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As the pandemic is (hopefully) receding, and we take baby steps outside, remember that the world changed while we were all inside, smiling, laughing, weeping, grieving or holding on.
Whoever said that the desires and needs of humankind are unfathomable, unpredictable bottomless pits was quite on point. There’s a strange new phenomenon emerging as the Covid related restrictions are eased off and our lives begin to move towards some kind of normal (dare we even say it!) People are now reluctant to relinquish the security blanket of anonymity and disorder that was a hallmark of the Covid days.
Do I hear someone saying that we are doomed to forever pine for what was and never truly be happy? I hear you.
So what will life look like as we emerge from this bread making, zoom calling, pyjama clad trauma of the last 2 years.
Daily food trends that were flying thick and strong will have to go into mandatory coma what with people having to retrain their focus on making a living and leaving for work on time, rather than dishing out fluffy frothy coffees or crunchy gourmet breads or high end gluten, vegan meals.
Your guests will have to settle back into sipping desi adrak wali chai and nimbu pani when they drop by. Fine, throw in some Parle- G biscuits.
Parents, especially of younger kids, might finally realise that it is their children and not them who are the students.
Get ready for some alarming report cards once the kids get back to school and realise that they don’t really know anything about the life cycles of frogs and butterflies or for that matter the spelling of grotesque. The parent prompter that lurked outside their door with ‘helpful hints’ has stopped paying a visit.
This will be my personal pet peeve. The days of strapless and sweatless glory are behind us, when the ladies were left to their own devices and allowed to bounce and frolick with gay abandon, beyond the gaze of voyeurs and eager teens. Back to the chains. Sigh.
The samosas will still taste the same, but what about etiquettes and social propriety? How are we to greet people anymore? Fist or elbow pumps to people you can barely tolerate? Side hugs when you’re feeling bolder in double vaccinated company? Only eye balling and smiling at a crush in a bar or would you venture a handshake?
For someone who is a veritable koala bear and hugs before conversing, I’ve almost had to put myself in a straightjacket to prevent myself from lunging at people. See? There’s so much to consider here.
Atithi devo bhava, remember? We all need a bit of a refresher course considering we’ve been greeting people at the door with double masks, sanitisers and a furrowed brow. 6 months into the Pandemic and the whole house would go into a frenzy, picking up pots and jhaadus wondering who it was at the door.
Things are better now but I still open the door with a grunt. Sure, take the precautions, but its also possibly time to return to our hospitable selves and understand that everyone’s not there to cough the virus in our faces.
This one we should all celebrate. Since there is more human contact, more home visits, its again possible to recycle unwanted gifts! Hoorah! These gazillion online retailers and Amazon’s of the world were making it extremely difficult to continue this time honoured tradition. Bring out the duster and pull out all the useless products you want to clutter other homes with. The festival season has arrived just in time.
Its time to retire the pyjamas, shorts and ventilated tshirts with a million holes. While the made up torso and face teamed with bedraggled or missing bottom attire was quite the rage and great while it lasted, its time to slap on some grown up pants and skirts.
While you’re at it, please buy some new shoes and bags because chances are that most of them have met their maker during this time of hibernation.
No more statistics tsunami about covid fatalities, doomsday prophesies and ghar ka nuskhaas starting 5:30 am every morning. If you want information, learn to dig it out on your own. Now it’ll be back to the variety show of good morning greetings ranging from colourful peacocks, cute babies and Bal Ganesh/ Laddoo Gopal.
‘Zoom’ will now reassume its position as a term that connotes excessive speed. No longer will it only represent the universe of birthday and work calls and our entire social outreach program. We will also have to start looking at the old ways of gathering gossip and staying abreast of the grapevine. Remember how most of it came from when unwitting people who would leave their mikes unmuted and spill all? Well, not going to happen anymore so employ other means please.
Heard of the new trend where the well-heeled are exchanging antibody notes over their tea and petit fours? If you’re headed for a vacation, head to the lab first and find out where the antibody party is at. Of course there is no ratification from any medical or government body for this test but don’t we all love being trendsetters and pioneers?
We will all traverse this phase with mixed feelings. While on one hand I’ll miss popping my head into the next room and watching my daughter learn and grow, I will not miss the war cry of – Mumma, I need to go potty, can I please switch off the camera? I’ll smile at the extra lunchtime and dinner time conversations we stole for ourselves but I will not miss staring at the closed colony gate announcing- DANGER! STAY INDOORS. The world changed while we were all inside, smiling, laughing, weeping, grieving or holding on. It’s time to open the door and let life in with all its colours and chaos!
Image source: David Pereiras Free for Canva Pro and Anna Still from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro
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After chasing criminals as a journalist and spending over a decade in advertising, Richa penned a book of poetry titled A penchant for Prose. She has been a TOI Write India top 10 winner and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.