Post Lockdown Blues
Post Lockdown Blues3 mins 256 3 mins 256
“Remember to set the alarm at 6am tomorrow. You must report for work!” I told myself the previous day. Yes, around 40 days of staying away from workplace had thrown daily schedule out of gear. Though the work was more, with housework thrown in for good measure, there was a lot of flexibility in getting up from bed, completing chores and eating. Of course, late rising meant the household chores like cooking and cleaning got extended till lunch, which would get stretched till late afternoon. However, as there would be no unexpected guests dropping nor any unexpected outings, things could be done leisurely.
Yes, it would pinch when friends put up their movie lists on social media, along with exotic dishes cooked during lock down. Oh, why is it that I do not have so much time, I would wonder. The work from home schedule was tiring and I learnt the art of muting audio and video, carrying laptop to kitchen while I chopped onions or made myself a cup of tea. Constant meeting ensured that the laptop was firmly by my side, even while eating or mopping the house!
Anyways, lockdown got over and it was time to get back to work, albeit with new norms in place. Masks to match the dress, sanitizer in bag and a fear to touch anything. Morning dawned bright and clear but there was something unusual about it. It felt different. The enthusiasm and energy were missing. A kind of monday blues, except that it came after quite a few mondays. I shrugged it off, thinking that it was sheer lethargy and luxury of staying at home. Added to the reluctance to get ready was the maid, who declared that she could not bend to sweep as she had put on a lot of weight during lockdown! “After getting salary from all households and free ration from many over enthusiastic groups, I can’t get myself to work!” she declared.
I resisted the urge to tell her how middle-class people juggled housework, office work plus payed all taxes dutifully while other classes relaxed. No point in antagonizing the most important person in my life, you see!
The auto guy who came to pick me up looked different with a slight paunch and thick mask. His gruff voice assured me that it was my regular auto. “Lots of cigarettes and drinks, madam. As time was weighing heavily on my hands” he said, sheepishly. “Did your wife feel the same?” I asked but he chose not to hear. We reached office in half the time as not much traffic was there, especially autos and vans carrying kids to school and teenagers rushing down the road. The guard at the entrance held a thermal scanner and made us pass through a metal door. All looked different and all kept their hands to themselves. Though we were physically meeting after many days, everyone looked a bit lost and less happy. “hey, your mask looks attractive and comfy, where did you buy it” There was a crowd now around me and I heaved a sigh of relief. The more things change, the more they remain the same!!