I recommend you skip reading this blog. I’m not about to tell you anything extra-ordinary here or humour you. I am not even going to try (This could really go left so fast if, in my lame attempt to make the preface intriguing, I actually end up convincing you to stop reading this and you move on). If you have already stopped reading by now, well then goodbye to you (who am I saying goodbye to?) And those who have decided to read on and allow me to occupy a few minutes of their day, I thank you. I am truly flattered.
Not sure how I stumbled upon doing this, but I found myself browsing through my photo gallery and after some endless amount of mundane scrolling (it’s pretty involuntary) I reached the pre-pandemic photos of my life. It left me with a very surreal feeling, like when you have a vivid dream that you forget about almost as soon as you wake up. Then suddenly at some point through your day, something happens and it brings back the memories of the dream with a rush of visions and a feeling that makes you go “heyy…? what was that dream I had, it’s bloody brilliant / weird AF,” depends on the pleasantness of the said dream.
So that’s how I felt when I saw some of my memories from February 2020. My Last Normal Outings.
I generally don’t venture out and socialise often. Honestly, I don’t have a lush social circle and that’s probably because I like it that way (also because I moved cities, evolved, get with it). However, I do enjoy getting a beer or a piña colada with a friend and them date-nights (which also involve either a beer or a piña colada). And February 2020 was one of the last times I had one of those occasional outings before the pandemic hit us like a ton of bricks. That’s probably when most of us ever had our last normal outing. Here’s mine:
All the succeeding photos are just corners of my house, culinary preparations, my dog who is unaware of being photographed in her sleep, and then selfies of my friends and family with masks on. My heart sort of broke. I miss those mask-free days very dearly and have sincerely realised the value of the world we had and took for granted.
But something is making me exceptionally frustrated. And I don’t exactly know what it is, so I will allow myself to unfurl my thoughts as I type on.
Living in constant fear is not a new feeling to me as a woman. The frustrating part is—being a woman in India, going out every day has already been a matter of safety and sometimes survival. Getting out on my own especially at night already meant being hella audacious with a sprinkle of risk assessment. I cannot put a finger on the number of times I have cancelled plans or remodelled them to adapt to the externalities. And now I have an additional reason to bloody worry for my life and safety!
It’s not new to me and I am sure most women would agree. It’s hard to believe how the whole concept of going out has become a lot more stressful for women. It’s a huge psychological block. I already had one, no thank you to another big boulder!
Of course, the pandemic has, in its own strange (read: f*cked up) ways, made us more thankful and brought our close ones even closer. Many of us even made new friends through the lockdown, cheers to that mate. Some of us (me) didn’t just stop at adopting a child (it’s a dog) but also got married (an intimate ceremony). So yeah sure, good things happened. But then it took away a lot too, overhauled our aspirations and more importantly it can never justify this additional mental stress that now comes with planning a drinks night with your girlfriend down the road.
Rant over. Thank you for your time.
Tired of having new reasons to live in constant fear.