My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.
We have five more days of lockdown, the government has eased the lockdown in many ways but it is still strict in many of the containment zones. These are specially in big cities and the metros. I was talking to my cousin and she was saying not being able to go out is becoming extremely frustrating. Some others, who are very social, there are people in their house at all moments are finding the isolation very difficult.
The good and the bad is happening during this period. We are reading a lot about increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, it has always been there but now people have been confined within four walls. There is no escape for the victims. It was sad to read in today’s papers about people suffering from heart attack or from stroke are hesitating to go to the hospital for treatment due to the fear of corona. They are suffering more because of this. On the other hand, in the state of Punjab drug abuse was very high. But the lock down has broken the chain in drug dealing. Alcohol consumption too has come down. But we cannot really say what will happen after May 3rd. Will they go back to their old ways?
Everywhere, youngsters have come together to help the elderly and others in distress. Young bikers are helping to supply food to the hungry. Others are helping to supply medicines to HIV patients. The call themselves HIV Warriors. Many are helping to feed stray dogs, cows, birds and other animals. A poor fisherwoman, Sharadakka, has spent her life savings to feed those who are poorer than her. She says, ‘I know what it is to be hungry’. A daily wage worker, Abdur Rehman, had dreamt of going to Mecca to perform Hajj. He had saved for his dream his whole life. But now he has spent all his savings to help the homeless and needy. He says, ‘his hajj has been done now’. Shanta Norona, a tailor, who has no work now is stitching face masks and distributing them to daily wage workers, free of cost. The list is endless. There is hope as long as such people are around us.
To come to our everyday life, we are seeing dark rain clouds almost every evening but the wind is taking them and the rain elsewhere. We are getting a few drops only 😊. We have coconut trees in our garden. Every now and then dry fronds fall down with a crash. Some of our neighbours take them to use as fuel. Yesterday morning one fell on the electric wires, there was short circuit and no electricity for some time. Fortunately, it was rectified within an hour.
I had stitched some masks but found they were a little too wide so altered them today morning. Usually when I am stitching I listen to lectures by a great Sanskrit scholar, Bannanje Govindacharya. I am listening to his lectures on Skanda Purana. It is a fascinating experience. I am now listening to Pied Piper by Nevil Shute in Audibles. I am enjoying listening to stories. My son has the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. That too will be a wonderful experience.
( Our grandson told my son that he found his shadow very funny 🙂 )
( Our friend with the stick which has no shadow)
On the 25th was Zero Shadow Day in our town. At 12.28 Pm the sun is right above us. This happens twice a year but this is the first time I had read about it. I just don’t remember reading about it in the past. Maybe the coronavirus in making us take note of many things which we did not earlier 😊. There is minimal or no shadow at that moment which is also called the Zenith.
I would like to end on a very nice note. I keep a mud pot filled with water in our garden for the birds. The weather is very hot now. One afternoon I saw a bulbul sitting on the edge of the pot. The water was not at the brim and the little bird was hesitating to bend and take a sip. It flew away. I went out immediately and filled the pot to the brim. After a little while the bird came back, took a sip and flew away.