“I realized that the magnitude of our universe is unfathomable and that each and every person is a mere fleck of dust in relation to the cosmos. This made me grasp how inconsequential our problems are in a universe that keeps on expanding and changing even when we no longer live in it. This gave me a look at the bigger picture that most of us seem to miss..”
This is something I had written a while back… way before the corona pandemic assumed the magnitude it has today. After seeing the exponentially increasing number of COVID-19 cases, I realized how idealistic I was when I wrote the aforementioned lines in italic. Yes, our problems do not have everlasting consequences, but that in no way means that they are ‘inconsequential’… how foolish of me!
People often say that you realize the value of something only once you lose it. Being a young naive girl (or a naturally rebellious teenager, depends on how you see it), I thought of this as another ‘ parental lecture-y’ saying that tries to make you appreciate what you have. However, I have finally lived it… and so have all of you. I will not rant about families that have been separated due to the risk of air travel. I will not rant about the millions of daily wage earners who walk 600km to go to their villages. I will not rant about the tens of thousands of people who have succumbed to this ghastly pandemic. No. Doing so will not add any utility to this piece because I’m sure all of you, being educated and obligated citizens, not of the country but of the world, are already well aware of this.
Tired of being cramped up within the pink walls of my room, I decided to sit in my grandparent’s room for a change of scenery. Snuggling into a warm blanket with The Other Side of Midnight ( a Sidney Sheldon novel I would 100% recommend), I felt something rectangular jab my hips. Curious, I rolled over and found a book in German underneath! Although I do not know German, I figured that this book was more of an “Easy guide to learn German!” sort of book. I ran over to my grandfather and asked him ” बाबा! क्या आप फिर से german सीख रहे है?!” (Baba, are you re-learning German?!). He smiled at me and said, “german सीखने का mood था, तो हम फिर से सीख रहे है” ( I was in the mood to re-learn German, so I’m learning it again). This made me realize how there’s absolutely no barrier (school work or even age!) to learn something new! I’ve been seeing most of the people my age following certain trends on social media (I absolutely love the #quarantinedbutnotconfined trend! although I’m a bit against the qooh and the draw a carrot, but that’s just me haha) to either boost their morale (very much needed in times like this) or while away their time (an inevitable action I have, at times, succumbed to), but this incident with my grandfather has finally motivated me to write a blog wherein I will share certain ideas on ways in which we can make the most of our quarantine!
Although Isaac Newton made great discoveries in his quarantine period during the Great Plague of London, this blog does not serve to urge you to intellectually exhaust yourself by trying to live up to Newton (though it would be absolutely lovely if someone did make an earth-shattering discovery !) I’m merely going to list out certain things I’m doing or aiming to do to make the most of my quarantine! Here goes nothing :
- Spend time with your family doing things you would normally do once or twice a year: My family and I usually play cards ( rummy, court piece, 29, teen don paanch, flush) once or twice a year whenever my uncle used to come back from the States. However, now I spend more time playing cards with my grandfather and my father, and it’s an absolute stress buster!
- Just go and pick up the musical instrument you haven’t touched in years! : I’ve spent more time learning new songs on my guitar than I normally would. I’m also working on a collab with one of my best friends online! (so looking forward to it)
- If you’re lucky to have any gym equipment with you, then go get your physical exercise! : Relax, I’m not forcing you to do an intensive work out. All I’m trying to say is that all of us need (and want!) some physical exercise because we will not be able to play badminton, football, basketball, cricket, or any other such sport for a long while. So, go get the exercise you want!
- Reorganize all your study material: I’m a big neat freak, and there’s nothing more therapeutic than reorganizing and relabelling the messy stack of sheets lying about! Doing so will make you feel more productive when you feel as if you’ve whiled away your whole day
- CALL UP YOUR FRIENDS AND TALK TO THEM ON CALL FOR HOURS!: Why text a ‘haha’ when you can actually laugh your hearts out with your friends? I’ve always been the kind of person who talks on calls (my longest call ever during this break has been ~1 hour 30 minutes with my best friends!). I’m serious, you don’t realize how lonely you feel until you talk to your friends.
- Play scribbl and zoom your friends for a while at the end of the day! : For those of you who are not aware of scribbl and zoom: Scribbl is an online multiplayer game where you can play Pictionary of sorts with your friends; Zoom is an online platform you can use to video call, share your screen, draw, and chat. After all, all of us need some time with our friends at the end of the day : )
- Learn something new online! : there are thousands of courses you can take online. Learn something you’ve always kept aside because of your ‘hectic school schedule’ [IB students give me a cheer!]. Spend time exploring your interests and honing your skills.
- Read books: Pick something up for a light read at the end of the day… A Calvin and Hobbes book would do the trick ( if you do not have the book on you right now, you can look for e-version of the same). I’m reading my first Sidney Sheldon right now, but any book will do !
- Sit by your window or balcony: Take some time by yourself and just sit by the window or in the balcony. Soak in the cool, fresh and unpolluted air while you can. Hear the birds chirp (interestingly enough, I can hear birds chirp early in the morning in my locality. However, a friend of mine who lives far away in a relatively less green area was surprised on hearing birds chirp all of a sudden haha)
- Give in to your artistic side! : I found myself making designs for tea coasters just as we used to during the art period in 7th grade! (I’m not an artist per se, but I do enjoy painting, DIYs, and making rangolis! )Painting really takes me into another dimension where it’s just me and my colors. Super surreal feeling!
Realistically speaking, I know that most of you guys will not follow each and every suggestion of mine because this isn’t the word of God. However, I do hope that this piece awakens in some of you a desire to make the most of your quarantine period. In tough times like these, it’s easy to lose hope, but one must always remember that “Light can be found even in the darkest of times… only if one remembers to turn on the light”(I can feel my Harry Potter pals out there smile at this reference, but there’s nothing more apt in my opinion).
So, I hope you enjoyed reading this piece. I hope it leaves an impact on some of you at least. Do let me know what you think about all of this in the comment section below!