LOCKDOWN – WITHDRAWAL SYNDROME

After weeks of rigorous self-scrutiny and self-analysis, the realization struck me like a lightening bolt out of the blue that I might be suffering from the lockdown-withdrawal syndrome! Now, is that even a term, for real?

Let us see the symptoms- Do you get an anxiety attack, the moment you are forced to get out of your safe haven- that is, your house? Do you get sweaty-palms and an itchy nose by the mere mention of wearing mask to get outside? Are you hyper-ventilating just by thinking of getting up and dressing up, out of your overused sweats and night suits? Do you feel like you are sinning by crossing the most sacred Lakshman Rekha that you have drawn up for yourself at your doorstep? Well, don’t panic! You are not alone in this.

Yours truly is certainly showing the above symptoms and ready to strike someone, who wants me to get some fresh air. As if I could feel something with the damn mask on! I know I become borderline hysterical, when my husband and kids try to lure me out of the house with a bait of walking with the winds, which they know is my weakness. Heck! I never missed a day of walking, come sun or rain, before we were cursed with the whole Corona situation!

My family has tried every trick up their sleeves- starting with my significant other, pursuing me from the morning about how the sunlight and slight wind would do wonders to my skin and mood; to letting me think it to be our little romantic getaway (as if!); to my kids luring me with their puppy eyes for all kinds of ‘interesting’ games. Seriously? I could always see the ‘mask’ed smug on their faces thinking that they got me everytime, only to turn back and bid adieu to the stuborn-me at the doorstep!

The few times I got out unwillingly, armed with mask and sanitizer didn’t help my case either. One is MASK RUN and the other time, I went grocery shopping taking all the precautions. What I didn’t anticipate was that there might be a need of carrying extra masks with me. When I entered the spice section of the grocery, my eyes twitched and even with my eye-popping effort to stop it, the inevitable happened. Yes! I sneezed! Inside the mask! I dreaded the scene that opened in front of me in slow motion- people in the whole aile gave me accusatory glares, jumping back to maintain the extra distance from me, pointing out the bad aunty to their accompanying kids, the service personals running the extra mile to ensure I was indeed the safe person to be amidst people. I felt like a caged animal. Anyways, did I add the after- effects of sneezing in your cloth mask in public and when you don’t get to change it immediately? It stinks and it is unbearable, when you are itching to fling the piece of clothing aside, yet hand-tied to do the same! Not to mention the sanitizing steps to be taken to the every shopped item in the cart, after reaching home. They surely put me off the whole stepping-out scenario and now, I am back to square-one, feeling the withdrawal and anxiety!

And soon after this fiasco, I resorted to the good old techniques of either ordering things online or ordering my husband around to buy things! Yeah, I might sound pathetic, that’s when I realized that I might be seriously sick! Absolutely nothing could make me take that step outside my sanitized space!

When the lockdown was imposed, I didn’t anticipate the things to change from bad to worse, but it did! I was happily chirping around, clapping my hands for an extra five minutes and lighted the whole balcony with lamps. But, when the simple version of lockdown matamorphed and updated itself with latest 4.0 version/unlocking versions, which no longer made sense, I cooped up like a good old vampire inside my den, dreading the broad Corona-inflicted daylight!

My skin has lost all the tan with Corona-blues, being the main reason. Are you down with this lockdown-withdrawal syndrome too? Let me know!

Image credit: clickorlando.com

*Link MASK RUN leads to my related blog post, MASK RUN IS NO FUN!*

THE MYSTICAL MINDBENDER !

      When I was surfing the internet recently, I happened to stumble upon an online game- the game of choices. There are so many captivating game adverts these days, instantly tempting us to download them. I partly blame this behaviour on the recent event of us spending most of our time indoors.

      Coming back to the point, the said game had me intrigued. It is basically a game of choices made by us, where the next set of events would unfold itself by the set of previous choices we made and the game continues. So, not two situations are similar, because you have to make your choice at every step and there are permutations and combinations that act as the deciding factor to the next step you take. Isn’t the game unique and interesting?

       Isn’t our life follows the similar trend? Don’t all the events of our life depend on the choices we make? For instance, our future might differ with the choice of our major in graduation; the choice of job we take / the one we decide not to take and wait for the more suitable one; the choice of the place we decide to settle in; the choice to marry or not; the choice of person we choose to spend our life with. So, every step of our life is truly influenced by our set of  choices. Have you ever stopped to think what would have happened if we had chosen the alternative?

      Recently, people who decided to travel to their native just when the pandemic hit, had their life safely tucked in, amidst their loved ones in their hometown and there are people who chose to wait a couple of days before they travelled, now they are the ones who are stuck in a not-so-familiar city. This is just an example of how, simple choices we make has the ability to change the events of our near future!

