March 5th 2020, was a day of happiness with content, not only because it was my son’s 17th birthday but also his last board exam! We had planned for a small vacation to our home town Akluj (District-Solapur), as my father wasn’t keeping well. As usual, I packed some savories, fruits, few clothes and my laptop.

My indoor plants needed daily watering due to the increasing heat, so thoughtfully I had transferred them to my neighbor. Mrs. Nimkar was okay with this responsibility.

Less did I know, the uncertainty of time ahead and my newly ordered books on Liver Rescue and Thyroid health were missed out!

Finally we reached home, Papa was into an irreversible health condition. It was just a year back he was put on dialysis, too fast to deteriorate. Certainly heart wrenching, I started nursing and taking care of him.

1st week passed by and the first lockdown was declared. News flooded with numbers of infected, deceased worldwide. Never before was such an impact, at least in last 100 years!

I had only one feeling in mind, thankful to be at home with my father! So much panic around, which caused fear in family members. It’s a quite natural human response to the threat around. Daily meditation, deep breathing made me realize multiple life facts.

Morning affirmations are a practice of my daily living- “In my infinite life, I’m safe and protected.”

I started posting positive quotes on my FB status. Enjoyed every sun rise and sun set, captured those whenever possible and admired nature. Mindful awareness about all the variety of birds around the house, gave a sense of calmness. Planet earth is a habitat not only to humans- but thousands, lakhs of other species too!

8/10 days were busy with hospital visits and indoor treatments, with the conscious awareness of COVID 19 infection control and sanitization. Upon Papa’s discharge, we had realized that it is this present moment to give every comfort to him, nothing else matters!

He smiles only upon hearing to the words of all grandchildren. He enjoys old marathi and hindi bollywood songs. Papa loves to listen to Sadhguru’s spiritual awakening. Gayatri mantra, Ram Rakshastotra, Tarak mantra all were recited. I tried to ask him about his old memories of school and college days, which made him nostalgic. Just introspecting how fast the present day has arrived!

Relationships, socializing, travelling, entertaining, food choices, shopping, schooling…..all then and now seems no leaps and bounds.

2nd week, I finally resumed with walks in the evening, playing with little ones (2 niece) around the farm house.

To engage kids is a task. Storytelling, reading, playing newer musical pieces so that even they can practice meditation with us. It is followed by mudra therapy. Yoga sessions are every alternate days, to teach the elder children.

Day time is busy with house chores, small tasks for everyone to help and participate actively. No boy/girl differentiation.

Cooking various traditional dishes with local foods is very much enjoyed. Snacks, breakfast recipes come with kids preferences. Thalipeeth, dahiwada, bhel, kairi panhe, rava ladoo…..the list goes on. No more hoteling!

Music therapy course has taught to use Ragas for healing. Now I continue my advance learnings in music and Chakra healing. Simultaneously, I read of newer articles on COVID 19 by WHO. Short certifications by IDF, ICMR-NIN are keeping me busy, provided there is good network! 

Research thesis is not gaining momentum yet, as planned earlier. I can’t take this stress as the files are on google drive, things out of control due to poor connectivity.

My patients are connected through what’s app group, where we share thoughts and videos on recipes, meditation, yoga, aerobics, pranayama etc. Online work is slow comparatively, but we are connected. 

Social media scrolling is mindfully reduced with attending webinars, may it be Abbott, Hexagon, Jaslok hospital or Just for hearts. Promotion of Women’s day health topics was fun during this time, thanks team JFH! 

The kitchen garden here is a boon at this time! We have grown pumkins, ridge gourds, chilies, brinjals, tomatoes, drumsticks, spinach, coriander, chawli pods etc. Watering plants, cleaning weeds is an early morning activity. Sweeping the campus burns calories too! Harvesting of wheat, Bengal gram and castor seeds was a task in the scorching heat for the labor, I just observed and realized their challenging work at such hot temperatures. Another field activity is collecting chikoos, mangoes and tamarinds from the nearby fields.

Engaging kids in paintings, paper craft, jewelry making, rangoli, greeting cards has helped us utilize the long sunny afternoons. We are also choreographing a song.

Connecting to old friends on call is exciting, as many are drained out indoors- sharing alleviates the mental stress. Domestic violence is another rise, where I have forwarded my psychologist colleagues contacts to the needy. Tried to call my maids about their situation and wellbeing, donated a small amount to an NGO who works with labor children. 

I learnt keyboard basics from my son and manage to sing my favorite Marathi songs, which were almost out of practice.

Not to forget, seeing old photographs is a conversation starter with oneself- then and now!

After slowing down, I have started the “Innercise”-journey within which has enlightened upon my own extra needs, expenses, technology use, social media surfing, variety of cuisines for a meal, travel, movies etc. The answer obviously being “NOT TO BE”!

Rightly said by Albert Einstein-“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity”.

With the rapid urbanization and globalization, we have carried away our true beings from nature. The pandemic has evoked many questions as to what next? How? Where? Who? 

Nevertheless, there is hope within that we will not only survive but THRIVE ahead with sustainable goals of life! Evolution is happening inside out, thankful to the universe and helpers around.

My realisations are-

  1. ME isn’t the only thing –WE are important.
  2. Humanity must thrive along with other species.
  3. We are solely responsible for our pain and agony.
  4. Authencity of knowledge is utmost important in times of crisis.
  5. Fear will only take us away from life.
  6. I can manage my health with my perception, good lifestyle, diet and awareness.
  7. Food, shelter, water although are basic life needs, migrated labor remains devoid of it.
  8. Great things are not needed to live, simple things work!