Love thy Neighbour..or at least know them!!

The pandemic has affected different people in different ways.. but for most of us, I can say with some confidence , that it has made us homebodies. We have realized there’s a certain joy in working from home dressed in our old, worn out tee and PJs and we ain’t getting out of them any time soon…move over Gucci, Versace…the new fashion trend is here to S-L-A-Y 😀😀

There was a time when home was where we returned to at night, after a hectic day at work, to sleep at night. Or the place where we spent our lazy weekends, just resting, rejuvenating. Charging up our batteries for the crazy work week ahead. The time when Monday blues was indeed a real thing..a real feeling. Thanks to Covid, the home is now our safety net. Our fortress that ensures the enemy stays outdoors (mostly). Initially, like many of you, I struggled to cope with this huge change in my life and daily routine. Always staying indoors. Getting used to living 24/7 in this confined space took a while. But now, a year later, there’s no place I’d rather be. ❤️🏠

These days, the very thought of going out, getting out of my PJs and looking at the wardrobe trying to remember all the clothing (heaps of it) I own itself is tiring. I do enjoy the walks in the terrace and the occasional grocery shopping (rest is all ordered online), but for the most parts, I have kind of found solace in this forced isolation. I have learnt new things, developed new hobbies, rekindled old passion with the paint brush (not the ex🤪) . Long story short, I find ways to keep myself as engaged and occupied as possible.

This transition has been somewhat bearable due to the technology at our disposal primarily Internet, smartphones, social media…thanks to them, we can still be connected to our friends and family, get work done (lots of it) and have some semblance of normalcy in this unprecedented time in the history of the world..

But once a while, I too am stuck with pangs of loneliness. Wanting to actually sit and chat with someone. Get to know them. Share a cup of coffee. Chat. Have a hearty laugh. Those times I crib endlessly to my husband, who looks at me with disbelief, that I still feel the need to talk more, in addition to the endless chitchat I forcefully engage him in daily😂😂.

The other day, while on a quick grocery shopping spree, I bumped into my new neighbor. I had an important work call to get to, so the interaction was very brief, and I did not even pay much attention to what she said as I had to run back home to make it to the call. So I just said ‘nice to meet you, do drop by sometime’ and went my own way without much thought into it. And frankly, I just said it as a courtesy and did not expect to meet her unless we bumped into each other in the elevator once again some other time.

But it was a pleasant surprise when she came by to say ‘Hi’ with a box of cupcakes (how could I not invite her in with a big smile after that 😛)…and we started talking…turns out we are from the same city, about the same age, speak the same language, have similar crazy hectic work lives, both struggling to manage work and household chores…just so much to relate to. And this time I was so engrossed in the conversation that time just flew by and when she said she had to leave, I realized we were chatting for almost an hour!!

This sudden visit from my new neighbor left me with several realizations. Thing is, I had heard they moved in into a flat on the same floor a few weeks back. But never bothered to go meet them, introduce ourselves, you know.. be the good neighbors.Yeah that’s how busy, preoccupied and self serving we millennials are. 🙄🙄 Even when I was cribbing about feeling lonely and craving company, I never thought of reaching out. I should have. Especially now more than ever, when going out to meet friends and cousins may not be wisest thing to do. But am glad she did. Before leaving, she asked me to visit her sometime. I said ‘Yes, definitely. I’d love to’. This time I meant it and fully intend to follow through.

I was looking for a friend and it was waiting right next door!! How wierd yet how wonderful. Here’s looking forward to a new friendship 🥂😊

Live in the present

She finally had a party to attend,
Excitedly She got dressed,
She put on her new dress and her favourite lipstick,
She remembered their old party days and did not want the fun times to end.

She was excited to meet her friends after so long,
Eagerly looking forward to the drinks and the endless banter,
The usual party shenanigans,
To enjoy the karaoke and to sing along.

But this time it was somehow different,
After all, they had ‘grown up’,
Vodka shots made way for wine,
Frivolous chatter made way for serious arguments.

Earlier they used to worry about paying rent,
Now they were discussing real estate and investment.
Earlier they were always in the party mood,
Now all they could talk about was house, car, politics, diapers and baby-food.

They were all busy making plans for the future,
As if things always go as per plan.
Little did they know, in a flash, it could all go for a toss.
And all they would be left with, would be debris of broken dreams and a nagging feeling of loss.

But she was different, life had made her wise,
So while her friends were busy planning,
She made a mental note of the one thing her heart was craving at that moment,
Turns out, it was ice cream- her favourite vice.

So she excused herself and left the party,
And went straight for the ice-cream that made her happy,
For she really knew what it meant,
To savour each moment and to fully enjoy living in the present.