The onset of lockdown resulted in a bit of a panic in most minds – suddenly, basic services and modes of transport were effectively stopped, trapping us hapless souls in houses that may not have been our homes, and that’s not even taking into account the unimaginable hardships faced by migrants with no money and no means of movement apart from their own feet. This however, is a more personal account of how the lockdown forced me to finally become an adult – and damn, was it a long time coming!
I finally learnt to make rotis – the bare minimum, I know, but still. Kneading atta and water and that little spoonful of oil into a sticky ball was a personal milestone. Watching it puff up on the flame was a success story for me. And no, it wasn’t round at all.
I’ve had the massive privilege of living in a house with a domestic help, someone who would make rotis, rice, paranthas, the works. As a kid I’d even think about how the rotis weren’t always perfect. But then age and self-awareness came knocking, and the magnitude of my privilege hit me, along with quite a bit of guilt. So whipping up my own twisted chapatis was a lesson in self-sufficiency. I’ve cooked other things before, but the elusive roti was always my white whale.
In fact, doing the domestic duties on a daily basis is something I personally haven’t had to do before this. Here comes that privilege again, but suddenly, embarking on a journey of jhaadu and pocchha meant I had to compartmentalise my hours.
This of course, meant I had to make sure I had enough hours in the day to finish up chores like sweeping. It’s honestly insane how much dust there is in Delhi. Hey, that’s another thing I learnt!
To that end, making a routine for the day became priority, not only so I could achieve everything I needed to, but also as a way of keeping the mind tempered. And c’mon, having a routine is adult AF.
On the other hand, breaking the rules is super punk rock, so make sure you strike a balance by sometimes just not cleaning up at all. You have to listen to me ‘cos I’m an adult now.
Perhaps the greatest achievement was that I started exercising regularly. Granted, it was out of necessity rather than desire, but not having much else to do meant I could regularly work out. Plus, you need muscles to lift that 20 litre Bisleri bottle.
Guys, working out is a super grown-up thing to do. Nothing makes you realise just how much you’ve destroyed your body as planking for a single minute. Unlike earlier when there were a 1000 distractions to not exercise, now it’s just me and my weird body.
Also, huge news – My sleep cycle has normalised. That’s right, my circadian rhythm’s evened out y’all. It just needed a global pandemic and worldwide suffering to make me sleep at a decent hour.
I know there are a lot of folks who have had the opposite experience – they’re nodding off at the weirdest hours and waking up when the chickens start napping. But not me, I get a coveted sweet and tasteful 8 hours, and enough time to put lightly melted butter on my toast before work.
All in all, these personal achievements would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the fact that I had no other choice. I’d become comfortable in my privilege, in the daily rigour (or lack thereof) where many of my needs were taken care of while I just worked, ate, and slept. Now, I’ve acquired a few skills that might be the bare minimum for all those unfortunate souls who have really felt the brunt of this lockdown, and it’s given me a newfound appreciation and empathy for their struggle. It’s also made me feel like a grown-up, so… yay?