Adapting to Changes

The world is going through a rough patch right now, the whole year actually. Everyone has been witnessing history being created in front of them, but for all the wrong reasons. No one would have ever imagined that there would come a time when not doing anything and just sitting at your home would literally end up resulting in you being considered a hero. Sadly, this has been the case since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Since 24th March 2020, the day when PM Narendra Modi announced a nation-wide lockdown, my life has been moving slightly slower than usual. The first week of the lockdown was decent since I was occupied and distracted with all the assignments to be submitted. But as soon as I was done with them, things became even slower.

I have been trying out different ways to distract myself from thinking about the consequences of the pandemic people are facing on a daily basis. It is as if I’m going through the same day again and again, every single day. I wake up late, and since we urged our maid to go back to her village and take care of her family during the lockdown, I have been helping my mother in the household chores. My sister and I have divided our responsibilities. She is in-charge of doing jhadoo and I handle the mopping department and washing the utensils after lunch. Then my dad orders me to put up a light hearted movie or a TV show which we, including my cousins who couldn’t go back to their home in Jabalpur due to the lockdown, watch, or rather are forced to watch on some occasions. Post the afternoon movie session, while my parents watch the news on TV, I go to the balcony and sit there until sunset.

I have stopped following mainstream news since it has been having a very negative impact on the way I’ve been thinking. Even in the times of crisis, the Indian media is still trying to make it a communal issue for their TRPs. I login to the Aarogya Setu app everyday and just glance through the updated death toll and positive cases. There were instances when things became frustrating, but I tried to divert by myself by listening to music and singing songs out loud on the terrace of my building until it got closed, since it was being monitored by Ahmedabad Police’s drone camera in the evening to ensure social distancing.

We have a post-dinner movie show at 11pm. My mom and dad were the kind of people who used to go to bed by 10.30pm. But things have certainly changed during the lockdown. We’ve made them watch shows like Special Ops, TVF Tripling, Pitchers, Yeh Meri Family, Panchayat, What the Folks etc. I also have my own personal movie screening afterwards where I choose a critically acclaimed director and watch any of their movies randomly. I’ve watched movies like Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, Kundun, Taxi Driver etc. I also completed The Godfather Trilogy. This is the only time of the day when I’m learning something.

I’ve also been working on developing my video editing skills. I tried creating a short film for the “One Minute Short Film Making Challenge”, an initiative by Mukesh Chhabra Casting Company (MCCC). The topic was “Thank you to our frontline soldiers”. So I tried to come up with a concept, although it wasn’t very well executed since I was editing and shooting for the first time. I made my sister and mother act and it was a weird experience for them. The film is titled KARM.

This lockdown has made me realize the importance of the daily wage workers who help us with our day-to-day needs. I have developed massive respect for barbers since my sister messed up my haircut. I also tried doing a two-month long work-from-home internship for an advertising agency in Pune. Like every other person right now, the lockdown has made me realize that living in the present is important. We all made plans that got ruined because of the lockdown, and it has made all of us realize that there’s no point of looking at everything based on the future as nothing is under our control. What’s important is that you’re happy in whatever you do. Spend time with yourself, spend time with your family, stay in touch with your closed ones and call them at regular intervals. This lockdown has taught me that we as humans have evolved so much that our lives has been dependent on luxury goods that weren’t even required in the first place and not buying them and just sticking to the basic necessities has now led to a global recession.

I’ve planned to make better use of my time though. I’ll be doing some online courses on advertising, filmmaking and scriptwriting in the upcoming days. I also plan to start exercising, wishing that I don’t procrastinate again like I have been since 24th March 2020.

Shashwat Chaturvedi
(Batch 2021)