The Barefoot In Lockdown Story

It’s the eighth week of the lockdown and I’m walking around barefoot. Not because I’m trying to emulate the legendary MF Hussain who went about barefoot because he liked the feel of the earth under his feet. Or because of some vow to not wear any footwear until the corona virus goes away. And least of all because I think my bare feet will serve as a mark of support and gratitude to the frontline covid-19 warriors.

Although the above reasons might have gotten me my 15 seconds of fame on social media, and maybe even television, the fact it would’ve made my family crack up and laugh till they cried, explains why I didn’t eve try to go down that path. Yup, my family is quite irreverent like that…and thank the good lord!

Anyway, getting back to exactly why I’m walking around barefoot. So, I have a Beagle puppy/teenager. I’m not sure technically which as he turned one at some point during the lockdown, and there is some dog years versus human years math involved to calculate that.

So, Pluto (the aforementioned Beagle) chewed up the slippers I used to wear around the house after having demolished the spare pair earlier. This happened some time before I discovered the nibbled toes of the slip-ons and mangled uppers of the jootis. So, imagine my horror when the lockdown was announced at such short notice -the immediate decision I had to make was to decide between running (my sneakers are fine, just the laces are chewed up) to the shoe shop or heading to the grocery store/vegetable vendor/milk outlet. The struggle was real. Then the survival instinct kicked in, and therefore my barefooted condition.

I’ve been walking around the house doing all my chores barefoot for the past eight weeks. Since my sneakers (the ones with the chewed up laces) are the only pair of ‘sensible’ footwear left intact (all delicate and/or strappy shoes and heels have been mothballed until further notice), they are guarded no less than the family jewels and taken out only when I need to take the aforementioned perpetrator for his walks or step out for procuring ‘essentials goods’.

You know, I really think footwear ought to be considered as ‘essential goods’ after being barefoot through the lockdown these past two months that feel more like two hundred years. The kitchen and bedroom floors where I am 21.5 hours out of 24 hours would agree after having been swept and mopped on a loop any number of times in a day.

There’s also the Dettol infused basin of water in the washroom with extra towels on standby that bear testimony to the OCD levels of wash feet-dry feet-apply some lotion to feet-repeat. Pluto (the reason why I’m barefoot) of course isn’t complaining as he’s got extra body parts to chew on every chance he can get.

It’s this very chewing-of-all-he-surveys thing that’s ensured multiple trips to the veterinarian through the various versions of the lockdown. A course of three injections followed by 5 days of antibiotics (half tablet I’m the morning, half in the evening), a whole bunch of investigations to check various parameters, supported by multi vits (and vanilla ice cream) gave me sleepless nights because he had stopped eating. Actually, I should have been expecting it considering that bits of most of my footwear (except my sneakers, thank god) had been through his stomach!

Anyway, getting back to the experience of barefootedness, I seem to have won the approval of the kindly neighbourhood oldies who nod their endorsement upon seeing me walking barefoot in the garden, believing I’m following some immunity strengthening exercise. At least the grass is kind to bare feet, the edges of furniture and doors most certainly are not!

What all this has done to my feet you can imagine when I tell you that I’m going to be in a quandary deciding where to go first when the neighbourhood shops open up – the shoe shop or the pedicure place.

My barefooted dilemma, I have to confess, has made me question liquor being categorised as ‘non-essential’. Some wine would have surely helped mitigate the lockdown travails (some days more than others) through the work from and at home as the battle fatigue started setting in.

As the countdown to the end of the lockdown begins (fingers and toes crossed), there are a couple of thoughts. For one, I would urge the powers-that-be and the citizens-that-are to be sensible in the making and the following of the safety guidelines so we can all hope for some modicum of normalcy. And more importantly, I would request a considered view and review to be taken on what comprises the ‘essential’ and ‘non essential’ – the lockdown has been a life lesson for a lot of us on that.

