BHOPAL: The lockdown has entered the third phase. Since it began March 23, time and memory seem to have lost all meaning. Fenced in their homes, people are overwhelmed with nostalgia to do boredom in. Except for watching TV, those who are used to go to office have nothing to do in quarantine.
The government has restarted TV soap operas of yesteryears like Buniyaad, Ramayan and Mahabharat to entertain people. The past has become one way to escape the present.
Since May is here, the days have lengthened. The maximum temperature is flitting around 40 and 42 degrees Celsius. The heat has begun to melt the asphalt roads. Clouds sometimes bring relief. Yet, it does not linger, because once the sun is out, the sky begins to rain fire.
It was expected that, with the advent of summer, the coronavirus would go. Yet, the pandemic is showing no signs of ebbing. People are fed up with the lockdown. They now want to get back to work.
Most of the Bhopalites love spicy food. Even in illness, they cannot leave off their craving for peppery food. And it was evident when a corona patient recently demanded chicken at Chirayu Hospital, though doctors did not allow it. The patient said he was tired of eating boiled food.
Likewise, many Bhopalites must have been bored to tears by now eating home-made food, because restaurants are closed. Nevertheless, they have to live off frugal lunch and dinner for many more weeks.
The most disappointed are the ale-knights. They expected that the liquor shops would reopen in the third phase of the lockdown, but Bhopal collector refused to oblige them. A devotee of Bacchus has to moisten his lips with the tip of his tongue.
Being furloughed at home, life for people across the world has quite suddenly changed. They are not having a diverse range of experiences – going to work, socialising with friends, going to events – to feeling much more repetitive.
The longer a quarantine goes on, the greater the effect on people’s mental health.
Hence, the third phase of lockdown is going to be tougher than the earlier ones. Yet, all will be out of the woods, because life has always another day.