Covid se Covid tak... #TheLockDownEffect
The containment norms were somehow eased and I dared to venture out from my hibernating mode, finally! This time to collect my son's books from his school. Mind you, the classes have started since March. In fact for a change I didn't realize when his first grade got over and the second grade started. So, I considered this task to be an essential "must to be catered to" service and armed with his school identity card, his fees clearance receipt, my driving licence, Aadhaar Card, and many other such plastic identity cards that you could possibly think of, vroom I went. I gave specific instructions to my family to keep their phones within reach. Should the appearance of my face and the photos on my plastic identity cards don't match, they should be available to vouch for my identity, speak to the deployed staffs and set me free if I am caught :D
Women need specific grooming services after all, to look exactly the same as they did a decade back when the photos for the identity cards were taken. Isn't it ?
On my way to this 15 kilometres one way drive, I realized that I was driving in some labyrinth that was unknown, so not my city. And whoever said that Mathematics and drivings skills once acquired, can never be forgotten- was probably high when these words were phrased! I realized my driving skills were gone for a toss. There I was topsy-turvy , dwindling on a grand stretch of concrete and tar, which on a regular day would be hustling and bustling , and now bore the looks of a place that has just witnessed complete migration of its people, and its soul. My heart started sinking further in grief, and so grim I looked, when I steered ahead and got into the lane that houses the famous deemed to be university of my beautiful city. During my Engineering days, this was the only visible structure that existed in the entire locality.It was an envy to various other institutes that existed in the vicinity. However, thanks to the scale up of the institute that happened, this place became a gold mine for all real estate tycoons and all big brands for franchises. From international students to multi ethnic world class faculties, from Mercedes coupe to Lamborghini- you would find it all here. The eateries that once lined up on either sides of this road, where my best friend and I would hop in daily, were all shut down. Non existent as if....
Passing by, I glanced at my favorite Biriyani restaurant there. Just turned vegetarian, I know, but I could still feel and smell the aroma of long grained rice marinaded in a rich flavored succulent chicken gravy with some secret spices from Awadhi kitchens- these are memories forever etched in my grey cells and would fade only when I would no longer exist!
Today I missed all that. To find this street in such a deplorable condition was truly heart breaking. Hurried up and reached my son's school in no time to collect the books, lest the security person standing at the gate decides not to entertain this masked lady covered from head to toe as if on a mission with some ulterior motive . Pun intended !
My return journey was easier though. I enjoyed riding back in solitude. There was no honking, no undisciplined passer-by changing lanes without indication, no tempos or lorries chasing at unreasonable velocity and no cattle or stray dog arriving on mid-road unannounced.
The feeling was heavenly, so was the nature. She finally got a chance to recuperate from this pandemic called "Human Habitation". Given a chance, I would never trade this experience for anything. Period.