Lockdown Won’t Lock My Spirit

Lockdown won't lock my spirit

As I sit to type this, we have already been in lockdown for over a month. Locked away on the 32nd floor in a small apartment, practising social distancing, I am yet to feel the effects of cabin fever. Physically, my hands tell the story of being a veteran of many a ‘kitchen sink’ battles, where numerous glasses have met their end; while my body shows the positive side-effects of wielding a broom. Mentally, I am free. The internet is the highway my imagination soars on. It is my lifeline to a community of friends who are closer than family, and to my family that includes my best friends.

I may be physically alone, but my heart is warm with the renewed love of friends who had become distant due to the pressures of life. All at once, I am anxious, I am relaxed. I am stressed, I am free. I am depressed, I am elated. 

My day begins with mundane tasks – so repetitive in nature that if I did not have them, I would go quietly out of my mind. I have to skim the malai from the top of the milk and warm it up to make dahi. They are simple daily tasks that give me so much. When I make ghee from the malai after 10 days and see the milk turn into creamy dahi, it gives me a sense of accomplishment. I can create food – nutrition for my family. I am not helpless. The virus makes me feel helpless. What if it attaches itself to me or my dear ones? Completing this sentence is not something I want to contemplate. So, I find ways to keep my mind from wandering on that path. 

Social media comes to my rescue. I am not alone. I have friends. The world exists. Everyone is going through the same hell. We are all trying to find our heaven. Sharing recipes means re-living food memories. The way my mother used to make tadka in bulk and keep in the fridge. It made everything taste the same, yet, now, I am finding a connection with her through this simple process. The kitchen is my sanctuary and cooking is my meditation. After the initial days of food anxiety when I worried about being unable to feed my family, I gain more confidence every day in my skills at stretching the four potatoes left in the basket. Ancient wisdom comes to my rescue – dal sprouts are a perennial source of vitamins and nutrients even if I cannot source fresh vegetables and fruits. As my mind rationalises my fears and adapts to this new “normal”, I am willing to look for the silver lining.

I am changing my vocabulary. 
I am not in lockdown – I am containing the pandemic.
I am not practising social distancing – I am maintaining physical distance but creating social bridges.
I will break the virus. It will not break me.

Soni Sangwan
Soni Sangwan

In a previous lifetime, Soni Sangwan was a hard-news reporter who has since found her calling in being a mom and explorer of all things culinary. As former Food Editor of Good Housekeeping India, she combined her passion for food and writing. She is currently based in Jakarta and is exploring South East Asia and its cuisine one plate at a time.

Read more by Soni Sangwan


Image Credit : Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Lockdown Won’t Lock My Spirit”

  1. Hey Soni…yes it resonates the thoughts that most of us are with us. Yes, friends did exist on the peripheral area but now are an integral part if our lives…..our escape gateways.

  2. Great positive read Soni! Truly inspiring and motivating us to see something good in lockdown

  3. Amazing read Soni..Infact a line comes to my mind ” We too are sailing in the same boat.”Very well articulated..If social distancing is kept aside, this phase in the true sense has actually brought people together.Still cant say Well Done Corona..instead have to say Go Corona Go !!!

  4. Hi Soni
    Your write up gives positive vibes in these difficult times. Changing vocabulary to change the mindset is a wonderful option…a delightful read. More power to you.

  5. Wow ! What a beautiful writeup Soni,its so full of the emotional journey that we all are tredding through….kudos dear,more power to you , love you,take care 🙂

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