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Thursday, May 28, 2020

In Pune, online reunions to game sessions, lockdown inspires “we” time

From reunions to housie sessions, people are making the most of their unplanned time off.

Written by Alifiya Khan | Pune | Published: April 1, 2020 11:22:43 pm
Should schools close to fight COVID-19? Singapore, Australia among countries to say no A common scene in most living rooms now, in times of social distancing, video conferencing and online gaming apps are helping families and friends get closer. (Representational Photo)

or school teacher Arwa Chunawala, late evenings at home usually meant prepping for the next day at work — planning classroom sessions and preparing notes, even as she continually reminded her sons to ensure they had prepared for school too.

With a complete lockdown, this is the first time she doesn’t have to bother about such things, so the mother of two is now indulging in some “girlie” time with her friends.

“We have discovered a lot of these interesting games that we can play online. And it’s so much fun. Earlier we would meet our friends once or twice in a month but now it’s almost every alternate day. We actually look forward to evenings when the day’s work is over, ” she said.

A common scene in most living rooms now, in times of social distancing, video conferencing and online gaming apps are helping families and friends get closer. From reunions to housie sessions, people are making the most of their unplanned time off.

Software professional Neeti Singh recently had a reunion with her school friends spread across at least three continents, thanks to a video-conferencing app. “We had a WhatsApp group but chatting became very irregular since we couldn’t match timings. Recently, someone posted that since we are all under lockdown, wherever we are, why not catch up online for a reunion? It was so much fun. We even had a dress code, played games and sponsored prizes through gift cards. In fact, we are now thinking of doing this again,” she said.

Daily chat sessions have become a thing for most family groups now. Shenaz Lokhandwala, a banker, says it has actually brought families closer. “It was after years that my extended family of uncles and aunts, cousins, their children, all started coming together online in the day. We have started organising these housie (Tambola) sessions, it feels good to have family time which takes our mind off the seriousness of things outside,” she said.

Nazneen Firoze, a resident of Salunkhe Vihar Road, has a group of friends where mothers and children form a team and play against others. “Our children were into these online games majorly and now we are also joining in. It is fun, especially during the lockdown when we have nothing to look forward to. But if you ask me, these connections are superficial. Once the lockdown ends, people will go back to routines. I wish people actually made it a priority to find time for people they want to be in touch with, ” she said.

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