Updated: Sep 8, 2020
I am from a state called Kerala in India. During my childhood, I used to have relatives who lived abroad with family mostly in the middle east.
When I grew up, there were many of these families who came back to India. Perhaps my wife also falls in the same category. It was
interesting to hear the lives they had abroad which included having food that we have never seen before, things they get in a shop,
a camera and a camcorder which most of them have, the list of electronic items they had etc. They are nostalgic about these memories.
I am a Software Engineer who lives in Kerala, India with my Family and this is about the life I had before YEAR 2020!
It’s August 2020 now. I feel the same nostalgia now about the life I used to have before 2020 with my family, the experiences we had together. Now I realise I was having a similar life too. Shopping malls, restaurants, movies whenever you feel exhausted. Travel was another craze that was building within me. I used to keep aside a separate fund just for weekend travelling - these could be to some eco tourism spots, resorts, a forest trek program, a visit to a nearby hill station or even a nearby beach. This was the life till January 2020. Things are not same now.
February 2020, hearing about the spread of the virus I proactively stopped going to malls, movies and crowded places. Rest was normal. Daily school, office routines, grocery shopping. We did go out to restaurants nearby a couple of times. I had a conference in Bangalore and on returning there was a temperature check at Thiruvananthapuram airport - a first experience. There were no reports of the virus spreading anywhere near us though.
March 2020, was the month everything flipped. Covid-19 cases were on the rise all over the world. As our state had a huge number of expats all around the globe and many of them were coming back to their native towns, there was a controlled rise of cases here. On the 10th of March classes were closed for all schools and there started Work From Home! All three of us at home all the time. Stopped going out even for purchases and switched to home deliveries. And finally on 24th March started the nationwide lock down. New life starts.
April 2020, lockdown continues. I was sure it was not going to end in a week or two. It was for the first time that I had spent so much time together with my daughter and wife. I managed to get groceries delivered at home. We also celebrated my daughter's birthday via video call this month. I was fine staying locked inside - I sometimes felt I had a peculiar skill to be in quarantine! Balcony on my 9th floor was my favourite place in the house, hanging out there capturing sunset, watching the eagles, being able to see the rain coming from the ocean were new hobbies. There was a window in our corridor from where the tallest hill in the area - Agasthyarkoodam and the Western ghats became a common site due to low pollution. I did a lot of cooking experiments on my oven too. Only thing that was not right was that my daughter was on television all the time we were working. Also it was a sad thing that there were many who couldn’t go out to earn their daily bread. Well, I was a bit over conscious about cleanliness that I blew my phone off sanitising it.
May 2020, I was still fine with the new life, my daughter and wife but badly wanted to see people. Finally intra district travel was open during the month and my wife and daughter moved to her parents house in the same city. New stage starts. I enjoy being alone and I never feel bored staying alone. But after a week due to few external factors, I wanted to leave. There was a portal to obtain an inter district travel pass and I got it approved to travel to my native. I bought a WiFi dongle for work, whatever I could get and just fled. Next stage starts. This is something I never thought will happen in my life again - a long time stay at my native with my parents and brother. It was the end of Mango season and there was mango juice, mango pulp, mangoes pickle, that curry with mango, the other curry with mango and yet another curry where it is ok to add mango… Nothing much to do, just get up in the morning, get ready, have food, work, cook once a while. In short there was lots of time to work. An important thing to mention is that I had never seen these many varieties of birds before here. That’s the view from the ground compared to my balcony on the 9th floor. I used to wake up in the morning with a variety of sounds from these birds - the strangest one, a bird that has a sound similar to a cat’s meow. I did miss my daughter and wife though.
June 2020, daughter’s online classes were about to start and I had to collect her books. Headed back to Trivandrum on 9th June. New stage starts. Got back together with my daughter and wife at our apartment. Daughter’s online class started. My wife and myself who both were fully focused on work during the previous month at our respective homes, where not able to manage when we got back with daughter’s online classes during our working hours. After a week we realised that it was tough to manage and with whatever we could pack, came back to my native town. New stage starts. In a day took a high speed internet connection. Life looked more perfect with everyone together. Daughter has people to spend time with.
July 2020, a pressure packed month, with certification exams and work priorities. The same life, best part, we were all together. At this time, back in Trivandrum, Covid-19 cases were growing.
It’s August 2020, now I have started realising I had a beautiful life we had. Every experience we had together is a beautiful memory now. I feel every penny spent on experiences back then was a worth. I feel the same nostalgia I talked about in the beginning. The difference is they came to a different place than where they used to be, but here the world itself has changed. At times when we step out, the world looks strange with masks, not faces, all around. Let’s hope all of us also will be able to change for the good and let nature take her time to revive.