Beyond #WFH is our initiative to spread positivity and inspire our readers by inviting leaders and friends to share what they do to unwind and relax after they finish their work-from-home and work-for-home responsibilities during the lockdown.
While Covid-19 has had multiple impacts on business and Beyond #WFH is not about business, it’s about self-discovery, things that will give us the strength to get through the lockdown, and more importantly for those ‘moments’ that will stay with us for long and beyond this pandemic. PS: We are not talking business!
The super talented Account Director of Taproot Dentsu, Ambalika Sen, in this story of Beyond #WFH shares, what she’s been up to with some lovely pictures of her Italian menu and not to forget the chocolate cake that she has been digging into during the lockdown.
My husband and I have lived in this rented apartment in Andheri for eight years now. A house that enjoys great light, ventilation, and vibes. Over the years, we brought in shelves full of books, Wi-Fi with extension, great speakers, too many board games, enough larder contents, a guitar, and oodles of enthusiasm for music. The house also has a cute skirting along the perimeter of the ceiling, for those times when nothing beats some blank and lazy staring. Here’s elaborating further on my state of boundless privilege.
At a time when some are between jobs, feeling homesick or feeling the lack of purpose, I’ve been eyebrows-deep at work. Thankfully, I guess! Followed only by the overwhelming home management grind. I thought I had that down pat, but cleaning is not just the customary dusting and sweeping, you know. There are also bathrooms, fans, AC’s, trash bins, and windows looming large, waiting to be scrubbed! “Think, Monika, think!” (Not sorry, muggles).
So, for much-needed balance, I’ve resorted to the underrated indulgence of compulsory downtime. Sometimes, well past midnight on a Thursday. Sometimes, with a jumbo mug of coffee, reheated twice over, early on a Tuesday, before Zoom takes over!
I’m digging the force-stop, actually. I love that I save three hours of commute. I love that I can chop up a fresh cucumber salad to go with my lunch. And that I don’t have to share food. Then there are the womanly privileges, like freelobbing. And crying cramps away into a pillow, instead of braving them with a smile, good posture, and pills!
All the self-engagement aside, this has also been an extraordinarily busy time for over-thinkers like yours truly. Oh, all the inner explorations to catch up on. And the temporarily satisfactory conclusions that hush the racing mind. Like:
- Friendships, for one, are best when they are low-maintenance.
- I don’t have way too many friends. You do!
- Parents are actually just children, but older.
- Good thing they passed down their indomitable spirit, though.
- Life feels meaningless without a dog. In the house, or on the streets, or pets of friends who I could hang out with, pre-lockdown. Why, god, why can’t you just send me one real dog instead of the many dog posts onInsta?
- These lockdown-led-marital-conflict “jokes” are now so stale, my eyes hurt from the rolling!
- Remember auto rides? Breezy, Spotify-escorted auto rides?*sniff*
- Ooh, a new lockdown game! Can we go back into hiding soon after?
- Maybe give up every once in a while. Go, crash. You’re no Volvo, you’ reallowed.
Back on the upside, I get to see my niece and nephew every other day, on video calls. I’ve been introduced to Google Duo by the pre-teen who is still too young for Whatsapp. Rediscovering the delight that is Julie Andrews, as the toddler learns to yodel along to The Sound of Music. And somewhere in between, exchanging Netflix recommendations with the parents, too.
Cooking is a chore on some days, but has been more of a specialty hobby all along (way before your time, lockdown fad!); I’ve used this time to fancy-up my daily menu like never before. Now that there is nowhere to go on the weekends, I’ve cooked everything from meat pies to flavourful casseroles, to slow-cooked stews, chhole bhature, cheeseburgers, eggs benedict, all kinds of khichdi, a cake a week, to even finally attempting the daunting Awadhi biryani! Yes, I have been cooking up my own cravings, thankfully. Although, most times, the real craving is to be able to eat without having to make!
Most of all, I am turning to the ever-dependable friend. Music. From tripping timelessly on the legendarily long intro of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On”, to familiarising myself with my family’s most loved Rabindra Sangeets. From singing our favorite Hindi classics unabashedly aloud, to finally patching up with my long-abandoned guitar. It helps that I live with a fellow buff because otherwise, I would just be noise. Aside from the afternoons of staring at that skirted ceiling. Or the evenings when I’ve re-read Ruskin Bond, quietly by the night lamp, hour after serene hour.
Make no mistake, I am aching to get to the other side of this crippling mess. Longing to resume life as I know it. Live all my answers to “what will you do when all this is over”. But, while we wait powerlessly, here’s to doing what it takes, to power right through.