Journeysmatter

A blog on journeys, great destinations and fantastic travel experiences

Monthly Archives: March 2020

#India is in a #Lockdown to fight #Covid19 #Coronavirus – Day 1 The Day after #Jantacurfew

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The Indian Tri color

No office to go to, no trains, no buses, no autorickshaws. It reminded of a strict parent having a NO for anything asked for.

Realisation has dawned on all the family members – the Miss, the Mrs and the Mr. that they have to do their own clothes and step in to own household activities. Division of labour looked somewhat like this :

  • The Mr. to stack dried vessels back in to the shelves
  • The Mrs. to wash the day’s vessels ; Minimum once a day and maximum twice (this one depended on the mood)
  • To ease burden on Mrs., Mr. and Miss. to wash their cups and plates after tea and meals
  • Miss was keen to sweep the floor clean and get some exercise in the process
  • Mr. responsible for vegetable chopping and ideas for lunch/dinner. Mrs. gladly helped with the meals
  • Everyone took responsibility for washing their own clothes. The Miss was sometimes kind to keep her mum in good humour and took to washing her clothes as well

Office work continued and senior folks wanted to publish stories of people who went beyond their normal responsibilities to ensure that clients did not experience any disruption in their operations.

Chennai continued to function normally and this was puzzling. No announcement regarding shops, establishments and offices shutting down. People were working from conference rooms driving business continuity planning activities. Mad scramble for laptops, desktops delivered home and even getting personal laptops being deputed for official duty (data loss measures and security measures being in place).

A close friend was in to self quarantine after returning from the UK. His forearm was stamped at the airport and with his details being noted, the corporation followed through to mark his residence.

Evening was a walk to the local market to pick up some vegetables. The vendors had covered their wares and were in a hurry to complete their transactions.

Lunch was some hot Rasam with Kovakkai curry (Coccinia). A new way of life had started to take root.

#India is in a #Lockdown to fight #Covid19 #Coronavirus – Day 0. #Jantacurfew is here

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The Indian Tri color

#Jantacurfew began in the right spirit. There was not a soul in sight except for morning walkers who thought getting out and walking within the building premises was normal. Looking at the walkers, whatsapp groups started buzzing about curfew violators and the ones who were forcing themselves into confinement were an angry lot.

The newspapers were in and offered some respite from dull and dreary TV programming. It seemed like just another sunday, just that no one stepped out.

Evening 5 PM, heeding to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s call, people stepped out on to their balconies, banging pots and pans, blowing conches and applauding health workers and service personnel. It was a small gesture to appreciate the tireless efforts of countless workers toiling for everyone’s health unmindful of their own.

The 5 PM applauding session for healthworkers and service personnel

Late towards evening, the Hon’ble CM of Maharashtra smartly extended the lockdown until the next day and communicated that all offices, schools and shops were shut until the 31st of March. It was essential for a city like Mumbai which does not need a reason to get out, especially on Monday morning.

#Lunch was an interesting Sundakkai vathakuzhambu and Thengai thogayal

For an evening snack, the Bhel was to come to everyone’s rescue.

Preparing the evening snack

The day ended well and everyone was looking forward to working from home until 31st of March.

#India is in a #Lockdown to fight #Covid19 #Coronavirus – Day 0 – 1

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The Indian Tri color

People are excited about #Jantacurfew, a one day #lockdown initiated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister as India’s fight against the #Coronavirus.

While normal people are stocking up based on what is missing in their pantry, there are many who are stocking up based on what has never been in their pantry. A family who never brought more than a kilogram of flour was seen buying four kilograms of it. Suddenly, shopkeepers whose shelves were always flush with stock keeping units, were seeing their wares fly off the shelves. Anything, virtually anything was up for grabs.

Bhelpuri, the quintessential #Mumbai snack was not to be missed on a Sunday evening. This was our only indulgence at the grocery shop.

The cook and household help were unsure of coming over on the day of #Jantacurfew. Switching off to what will turn out to be a turning point in the history of #India.

#India is in a #Lockdown to fight #Covid19 #Coronavirus – Day 0 – 2

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The Indian Tri color

Two days to the #Jantacurfew.

A final trip to the workplace which was already seeing measures like limited meal varieties, sandwiches and other snacks being removed, even buttermilk & lassi coming off the menu.

Picking up the utilitarian Thermos, found my way out of the workplace and headed home to face uncertain times. No time or opportunity to bid goodbyes.

There was an air of discontent among young associates who were being asked to come to work as they did not possess laptops. The company did not have any means/preparedness to ship desktops to their residences.

All the BCP manuals were practically rendered useless in these times. Emergency response teams were now facing a real life emergency and not a drill like it is always.

Back home, the cook and domestic help were both around but were not sure of their attendance on the #Jantacurfew. Groceries, vegetables, essentials were at hand to deal with a day of complete shutdown.

Working from home #WFH was usually reserved for unusual days – days of continuous calls, a utility service company coming over, someone taking ill, lack of transportation and of course weather.

A few days before the lockdown, had invested in a conference speakerphone to get over the always in ear phones. Tinnitus and loss of hearing was staring in the face and hence the arrangement provided much needed relief.

That set up the Home office really nice and could move around without the wires getting tangled.

Everyone at home getting used to working from within the confines of a 1000 sq ft space. The daughter getting a e-classroom schedule from school portrayed a face of gloom. The wife being a travel professional, thought nature had given her a break after a gruelling season.

Interesting times ahead!

#India is in a #Lockdown to fight #Covid19 #Coronavirus – Day 0 – 3

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The Indian Tri color

We are going through stunning times. Unbelievable that one would have started the month of March planning their summer breaks and here we are, holed up within our homes trying to save our lives.

The attention shifted from #Wuhan to #Japan where the Diamond Princess was anchored to #Singapore as the virus snaked its way across to Europe. Who would have thought that the #Juventus vs #Valencia would be one of the last sporting events in some time to come. #Italy, #Spain, #Germany and many more start reporting aggressive spreads, hospitalization, and finally spiralling death counts.

Indian students, devout and stranded labourers were flown back in to India and quarantined.

19th March should go down as an important day in India’s history. The PM took a bold decision to declare a day of #Jantacurfew on the 22nd of March. This was to be a test bed for what was to come subsequently.

Decisiveness has been a hallmark of Shri. Narendra Modi ever since he took charge in 2014. There is a sense of agility in the way of functioning and it is visible with the way the government re-orients itself with every feedback and suggestion. This is a tremendous achievement for a bureaucracy which has not exactly been a forward looking one.

The preparation for #Jantacurfew and the days to follow was on everyone’s horizon.

Companies were getting their work from home and business continuity plans prepared (dusted off in some cases)