuff for these desperate cases.

Kerala had had 8 alcohol withdrawal-related suicides since the lockdown as compared to the 2 deaths from the virus.

Choudary apparently saw a news item about many addicts now queuing up at the mental hospital for admission to handle their withdrawal symptoms. Hmm.

Uneasy Calm
The panic has faded and a sense of calm has settled in. I am looking to pick another good movie to round off the day. 'Sillu Karupatti' comes recommended. Netflix.

I asked myself what I was missing the most in these lockdown days. I cannot really put my finger on anything - am fine without going out, not craving for outside food, not craving to meet people, not craving to watch movies in theatres or anything, no craving for alcohol. What could I do with more of? I felt I could talk some more to people over phone..that's the one thing. Maybe, I will organise my time better tomorrow. Anyway, let's see, things may change in a few days.

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