We entered what is widely expected to be the final week of the lockdown. Hopes were rising but, the fear about major cities not coming out of the woods yet persisted.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister was in constant touch with Chief Ministers of various states and was taking stock of their preparedness to release parts of their states out of the lockdown. The approach towards fighting the #Coronavirus was very clear : stay locked in and prevent the fire from singeing you thereby saving lives first before protecting livelihoods. The same has been explained in this utterance of Vidura, the wise one.
Lot of political posturing during the week gave rise to debates, chatter, claims of conspiracy etc., all arising out of a TV channel daring to take on one of the leaders of the ruling coalition in the state of Maharashtra. The failure to condemn the lynching of Hindu Saints in a remote district of the state led to a TV anchor launching a tirade against this leader. In response, various state units of the leader’s party filed over 200 First investigation reports across various states reflecting the lack of application / intelligence. While the Hon’ble Supreme Court refused to restrict commentary by the press, the police in the state was prompt in calling in the anchor and interrogating him for over 12 hours. What was stunning was the attitude of fellow journalists / anchors who did not step in to condemn the police interrogation. If the same interrogation was done to a journalist favorable to the other end of the spectrum, all hell would have broken loose. The media in India is well and truly a divided house.
The states seem to be struggling with the issue of housing and feeding migrants who arrive for economic reasons. The migrants’ own wish to be with their loved ones at these times, has led to the government organising transport for those who are asymptomatic along with measures to quarantine them upon arrival. While seeing them reach their homes safely is heart-warming, the thought of not having enough workforce once the lockdown measures are relaxed, should frighten those incharge of crucial projects.
The Hon’ble Prime Minister touched upon the important topic of spitting in public places during his fortnightly radio connect #mannkibaat. This habit has been one of the reason of high incidence of communicable and air borne diseases in the country. People of all ages including students spit when out in the open. No specific reason; Some spit to relax, some to take out phlegm, some after gargling their throats, and some after consuming a stimulant like tobacco / paan. Not sure if there is any body of research that has delved in to this disgusting habit. The only way future generations dont have to suffer is by getting community elders to lead via mass messaging.
The announcement this week by the ministry of home affairs on classifying the country into various zones – Red, Orange and Green has seen this government take a decisive step towards easing the country out of the lockdown – step by step. The ones in the red zone have to do more to move in to being classified as orange. Citizens have to remain indoors, shops to be open only for a few hours and people to declare truthfully if they have come in contact with any infected person. Hope the innate socially aware nature of India comes to its rescue. It is time tested and has never failed.
The week floated past us and everyone was joyous about the long weekend ahead. Before that, the Miss turned 18 and the friendly neighbourhood baker did not disappoint. The red velvet cake was to die for with excellent flavor and some authentic not-so-sugary cream. The birthday lunch was a special Pao Bhaji by the Mrs. and a delightfully choreographed Zumba session in the evening, again by the Mrs. Everyone wore special clothes to mark the occassion.
Lot of interesting dishes were made and consumed during this period. Sunday, day 34, the food we ate was our medicine.
Rasam was the staple on days 35 and 40 accompanied by delicious and healthy curries / subzies. On both days there was a spicy roasted and fried accompaniments that lifted the experience.
If rasam was there, sambhar was not far off. The lone mullangi (radish) was brought out and a fragrant sambhar prepared with fresh coconut and spices. The Miss resisted but the Mrs. cajoled her in to accepting the proposal.
An everyday feature was dosa. With excellent sesame oil to accompany, it was a wonderful evening meal.
Just one day, the Miss and Mrs. took the road less travelled with a tangy and well made alu mutter gravy with chapatis.
As the week moved to a close, the news of extension of the lockdown by 2 weeks started to sink in. Various opinions are being placed with the major ones for reviving the economy. Again, the social system of the country will ensure that communities succeed by each one lending a helping hand to the other. One month of working from home for regular office goers is a funny feeling.
Focus for the next 2 weeks is to ensure a cheerful atmosphere at home.