It had been a long day at work. It was only Tuesday, though it felt like a Friday by when my weekly energy quota is usually almost over.
I had spent my day reading an exhaustive report and rewriting a story on coal mining, assessing three other stories (one of which made little or no sense), dealing with a plagiarised story, and preparing the weekly publishing schedule. And the fact that I was self-quarantining (I had just undertaken air travel) alone at home, with my kids away, added to the gloom.
I sank into my beanbag and watched the plants, still lit up with a strand of Diwali lights, in my mini-balcony in Mumbai. Twinkling stars with golden lights and a kandeel hung from the ceiling.
I felt better. Watching my plants always has a calming effect on me. But I was still not at peace.
May be I should do something ‘creative’ with my hands, I thought, and walked into the kitchen to knead some flour for my morning breakfast of stuffed parantha. Eight months without any domestic help and without my cook; how COVID19 had changed our lives and forced us to become atmanirbhar!
Soon the dough was ready. My fingers and biceps nicely exercised. But, the mind … it wasn’t ready to relax. Do you sometimes face situations where your mind is agitated for no reason (at least not something you can pinpoint) and in spite of several attempts, you are still unable to calm it? Yes, it was one of those situations.
I knew what I had to do.
I picked up my phone and dialled his number. As soon as I heard his voice and my nickname, a strange sense of calmness started to envelop me. There wasn’t anything specific to talk about. We talked about the dipping mercury and Delhi’s cold weather, the rising COVID19 cases, my recent official trip, my ongoing self-quarantine, if I had eaten dinner, my kids, etc.
We kept talking. I kept talking. I knew talking to him would fix my energy. It always does. Magically. Miraculously. And it did this time as well.
I asked him if she was around and if I could speak with her too. She came on the phone and in a super excited tone congratulated me. It took me a minute to understand what the congratulations were all about.
The next twenty minutes were spent talking to her and listening to her — how she likes to watch KBC (Kaun Banega Crorepati) as she gains knowledge from the questions asked, how in Delhi winters she likes to eat parantha-achar for breakfast (and not poha, upma, dal chilla, etc), the utensils she bought on Dhanteras and Diwali.
Sometimes all your agitated mind needs is to silently listen to the simple stories of every day life.
He is more than three decades older than me, in his mid seventies, and she is seventy. They live 1500-kilometres away. I am forty-four and a mother of two kids. But I still often draw my strength from them — my parents.
Do you also reach out to your parents and experience your energy being fixed by their just uttering your nickname? More so in a pandemic that has made everything around us uncertain and our future insecure.
Experience that magic. Pick up the phone and dial their number.
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