The last few months have been very different for almost everyone around the globe. No one could have imagined something like this, coming straight out of movies like ‘Pandemic’ becoming real.
To start with, we thought it’s a matter of a few weeks before life gets to ‘normal’ as we had known it always. We have always been a very active family and love being outdoors particularly to big open green spaces.
There was a life that was always full of meeting friends, playing outdoors for 2 hours everyday (for the kids), having family friends come over on weekends, going to parks, sometimes malls/shopping, going to restaurants occasionally, eating street food, day trips/short weekend trips around Bangalore, getting stuck in Bengaluru traffic jams and much more.
These times have taught us to adapt and live life differently, yet remain the happy-us. Our little one, Mishika, is a very interactive child who has lived an almost gadget-free life the first 8 years of her life(she is 8 now). She loves to talk to neighbors, friends, grandparents, and us in-person. She would always dislike interactions on phone/video calls to a large extent. My parents had come visiting for 2 weeks in early March after my father finally retired from working at the age of 72 years and thanks to CovId times, it was a blessing to have them around for 3 long months until flights resumed. This is the first time all of us got to stay with my parents for so long (for me, it was after 12 long years).
Mishika learned a lot of stuff with grandparents around: basics of cooking/chopping veggies/washing utensils/praying. Of course, we all fought a lot too, to stay together with everyone having different lifestyles. But it taught us to co-exist and live happily. We had 3 birthdays in these times, all home-cooked meals that were made with so much love. Both my husband and I have always had a passion for trying out new cooking stuff. But with no helps around and both of us working in the IT world, averaging about 10-12 hours of a workday and being stuck in meetings perennially, it was a challenge for daily chores.
So, what did we do? Well, all of us gradually learned to share the workload at home. The 8-year-old arranges the plates and cutlery for all meals so religiously and happily. She learned the art of grating, cutting, and a lot more. My husband, my mother, and I divide the cooking when my mother was with us for two weeks (now its just me and my husband for cooking). Most of the times, we wash our own dishes post eating. Being foodies, we learned to make a lot of stuff at home that we loved to eatà momos, pizzas from scratch, waffles, grills n dips, and homemade wine from fresh grapes too. Mishika and her father love to bake together; and they do it every weekend. You can see a picture of the two of them doing decantation for making wine too.
We also realize that how important it is to exercise and eat fresh healthy food. Hence a balanced healthy meal every day, and we also do some stretches or exercise together every single day. The 8 year old’s interactions with friends are, mostly limited to 2-3 friends whom she meets every evening on the terrace or talks to them over the balconies; sometimes cycles within the apartment. She has adapted to the new mode of schooling so well, all thanks for Ekya teachers for being so friendly and going an extra mile for that. Video calls with grandparents and families have become a new norm and everyone knows the time for that, looks forward for that.
It’s a new us, we do chores together, we play a lot of board games and have a collection of 40+ board games by now. We dance to music, we practice karate together, sometimes yoga too together, we fight and then we laugh, the little one has learned to be with her books when the parents are busy and she makes full use of the home-library now., we have restocked the books too.
From Ms. Deeksha Dudeja
(Parent of Mishika Choudhury , 3 D, Ekya ITPL)