#TheWalkingDiary

A yo-yo-ing day during lockdown…

6.30 am: I wake up with a start. It’s Monday. I feel its blues. I really don’t want to walk today, not with a mask on. I so hate the mask. I want to curl back in bed. I hear the seniors chatting in the garden below and I haul myself out. I decide not to wear the blue surgical mask. I don a cotton, chequered one, instead. 

7 am: It’s been my ritual to listen to M.S. Subbalakshmi’s morning hymn – the Suprabhatham. It’s 20-minutes long and I manage to walk about 1.6 km in that time. Kind of slow. Today some fatigue has set in. I select the gayatri mantra and listen to its repetitive chants for 10 soothing minutes. I have met most of the regular walkers and exchanged greetings with them. I have ignored my undone shoe laces so far, but a feisty senior points to them. I sheepishly bend and tie them. 

9 am: I have breakfast fatigue. I haul myself from the dining chair and open my laptop. The yellow stickie note has a long list of to-dos. I stare at it for a while and wonder if changing the colour to lilac will help. I change it to lilac.

11 am: Upto my neck in work, I wonder if I will survive the day. In between work I have made a paytm payment for ‘exotic fruit’, a google pay for ‘exotic bakery’ and cash to an apothecary (ok, ok, chemist) for completely unexotic medicines, decided the lunch menu, checked with the aircon guy about servicing the aircons (will he wear a full PE suit? Will he wear gloves? Can he please not speak or breathe while he is at my house?), complained to the broad band provider for the slow wi-fi, and ticked off my son for excessive chatting on online school. 

2 pm: I feel sleepy (rice, that bane of my existence and balm for my soul), but there are calls galore. I think dreamily of grabbing a book, my phone and go sit in the garden. And the mask? That decides me. I stay put.

4 pm: The ache in my back is accentuated today. Sitting on chairs not meant for long hours of sitting. I finally cave in and order a study table and chair for myself. There seems to be nothing temporary about wfh, anymore. 

6 pm: A friend calls. I feel the acute need to socialize. But it’s an impossible dream. I haven’t stepped out of my apartment complex in months. 

7 pm: I am in a dejected mood as I go down to for my evening walk. It’s been a crappy day at work. I couldn’t do my intermittent fasting, which means I will go up and pig out. I don’t want to meet a single person today. I look at my playlist. I decide to go with U2 and blast it. For 30 blessed minutes there is only Bono in my ears. I go up in a happier frame of mind. 

9 pm: I am in a baking mood. I decide to bake a loaf of bread. I look up the ingredients, and start my prep. My house help shakes her head at me and I promise not to mess up the kitchen. An empty promise and she knows it. She leaves me alone and as the rest of the household settles down, I bake. 

Finally, I am at peace.

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