On March 24, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days, which went on to be extended to May 17, in three phases. In lockdown 3.0 now, many of us may be gradually getting used to reorienting our lives around our homes. That does not mean the transition has been seamless; there have been practical, emotional and mental challenges that we had to grapple with. At the same time, it has made us aware of the importance of things we took for granted all this while: human connection, for instance.
While speaking to indianexpress.com, that is what some people, especially who have been living alone, acknowledged they missed the most during the lockdown. Be it working with colleagues or hanging out with friends at the end of a hectic week, the lockdown has in a way heightened the absence of a partner. “I have been craving for ‘touch’. I have only come to realise its importance, and how I took it for granted, during the lockdown. The touch and hug of friends, the caress and embrace of a partner, and the many random handshakes and pats that go unnoticed and unregistered. I want them all, badly,” remarked Rahul Sen from Delhi.
The unavailablity or shortage of alcohol and cigarettes has of course been a common complain. But interestingly, it is also making people miss being in office. “I miss two things — alcohol and, surprisingly, going to work. I am locked up alone. In housing societies, people do not really mingle so much. So, yes, I miss having others around,” commented Varun Panicker from Delhi.
For some, it is the just the inability to make impromptu plans. “I miss the ability to make a sudden plan to visit a friend, going to Sunder Nursery (a heritage park in Delhi) and sitting on the grass, and hugs of reassurance from friends and family,” expressed Shreya Basu from Delhi.
Not to mention the freedom to step out of our homes, may be just for a stroll, which now seems quite a precious experience. Amartya Chakraborty from Bhubaneshwar added, “I miss going for aimless long walks with my music on. It helps me relax. And of course, making plans with friends.”
For others like Aishani Gupta, the lockdown has taken away what she loved doing the most: getting to know her city better. “I have missed wandering around in my city. I have always loved to travel around in Kolkata — from historical places, to shopping malls; sampling different kinds of street foods. It made me feel alive.”
The current confinement has stalled preplanned activities for some. For Gayathri Nair from Bengaluru, her desire to adopt a kitten has been put on hold indefinitely. “Work-from-home is a long day of work without the respite of hanging out with colleagues and de-stressing,” she added. Chakraborty, on the other hand, had made bookings for a much-awaited foreign trip this summer, and for now, he only hopes to tick the trip off his bucket list sometime soon in future.