Of washing your watch and therapeutic diaries

Today, for a moment, I felt like we were almost adjusting to the new normal. It was 9PM, we’d just finished dinner, and for once were actually relaxing in front of the television set. And while exhaustion is the constant state of being nowadays, it didn’t seem quite as bad.

And then of course, I remembered that I still had utensils to wash, a kitchen to scrub, and a litter to clean.

But given that after all this I’m managing to sit in front of my screen and actually type something out, that has to count for something right?

On the other hand, I spent a good half an hour of my time this Saturday convinced that my smartwatch was in the washing machine. Needless to say, I was distressed. I even searched through the murky waters in the machine tub to try and find it (with some vague hope that I’d be able to dry it and make it work). But in all of this, I didn’t quite freak out the way I would expect myself to after drowning a 30k watch that was a gift from my in-laws. The amount of weight in that sentence alone should be a good indication of the level of freaking out. But, I wasn’t. I guess when the world around you seems almost apocalyptic, perspectives change.

Oh, the watch wasn’t in the washing machine after all. It was quite dry and safely packed up between my pyjamas in my almirah. But it was another hour before I realised that.

I’ve come to realise I’m using this blog almost as a therapeutic diary, and for once, I’m okay with that.

Speaking of therapeutic diaries, maybe I should talk about this vivid dream I had where my client died thanks to being hit on the head with a cricket ball, and his wife decided to bury him without prior notice?

Well. Maybe some other time.

For now, I’m just going to enjoy a Monday where I’m not dead.

Of quarantine and privilege

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to picture what the world would be like when we finally get out of this.

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to keep anxiety at bay. Or even worse, the indifference.

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to assign meaning to the days spent morning to night between office work, cooking, washing utensils and cleaning the house.

It’s increasingly becoming difficult to ignore the privilege we take for granted.

I see social media flooded with countdown to 21 days, and I wonder how people think that this will actually be over in that period, and that on day 20 a further extension won’t be announced. There are random challenges ranging from fitness to putting up pretty pics and tagging people. Everyone’s putting up pictures of what they’re cooking – often fancy things with ingredients that may soon run out. And then there is news about the crores of Indian’s left without a means of income. Of lakhs of people walking home, social distancing the last thing on their mind.

This disease was brought into the country by the privileged – people who could afford to step out of the country for work or pleasure. And yet, I wonder who is the one really suffering.

I’m not judging the social media posts, heck, I’m contributing to that instead of spending time writing or doing something productive. I guess we’re all dealing with it whatever best way we can – and given the current situation, that’s just fine.

Sorry, this was just a super morose and uninteresting read wasn’t it? I’ll try harder next time. Actually, fuck it, you know I won’t. This isn’t Instagram, you know. I don’t need to pretend.

Notes from the times of Corona

It’s a weird time.

Yes, that sentence just about sums it all.

As I toss and turn in bed trying to get my mind to rest, it instead decides to race through every apocalyptic film I’ve ever watched that began with – “A deadly virus had wiped out 90% of humanity. We were all that was left…” I feel guilt, mixed in with some fear as I remember how hungrily we lapped up all that grime.

The days are endless. Not from a lack of things to do, stuck at home, as one would expect, but from the endless tirade of work melting into one task after another – where even the breaks aren’t relaxing and the work stretches not productive. It’s like we’ve forgotten how to compartmentalize things and everything is one never-ending muddled up task.

There’s a tiny furball purring in my lap. We’ve decided to name her Zoe. She has her life’s priorities set for some time it seems. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Play. Scratch hooman. Repeat.

Mumbai houses scarcely make for a great view. If you’re really lucky, you’ll face some greenery. Or even the sea. But for most of us, the scene before us is far from dreamy. My view, for example, is another building – with a simple straight layout which ensures I can see what’s happening in each flat, every room. And they can see me.

So I now see the woman who seems to be doing laundry three times a day suddenly.

I see the guy sitting on a swing that they have managed to fit into the tiny excuse of a Mumbai balcony – swinging away in the heat at 3 PM.

I see the house with the two old women, where the 55 inch television set is on at all times. It’s big enough for me to be able to see exactly what they’re watching – from Bigg Boss to Naagin. But every now and then they manage to surprise me with a Sex Education on Netflix type of choice.

I see the darkness in the house where the kids often partied, now left to fend for itself.

I see the house where the parrot cage was hung in the window. It’s now empty.

I wonder what they see when they look at our house.

It’s a weird time.

One day at a time.

Of Anxiety & Paranoia

I have always been super proud of being a highly logical human being. Sure, it can sometimes get in the way of my emotional well-being, something that I am learning to work on, but one thing I’ve always known, faced with a crisis, I will first analyse, figure out the next steps, and save the breaking down for later.

When people around me scream and react at a family member, say, falling down, I’d first calmly ask where it hurts.

And of that I’m proud.

Until recently.

Working in a social media company automatically means everyone around you is super connected, all the time. So news reaches you before it reaches the masses, just by simple first mover advantage. And nowadays, there’s a lot of news.

With Covid-19 spreading like wildfire (am I exaggerating here? I don’t think so) – I found that for the first time in my life, my anxiety levels were rising like never before. It was a feeling I wasn’t used to. Something deep in my chest, weighing me down as I powered through work, and every time I felt like I was finally breaking through and able to breathe, another piece of news would hit us. How many more cases reported. How many dead. How supermarkets are running out of stock. How India is slow in reacting. How Mumbai is finally reacting.


I finally understood why that’s a bad thing. It’s the constant barrage of mostly unhappy news and discussions.

And for once, the logical part of me was scaring me even more. It was reminding me of how Mumbai has only one government hospital equipped to handle Covid-19. How chances of numbers being under-reported in the country are extremely high, given how the testing has been restricted. It was screaming at why things are moving at this pace, and screaming even more about how bad things are going to be.

A week ago I was worried about my Europe trip getting cancelled.

Yesterday, I was worried about the lives of everyone I know.

I’m going to pause here.


It is so so important to stay calm. Something my doctor and therapist reinstated, and a tiny part of me felt offended that I had reached that point where someone had to say it to me.

But mental health is important. If we’re constantly worrying, there is no way we’re going to stay physically strong. So do what calms you down.

I’m doing my bit of trying to stay away from crowded areas.

I’m finally starting simple relaxing yoga at home again.

I’m reminding myself to visit social media less – pay a little less attention to alarming news at every second.

I’m meeting friends for breakfast in a bit, and yet doing my best to maintain social distance, at the risk of them minding the fact that I’m not going to hug them, and probably not share my food.

It’s hard appeasing a paranoid logical brain.

But I’m trying.