     Have you watched the German thriller, Run Lola Run? In this movie, the same situations and acts get played again and again, but the events change as soon as the principal character chooses the different path, meets different people because of the small time lapse / delay, so events of the movie restart as soon as the different set of choices made by the character. The fate of the characters lead them to a different path, as soon as the character chooses the alternate path. Needless to say, the climax was a different one for every sequence! It was a smartly crafted screenplay.

      Another movie that has been set based on the circumstances and choices is the ’98 British-American comedy, Sliding doors. The movie alternates between the two story lines wherein the central character chooses to catch a train or misses it by a whisker, how her life completely takes a different turn because of that particular event. An interesting watch! Surprisingly, both these movies got released in the same year, 1998. Intriguing much?

     There would have been many instances in our life that would have made us wonder, ‘What if!’ . Interestingly, most of these thoughts occur when we had made a real bad choice that would have left us go back and rethink our decision. I have had a chance to read many survivors’ accounts on Tsunami, 9/11 Twin towers, 11/26 Mumbai attacks, ’06 Mumbai train bombings. There are even people who missed their ends, just by choosing not to work that day! Just figure how grateful they would have felt for the mere inconvenience of a flu that may have made them stay back from work on that fateful day!

      If you are a believer of destiny like me, you might as well argue that if a thing is supposed to happen that day, it would happen no matter what, whichever alternate route you take. So, that’s a whole different theory. These are just theories because unless we have a chance to experience the effects of both of our choices, we can’t make a statement that the end would be the same however different our travel route is! Since we are no Hermione Granger of Hogwarts to possess a time turner to get back to the start and make a restart to a different route, we are stuck to the ‘What ifs’ for now.

      I was totally into the Final Destination movie until the makers decided to clone the movie into multiples, the only difference being how cruelly a character meets his/her end in the movie. So, as per the cursed movie, no one can escape the death plan, if by any miracle you manage to cheat death, you would pay for it eventually. So, by this theory, does it mean that the survivors of the tragics would meet their end soon or does it mean their time in this world has not ended yet? Confusing much?

      Well, this is one of those posts where the writer herself couldn’t come to a proper conclusion. Now, is it necessary that every post / every thought needs a conclusion? So, this post is going to be an open ended one. What do you think?



   

Image credit: 123rf.com

#113. JUST A MOMENTARY GLIMPSE

Tallest of hills and a huge dip in the valley,

offering me a panoramic view, which is right up my alley,

I wish I could capture the much devoured moment,

not just with any device; but with my mind and soul,

to be played and replayed every waking moment,

Only to be realized that like these passing clouds,

the memories that I savoured were just moments,

sending me a chilling reminder that

however strong my hold is,

in the end, we were just a moment!

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Video & Post@ Ramya Vivek

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In response to Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge

#112. HAPPILY EVER AFTER!

Photo by Sam Mouat via Unsplash.

In response to Week 241 of 3LineTales

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Venice, a city where the old world charm meets the modernity, has managed to charm its way into my heart, right from my childhood.

So, it was no big surprise to my family, when I declared my love for an handsome Venetian, whom I first met through a common friend.

As I planned to spring a big surprise of my sudden visit on him for his birthday, he surprised me in turn with a romantic proposal by the beautiful canal, on a day filled with so much hope and promise in the dreamiest city, I first fell in love with!

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#TaleOfSerendipity

#HopelessRomantic

#3linetales

#111. WHO AM I? : Reena’s Exploration Challenge

PROMPT 152

“I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but …..”

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I am a museum full of art, and a deck full of music, but I think what attracts people more and makes them fall in love with me is my heart full of passion and compassion!

What is knowledge without character? Knowledge might be power; but character earns you respect and love!

I would prefer a heart full of love over power, anyday!

Image credit: daviscreative.com

#Reena’sExplorationChallenge

#Prompt152

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In response to Reena’s Exploration challenge

#110. HOME SWEET HOME-Weekly Prompt

Home sweet home is

A mother’s ever welcoming lap,

A father’s ever protective shoulders,

A partner’s ever comforting hugs,

A kid’s cheerful butterfly kisses.

Makes one forget the worry, if any,

painting beautiful memories many!

Home is where my heart is still beating,

creating love and warmth that are everlasting!

