06 Jul Celebrating Togetherness and Spreading Smiles: Lockdown 2020
They say, “distance makes the hearts fonder” (check!!); in our case, the lockdown made neighbours fonder and compelled them to celebrate togetherness.” COVID 19 has given us the opportunity to decide what we want to make of our moments in the lockdown. For some of us it has become synonymous with a house-arrest, lack of socialisation, loneliness and depression while the rest of us have resolved to emerge from this chrysalis stronger, brighter and happier than ever. Among our video calling, recipe sharing and singing from our balconies, we have come to realise that a joy shared, is a joy doubled. “Our evenings from the balconies” have indeed become an experience to look forward to for all of us. It’s now been around three months that my colony folks have enjoyed putting up “Mantra chanting” for half an hour everyday. A plethora of positive emotions engulfs our locality and all the negativity projected around because of the pandemic disappears.
Religion no bar
Live Bhajans, including religious chants of all faiths have become a habit here. We believe in worshiping the power, and not the picture. Anything that speaks of positivity is embraced seamlessly by all of us. So, there were no restrictions when we received requests to play chants and bhajans associated with their respective guru. The residents loved it, enjoyed it, and worshipped together.
Age no bar
Our society endeavours have greatly benefitted homes where the fly-the-nest-syndrome had led to emptiness. This loneliness now ceases to exist. We have made it our goal not to let the age factor act as a barrier to us spreading the message of togetherness. There were days when only the seniors sang to their hearts desire (some went completely off-tune and we happily tolerated them).
Amidst all the singing fun from our balconies the birthday celebrations always seem to stand out – from toddlers sending in audio messages of jokes, confessions of breaking window panes with their cricket balls, happy songs, playful memories of enjoying hide and seek, to elders’ cake cutting in the balconies -all of it just kept getting better by each Sunday going by. The voids, which everyone thinks the pandemic would have created, are seemingly invisible in our society and instead, happiness is dawning.
Gender no bar
And lest you think that this initiative limits itself to the ladies, we incorporate the guys in the colony as well. Some of our favourite Bollywood numbers, were picked to target the male audience in our block. And voila! to our utmost surprise, their participation was just amazing. With Kumar uncle showing great enthusiasm in the Shayaris, and Baweja Uncle revealing his romantic self with his soulful renditions, we had loads of fun.
Each Sunday all the non-singers sportingly turn into singers and send their songs through audios to play on an amplifier. What is more, we now look forward to seeing each other everyday. For us, every simple occasion has now transformed into an excuse for celebration. The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed brought about “The Great Realisation”, at least in our locality and just one of the lessons it taught us was that if we all stand together and resolve to look at this global challenge in a different light, we will be able to effortlessly combat fear, negativity, depression, loneliness and sail through these tough times, hand-in-hand, balcony-to-balcony. They say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I say, “When life gives you happy moments in the grimmest times of the lockdown, celebrate togetherness, the K-Block way.”
-Article by Maanya Sareen, a proud resident of K-Block Lajpat Nagar
(This was an article I wrote for a TOI initiative #MySocietyPride, I thought I would share it on my blog as well. Our common motive remains to ensure that we make the most of our time in the Lockdown. This period has been associated with a lot of negativity, but here is a small step we took to brighten this time a bit. I look forward to your comments to this post and my aim is to start a chain of all these positive thoughts, to reignite hope in the hearts of all those around the world who need a shoulder to lean on right now)