When The Lockdown Ends, I'm Going To Be A Man You Won't Recognize

Phaniraj Lenkalapally Phaniraj Lenkalapally in Life In The Times Of Corona on 5 April, 2020

Nearly two weeks of being in lockdown now… and my only connection to the outside world is one app on my phone that gives me the news. All day, every day, I see updates and new measures that the government is taking to control COVID-19.

I never thought I’d say this one day, but my professor was right. He used to say, “Control the controllables”. I knew it was good advice. I just didn’t expect to use it this much.

I’m controlling the only controllable I have- taking care of my people, and preventing the virus spread in society.

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I’ve been working for ten years now. And I’ve kept telling myself, “Phani, take a break. Spend time with your family. Have fun.”

But trust me, once college is done, you’re only day dreaming about that break until the next job is done, the next target is reached, and the “next time” happens.

Okay, now that I do have time on my hands, what am I going to do? It makes no sense to create a WhatsApp group and make “Ans-NZ” plans with my friends exactly, does it?

For the first time in my life, I’m actually using technology to stay connected. I’m working out with my colleagues on Zoom calls, organising Tambola championships with relatives across the world, and obviously, getting out from under a rock and discovering the marvels of online publishing.

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But trust me, I’ve discovered a brand new angle to “being productive”, and it has everything to do with family.

I’ve never been more ‘in my zone’ then right now. I can’t help but envy those people who have their grandparents at home. I’m imagining that grandparents are on their A-game, making up new stories every day to tell their grandchildren.

I’m a sales and marketing professional, so I meet more people on a daily basis than I can remember. I can’t remember the last time I was in the four walls of my home, with only four other people. It’s… bizarre.

I always knew for sure that a small break with my family would rejuvenate me. But I didn’t expect that it would really happen.

This isn’t even just a random long-weekend. It’s 21 days! If a short vacation has the potential to reboot me, what can 3 full weeks do? I’m thrilled!

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I can almost taste what work-life balance is. And the ingredients include- the shortest commute to work, ingenious teamwork (even though offline teams are online), being able to chop vegetables while dictating notes to my phone. You know. That stuff.

I miss my friends. I know what separation feels like. I am really discovering the limits of my patience when my family gets on my nerves. And so, I discover my love for them as well.

I thought this lockdown would be intense. But you know what? I never thought I’d be making French fries at home, playing rummy with my family and writing an article, all on the same day. Here I am. I’m living the life I always dreamed of. At the end of this, I’ll have jump-started a wholesome new way of living.

Editor's Note:

This is not an easy time to be alive, and we're being forced to slow down. Many of us will be confronting things that we have been hiding for some time. You are not alone.

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