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In response to Eugi’s weekly prompt

#109. THE BITTER TRUTH

  • When I see a shoeless cobbler polishing and mending my shoes, sporting a toothless smile;
  • When I see an ice cream vendor pulling his cart in the scorching Sun, quenching his thirst from a roadside water tap;
  • When I see a underprivileged kid who is forced to skip school, selling alphabet books to the privileged ones at the traffic signal;
  • When I see a poor vegetable/fruits vendor, who could afford only a watered down rice porridge for her kids;
  • When I see a branded garment factory worker in torn clothes;
  • When I see a man unmindful of the pouring rain drenching him, carry an handful of umbrellas, trying to sell them to a bargaining customer;
  • When I see a server going on and on about the specialities of the restaurant, playing a perfect host to me, a restaurant he could probably neither afford to visit with his family nor could taste any of those items, he was enthusiastically elaborating;
  • When I see a teacher full of wisdom getting back home to an abusive partner;

I can only wonder- why these hard working people who have the perfect resources at hand, are never entitled to use them!

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Post@Ramya Vivek©

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#108. CAN I? I CAN!

I counted those steep steps of the formidable tower in my mind, the hike above looked almost impossible!

I looked at my once perfect legs. With the gentle reminder on why and what I wanted to prove myself, I took that one foot forward with my wooden legs, smiling confidently.

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In response to Kristian’s 50 word Thursday challenge

#107. THE DIVINE INTERVENTION

A KRISHNA MANDALA

Dearest Krishna,

I am not afraid of the unknown darkness

that might be lurking in the corner

ready to catch me unaware; for,

remembering your face in all its glory and

knowing you will be holding my hand

walking this journey by my side,

gives me the strength and hope

that everything is going to be alright!

This must be some divine intervention!

Suddenly my chaotic mind sighing with contention,

started singing to the tunes of your ‘bansuri’*.

Mesmerized, I have reached the state of serenity

where there is no pain; no loss, but only you!

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*bansuri-flute

Image and post@Ramya Vivek©

Related post: Krishna Leela-Divine Enticement and Inspiration

#106. MAKE YOUR DAYS COUNT!

Image: Dan Grinwis:Unsplash

As I walk all alone in the desert,

I see no footsteps preceding me

and none succeeding me,

other than mine.

Just then I realized,

This is what life is all about.

People might come and leave as they please,

but, it is ‘you’ who you need to trust

for, my friend,

you came alone and would be leaving alone.

So, count your blessings and make your days count!

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In response to Sadje’s What do you see #46 .

#104. START PLEASING YOURSELF!

Hear it from a recovering people-pleaser, pleasing self doesn’t come naturally to everyone! For a person who has spent most of her time thinking about everyone else than herself, thinking about pleasing self alone, is a huge turnaround.

Many a times, a simple NO at the tip of my tongue, remains imprisoned there. Even when I am neck deep in the ocean of work, when someone asks me a favour, I find it difficult to say no to them. I take that additional work in my already filled-to-the-brim platter of workload, only to feel bad and start beating myself, the moment, that traitor ‘Yes’ escapes my mouth. ‘Why couldn’t I manage a simple No?’ would probably be the my most frequently asked question(FAQ) to self.

For instance, when a friend of mine, who is into selling some handmade products, asks me to buy some from her, as the renowned people-pleaser that I am, I would never think twice before taking it from her, even when I know that I might never use it this lifetime! Ya. That would be me in a nutshell.

If you are the one who is also suffering from this, whichever phase you are in- normal; hopeless or recovering, welcome to the club. Well, these are the names, I have coined for the different phases:

(i) normal, when you are just an occasional/borderline people-pleaser, who can manage saying NO sometimes;

(ii) hopeless, when you can never reply in negative;

(iii) recovering stage, when you try your level best to break the old habit, which means, “Buddy! You still have hope!”.

Yours truly just managed to move from hopeless to the recovering stage!

  • It takes years of practice to perfect that NO without hurting the feelings of others and without damaging our reputation.

  • Don’t let the situation overwhelm and get the worst out of you!
  • It is always easy to say yes. But, if you don’t mean it and would regret the decision later, then take a deep breath, give a firm NO with a smile.
  • Often we immediately accept to do things, to avoid conflict with people, be it in professional or personal relationships. But, will it help in the long term, if you are constantly having an inner battle! So, better to say NO then, than to have regrets when all the suppressed NOs, burst and come out in the open one day. You might not like it!
  • Remember, you ain’t any Supreme force of nature or God. You can’t be omnipresent, pleasing everyone, be readily available at the ‘beck and call’ of everyone. Even if you somehow manage to do everything, there are more chances that people might still find fault with you! Not even God is spared these days, people are ready to point fingers even at him.😉
  • Lastly, don’t let the guilt override you.

I have started wearing the proud badge of ‘I know how to say NO’ nowadays. Yeah, I occasionally falter, because let us face it- it takes time for the good old habit to die. But, it still feels so good, looking at the growth curve of this recovering people-pleaser!

It is high time, we start pleasing ourselves, which starts with saying YES to all our dreams and aspirations for, we are worth it!

Post@Ramya Vivek©

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