The New Normal – A personal account

No, I am not going to talk about how wearing a mask, scraping off your skin with sanitizers and washing hands a hundred times have become the new normal now. All these things are the need of the hour. I am contemplating on certain things that should have been a normal, but it took me a pandemic to realise. 

I have noticed that people’s power of observation has increased manifold during this lockdown. It has helped by giving them time to consciously be mindful. Most of us run our lives on auto-pilot, going from one to-do to another. But now, we are more mindful than ever in our daily lives. It is definitely a positive change in people. 

Being mindful has presented me with quite a few revelations recently. Sharing a few here. I have unlimited fibre broadband at home. Gadgets like my TV, music system, Alexa, mobile phones, wrist watches, tablets and even a couple of plug points and light bulbs are all connected to that Wi-Fi. I love being linked and in sync. But during this lockdown, what I observed is that, every time I keep a flower vase or a potted plant near the Wi-Fi router, within a week’s time the leaves become either yellow, brown or the entire plant dies. Coincidence? I don’t think so. I am known to have a green thumb. I know how to nurture and take care of plants. I have plenty of potted plants in and around the house. The only reason I could come up with regarding those particular plants is the effect of the Wi-Fi. How strong the emission or signal has to be to damage a living plant! Those signals are the highest near the router and it is definitely affecting the plant. Just imagine what affect it may have on us, every single day. After this observation, I have decided to regulate my router. Now, I switch it off during the periods of time I don’t need it. Wow! What a discovery. 

I have a badass mother. No, I am not being disrespectful or anything like that. My mother is my lifeline. In fact, I admire her badassy attitude. I just didn’t know this term to use for her gumptions before. Her life itself is an inspiring story. Her courage, zest for life, determination and everything about her is praiseworthy. If I start to write about it, it will be another blog altogether. However, the reason I mentioned her here is that, during the lockdown, I realised she has been using her that attitude with her medicines too. Unfortunately, this time it wasn’t a wise one. Usually we the siblings don’t bother what medicines she takes or doesn’t. She has health issues. One day, I took her to visit her doctor for a follow check-up. There she casually informed the doctor that she had not been taking a (vital) medicine because she didn’t feel like it. The doctor almost fell off his seat. He said that she could have at least consulted over phone and requested for an alternative. I couldn’t believe she did that either. Once we came back home, I went through her prescription and asked if she was taking them all. She had couple of more medicines that she skipped or popped as and when she felt like it. I realised it was my fault that I didn’t pay attention to her medicines schedule. I was “too busy”. I deeply regretted that. The lockdown has made me realise what’s more important. I resolved to rectify my mistake and pay more attention. I also realised, even though I don’t want them to, but my parents are ageing. It is my responsibility now to look after them the way they looked after me when I grew up.

An interesting find of this lockdown is an app called Zoom Meetings. On and off, I have been using it for giving yoga and pranayama lessons online. However, I did not realise the intensity of the app’s penetration until recently. A boy works for me on daily wage whenever I require his help to move stuff between my two apartments. He arranges for carriage vehicle, extra help needed, dismantling and reassembling of the things etc. It is a difficult time for everyone around especially for people who depend on their daily income. One day I wondered if that boy and his family were doing well during this time. He used to operate a pop-up imitation jewellery shop just by the Six Mile (Guwahati) footpath. That has been closed since the beginning of the lockdown. I tried calling him one day but couldn’t reach his number. A few days later, I received an sms asking me to download Zoom for an online meeting. To my surprise it came from him. 

I am used to getting Facebook friend requests from every plumber, electrician, driver or whoever I use to get my works done. I hardly accept friend requests on fb unless I know the person as a friend in real life. I do not need five thousand friends to feel good anyway. Invitation to a zoom meeting by this guy really got me thinking what a time we have come to live in. Why? What on earth we may have to discuss that required a zoom meeting? He could have simply called and enquired if there’s anything. It is not that I am questioning his “right” to use zoom or whatever. But the fact that such an invite came from him made me think deep on how things have really changed. Perhaps for the better? Whatever it is, this new normal was a bit surreal for me.

Post this incident, I can safely conclude this blog by saying, 

Now I have seen everything.

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