Getting up in the morning and leaving for office, school or college was a ritual we all were following without even giving it a thought. Things we operating on an autopilot and no one expected even in their wildest dreams to be deprived of such a routine.
We all accepted it, hated it, liked it, at times even wanted to run away from it but in the end would still get back to that same routine day in and day out safely cocooned in the predictability of our life.
Our Life, a sum total of our routines was fairly obvious just like a time-table at school.
First period, get up, second period, reach office, third period pretend to work, fourth period listen to your boss ripping you apart for your supposed ineptitude fifth period catharsis of your emotions with your colleague over a cup of tea/coffee or smoke followed by sixth period of lethargy because of the afternoon lunch and seventh and eighth period of meetings and follow-up on meetings already conducted. Rest of the periods would include a commute back home, eating, watching web series or TV and trying to sleep off, which though doesn’t happen easily as you remain hooked on to your mobile oblivious of the fact on when it clocked 2 early in the morning and then the same old struggle with snoozing of alarms ensues.
The ritual though got so deeply ingrained in our daily life that we probably were not even aware of what we were doing. Things were running on an autopilot and then suddenly covid19 struck. The long-standing habits went for a toss as we were constrained by the external environment to now engage ourselves in activities which till now have been alien to us. Letting go of what we had been involved in was a tough thing to do which initially though felt good as it was liberating to be operating from home, however the sooner we realized this would continue for an indefinite period we begin craving for our previously established routines.
I have tried to list down some of the things that a lot of people would be missing right now with this abrupt change in our lifestyle.
- No more normal office for people
Even if some of us, are going to office, the constraints within which we are operating has made the entire experience somewhat alien to us. Physical distancing has taken the charm away from the usual water cooler conversations as people are now restricted to their work desks.
Even the most critical social activity of shared lunches, a steady source of creative thoughts and ideas after being prohibited has robbed the people of their only source of social bonding.
- Public Transport-Travel in Local
Although public transport has been negatively affected in almost all parts of the world, one place which requires a special mention is Mumbai. The local train, lifeline of Mumbai will never remain the same again. Although, I have shifted away from Mumbai now, I would still miss the daily commute in the overcrowded trains with people stuffed like vegetables.
However, a lot of us would certainly be missing the freedom of getting on any bus or an auto and getting a cab easily anywhere. The usual things of the normal times have become a sort of a luxury now.
- Going out without having to think about a mask or gloves
I really miss this one. You just put on whatever you want and leave. However, now its important to cover yourself, put a mask, even gloves before one can go out in the open.
This also reminds me of the sub-zero weather of Canada where one can’t even think of leaving the house without covering oneself like an Eskimo. The added hassle has deprived us of a normal routine easily affordable in the normal days.
- Traveling anywhere within or outside the country
All the travel plans seemed to have vanished in thin air. I don’t hear anybody talking about traveling for at least a year.
For me, who loves trekking, it is going to be really difficult. I long for the normal times, when we could just get up, pick our bag and leave for anywhere.
- Shopping in a mall
Lots of people must be missing this regular routine of their life. Although, I was not a big fan of visiting malls, in fact it was big pain to visit one. However, right now getting to see people flocking such a place appears very unreal.
- Bargaining with shopkeepers in crowded markets
This is one thing I realized after observing people in the markets. The intensity with which they used to bargain earlier seemed to have died down. Although, the regular markets have not opened up the way they were earlier, shoppers seemed to have picked up on new habits of minimal conversations.
- Eating bhelpuri and paanipuri
The ubiquitous carts of bhelpuri and paanipuri sellers were the most sought-after places in almost all of the busiest cities or towns of India.
The ‘national’ snacks of our land will probably take some more time to make a strong rebound. I am majorly referring to North, East and West over here, as for South I am still not very familiar with their favorite snacks because of the my lack experience of traveling in the cities of Southern part of our country.
- Walking with hands on each other’s shoulders
This was something very peculiar to our country as we would see friends (just friends) roaming around with hands on each other’s shoulder and the attitude of a carefree child. We probably may be seeing less of it now and might have to wait a little longer before we see folks reverting to these old habits.
- Putting the stuff, you buy directly in the kitchen
This is my personal experience as earlier whatever I would buy would keep it straight in the kitchen and my mother would wash it later. However, in the changed times, it has to be washed before anything from the market makes it way to the kitchen. The rules have been implemented with very strict discipline and the added work of washing it although irritating at times, is slowly becoming a part of our regular routine.
- Visiting friends and relatives without having to worry about their or our own safety
How many times you had a lunch or dinner at your friend’s place as you went there uninvited. Or a similar thing happening at your own house with your friend dropping in without any prior intimation.
Although, we enjoyed such surprises, they may be hard to come by as people become even more cautious, deciding to stay within the confines of their home rather than milling around with others.
I am inviting you to add more to the list and share your comments on the ones listed here. Let’s see what you miss of the good old days!