Now being summer, days are extra long and also being ‘at home’ the days seem longer. While it helps being connected via the internet, it has its vices too. The number of rumours that circulate and which increase my anxiety levels can make for a series of blog posts in itself. I don’t know what is more ominous; getting the virus or the non-availability of provisions.
From the day the exams were postponed, to the day when the lock-down was announced, I have seen people stuffing provisions in their cart which might be enough for their entire apartment complex or maybe they really live in joint family, who knows? Though I had stock for a fortnight, vegetables could be stretched for a week but when I saw from my balcony people carrying loaded bags, it made me anxious. ‘What will happen, if the shops are closed?’, ‘what will happen if I don’t get fruits’; were the numerous doubts that I had in my mind. It’s not that we live in an island. There are neighbours and relatives close by. But the point is that the husband is far away and I am responsible for me and my son. When you have a growing son the least you want to do is to provide ample nutrition every day.
Now that the streets are empty, the dogs and the birds have their own routine. While the dogs never had any limits on the timing of their exercising their vocal cords, the birds are behaving erratically too. I get up sometimes as early as 3.30 am hearing the birds quarrel violently. I do not know whether they want to announce something ominous or the silence makes them irritable. But I get up and cannot sleep again. And then the brain goes on overdrive and inevitably, I will think, ‘Will I get milk today?’ And that question will assume a monstrous proportion that by the time I go and collect the milk packets; I will not be at peace.
And then three days of complete curfew was announced in our district.
You can imagine what happened to me. I broke my record of anxiety level. I fought with the husband over phone. I cut vegetables that they lost all recognition of genus and I swept as if the virus would have run away by itself.
After three days the curfew was relaxed, I ran out with all available bags for vegetables and fruits but only to encounter lines and lines of people and no availability of fruits or vegetables. I came back crestfallen with a bad temper. It was not that the fridge was empty. I had vegetables for some days but what if from now on we do not get any vegetables was my doubt. What to feed the son and most important what will I offer as bhoga? (We have a habit of offering whatever we eat, first to the Lord and then partaking it as Prasad).
Every year during summer vacation me and my son read a few Bhagavad Gita shlokas every day. That day we were reading the seventh chapter and the seventh shloka is
mattah parataram nanyat kincid asti dhananjaya
mayi sarvam idam protam sutre mani-gana iva
O conquerer of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.
Somehow after reading this I was peaceful. There was a shift but at that point I did not understand what
And then in the middle of my slumber the wheels of my brain turned and it struck me as to why I am so anxious, when He has to be fed, He will see to it that I have everything for Him, Why am I worrying so much. And then I slept. A blissful, dreamless restful sleep.