These days I can’t tell whether the entries here were genuinely what I intended to write or I was hunting for topics and ideas to write on. The process of writing a few observations at the end of every day has turned fuzzy. If the day lacks activity then the mind turns inward and the day is spent dwelling in thoughts. The lockdown is in seventy second day. After I arrived in Wardha, I was instructed to stay quarantined at home for fourteen days. I did take a few rides out to the farm during this period. No public place though. The ink of the home quarantine stamp has disappeared now. There are routine checks made by the health department officials. The paranoia and anxiety of early days is waning fast. But community policing has surged remarkably. People report on each other in our neighbourhood.
Days are flying fast too. The volume of reading and podcasts have dipped too low.In a usual day now, I seem to do far less reading unlike previous months of staying at home in Bangalore due to lockdown. Life in the city and in a town are far apart in these times. Distancing is easier in the rural areas. There is no stress of high numbers of people anywhere and workouts, walks etc can also be done very conveniently.
Writing through days has been a productive exercise. It has also helped in living through these days wherein the general mood has been of anxiety, uncertainty and distress. It does take a bit of determination to not let the day pass without logging in some words – anything, just anything about the day. As of today, I am running behind and making up for the day’s entry only by the end of the following day.
There were days when I thought about public systems, governance, policy and the economy. And then there were days when I was dwelling in a completely personal space, probing and articulating what was going on with respect to psychosocial aspects. The oscillation continues. It is hard to find a consistent theme to these days and stick with it. I like how Gulzar Natrajan keeps it sharply focused on professional and intellectual matters. The personal often forms a backdrop in mine. Whereas, with Urbanomics it is like a chapter of a textbook a day.
Every conversation, every plan and every action is now subsumed in the pandemic. We can’t seem to speak of anything about our current lives without referring to the coronavirus. These are just the days when I do not know what to write about. There is very little happening in terms of our work and personal lives. Every action in the world right now is about coronavirus and for coronavirus. Humanity has got its universal category – corona. Everything fits under this – either affected or led or triggered. We can speak of nothing without referring to coronavirus and the pandemic.