As you can see from the title, my more petulant side has made a comeback.
The stress and worry of the past months has left me quite a jumpy person and I think after the 7 day mark yesterday, it hit me that I actually made it home. Today is probably the first time I’ve started to work myself out of the fight or flight mode, the adrenaline rush finally ebbing away.
With the dimming of this cannot-break-now mentality, I’ve now realised just how touch starved I’ve been.
Quick explanation – Most of the world believes that as soon as you’re in France, touch starvation stops being a thing, those people kiss each other’s cheeks when they meet, for god’s sake.
The truth is a bit different. The French sort of measure intimacy in the amount of contact made, so while cheek kisses are unthinkable for most other cultures (specifically asian cultures), they have the least amount of skin to skin contact. La bise (the actual term for the cheek kisses) is actually way more casual than a hug. A hug involves full body contact, something that the French find too invasive most of the time. Now the french themselves told me this, don’t come after me if this isn’t true!
Now over to Indians, we’re a terribly affectionate bunch, we’ll sling our hands around your shoulders, walk hand in hand and give hugs to our friends pretty much naturally. Now, I’ve been in France for a year and a half and I was already touch starved, but now, I’m home.
This is what I find myself struggling with now. I’m in a place where I should be able to get all the hugs I need, my whole family is here. But I can’t.
There may be people in the same position as me, so I’ve found a way to manage this. Gifs.
Yes, Gifs, those few second videos of kittens hugging can be sent to all those you wished you could hug. My sister complains that I shouldn’t send her hugs if I can’t hug her, but I’m older and I do as I want!
As I said yesterday, a bit of normalcy is trickling back in, and I took up some administrative tasks I should have been doing. Sending and replying to a couple of emails, checking in with a few friends and of course, keeping track of the news.
The heat in Mumbai has started to set in, days are significantly hotter and I have to keep my curtains shut most of the day so I don’t bake in the room! Showers and fans at full speed are beginning to become refreshing when just a few weeks ago, it was warm jackets and heaters. My life is a damn rollercoaster. I don’t even like rollercoasters!
On a more erious note, in terms of the Covid-19 situation, the number of people infected is growing in India, I sincerely hope we do not see the scale that Europe is currently facing. I don’t think we’re prepared to handle it. India currently stands at 649 infected as per the last Economic Times article I read, the death toll is 13. I hope we are able to flatten the curve as much as possible.
I also spoke to a friend who analyses demand and supply as a part of his job and had an interesting view into how businesses are trying to keep themselves afloat.
Whatever happens in the next month will forever change India and the rest of the world and whether bad or good, we will have to live with it. This means adaptability is now more than a word on your CV, it’s a life skill we will all have to cultivate in order to get back to normal or whatever measure of normal we can.
As I keep saying, the fight is far from over, we have no idea how much longer it will take, how many more sacrifices but listen to this person who hasn’t left their room in 8 days. If I can do it, you can.
I won’t leave this room till my quarantine is officially over, I may even extend it for a couple of days and I’ll still be confined to my home. I’m not alone though, so many other people are confined, so many others are in worse conditions and the only way to get through this is together but a meter apart.
Each country is fighting it’s own battles, but for the first time in our lives, we’ve all been called on to fight, just not the way we’re used to. Let’s make it a good one.
Stay safe, stay inside. Jai Hind.