Read more by Rashmi B. Nayar


Image Credit : Shagun Nayar

32 thoughts on “The Barefoot In Lockdown Story”

  1. Wow that was some delightful read…chappal ho na ho!! BN. Whatever said and done, lockdown has made all of us discover something about ourselves.. Reading this made me wonder.. [email protected]

    1. Thank you so much Bela. I love that you found it entertaining and thought provoking too.

  2. Haha….
    Just reading about Pluto and his antics is a good way to start the day. I Love your tongue in cheek humour, and style.

    1. Thank you so much Himani. Pluto’s antics have been quite a stress buster in this lockdown, notwithstanding the bare feet :))

  3. Jaideep Bhowmik. Brought a smile to my face. Very well written ,infact I can visualise young Pluto nibbling at your footwear. Keep sharing these delightful stories

    1. Thank you so much Jaideep. I’m so glad this got you grinning. I remember Bella and Bingo’s puppy days and the cute things they did 🙂

  4. Such a amicable way if looking at the disaster perpetrated by your pet. I wish all of us had that positive interpretation to your pets gimmicks, after all they are being natural.

    1. Thank you so much Rajyashree. That’s such a wonderful way of looking at it! You are like the Sunflowers that you love so much in the way you are able to see the bright side of everything.

    1. Thank you so much Neeraa. Such a blessing our fur babies have been in making this lockdown easier.

  5. 😆😆 Amazing write up so beautifully mentioned everything in detail Loved going thru it.Can visualize it hehee.😘😘

    1. Thank you so much Abha. You would be able to relate to it well with your beautiful fur babies, there’s never a dull moment with them around!

    1. Thank you so much Buchi. I always remember your words when Pluto’s being super naughty…beagles really are SF 🐕!

  6. Ma’am I love your style of writing.. Very candid and straight from the heart.. Keeps me hooked on to the story till the end..

    Please keep them coming more often..

    Amol Gill

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement Amol. Funnily enough, writing the candid one took more effort this time maybe because there’s just so much grim news all around. I hope Pluto’s shenanigans had you laugh out loud :))

  7. Another wonderful story from our hugely talented Rashmi….this one had me chuckling from start to ending. As a complete shoeaholic I can sympathize….but…. don’t you find that our pets become our babies and you end up forgiving them everything? They bring such joy to us, and laughter,as you have amply illustrated with your tale.
    Keep the write ups coming. It’s something good to look forward to.

    1. Thank you so much Preeti. Seriously, how our fur babies get away with murder, I swear! I’m so glad it had you laughing…thank you for the encouragement always 😊

  8. What fun you brought with your chappal story…loved every bit of it. You must be missing them every moment and turned it around to spread Joy. Lovely!

    1. Thank you Amita. I just love how you have seen it as a story about turning adversity into a strength…the lockdown has been a lesson in that as much. Thank you for your encouraging words 🙂

  9. Footwear/ at least flip flops and likes definitely ought to be essential! And wine..tell me about it🙄.
    Pluto 😍😍 He will soon outgrow the footwear and you will be guarding other essentials then ..haha! Loved the narration and the endearing sense of humor Rashmi❣️

    1. Thank you Sangeeta for the warning…haha…just when I was thinking he will soon outgrow the puppy thing of chewing up stuff!! Thank you so much for the appreciation sweetie, it serves as a real motivation 🙂

  10. It is a very thoughtful write up Mrs Nayar. Starting with the humour part, one did not realize it that there was such a strong message conveyed in the end with such an ease. Pluto is a joy to the family. He made us realize that where are we heading towards. Even the educated citizens cannot categorize between the essential and non essential things. Loved every bit of it.

    1. Thank you for your wonderfully incisive feedback Shrishti. Love how you interpreted the subtext so beautifully. You picked up the undercurrents of the travails and misery caused by the lockdown so perfectly. Thank you so much…much love <3

    1. Thank you so much Mona for your encouragement always. Am so glad you enjoyed the piece…much love <3

  11. You are really gifted. My second read in 30 minutes has left me wanting for more.. Have you been writing for long! Where else?

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