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Soham Malakar
Soham Malakar

Posted on • Originally published at malakar-soham.Medium

How Quarantine changed my life !

Hello, ladies and gentlemen!

I am presuming that your curiosity led you here to solve the mystery behind the title.

Or as Frank Herbert would put it,

The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.

Tighten your seat-belts for here we go on a sequestered adventure.

It was spring, flowers, honeybees, butterflies could be seen welcoming the refreshing season. However, it wasn’t a very good time for us human beings. Men as we are, clumsy in our ways, we had somehow unleashed a dreadful virus which called for measures which was going to take away the quintessential reason we were called humans, our social life.

It was no different for me. My college semester exams were over so I had taken a short leave to visit my home. Little did I know that, it was the last time I was seeing my hostel, and friends in college. I packed my bags and left with joy and happiness. After a few days, college sent me a mail stating:

All college functions will be shut down due to Corona Virus, except the essential services, till further notice

Moreover, our statesmen had also put up quarantine and home isolation in order to prevent the spread of this lethal virus. Which meant no socializing, hitting the church of iron or visiting the nearest restaurant.

Initially I was happy, because, more time in home meant, good food, unrestrained sleep at odd hours, video games, Netflix, and so much fun, right?

These were a pretty good deal…till I got bored of all the joie de vivre. There was something telling me that I should be up and doing something that is out of my comfort zone. A spend a huge amount of time thinking about how possibly I could spend my time better.

Pretty tough question, right? That’s why I asked two of my friends about their opinions regarding doing anything unconventional this summer a.k.a. quarantine. Needless to say, I had put them on an eternity of contemplation…

Thinking man

However, I thought it was the best time to do home workouts because let’s face it, most, probably all of us have tried home workout challenges at some point of time but it didn’t really work out. So, I took thirty days of a hundred push-ups challenge with my friend and to my surprised I actually completed it. Truly it was more of challenge to my mental strength than my physical strength and trust me, you are your best project. Thus, I carried on this fitness regime because now it had become a lifestyle.

Humans, being social animals, it is quite tough to just stay indoors and not interact with people. It was getting pretty uncomfortable for me too, just sitting indoors and watching the birds interact. While accepting the fact that we made a mistake for which we had to be socially isolated but as humans we can’t disregard the fact that we are smart too, we invented technology. So, I decided to talk with random people, complete strangers on social platforms to connect with them or as I would put it, “virtually socialize”.

Frankly speaking, I didn’t expect anyone to respond but around six people responded out of thirty-ish conversations I had started. It was all good and honestly I felt my inter-personal skills had upgraded until they stopped talking after a point of time, which is a personal choice and I respect that. Normally people don’t just stop talking so I began pondering about what the possible reasons might be because explicitly asking them was an exercise in futility. There was this common thing I noticed about that “threshold” and it was “personal gain”. Since the conversations were completely friendly and had absolutely nothing to do with money or fame, the messages were seen with no replies to expect. It appears that people have become more materialistic and have devalued human touch to a greater extent. It wasn’t really how I had planned it to be but it boosted my confidence to talk with strangers.

Life was still good until we had a major tropical cyclone in West Bengal and Odisha — Cyclone Amphan. Never did I feel so daunted by a difference in air pressure until now. While we were still recovering from this crisis, another news came about locust attacks in Northern India. Biblical verses never seemed so real, the locusts were literally in swarms which covered few ten kilometers and not only destroyed crops but also trees. Food crisis was now an inevitability.


What troubled me most was the plight of the people who were not as privileged as me. At least I had a roof over my head, food stored in my refrigerator, and fresh water to drink — the basic necessities of any human being, but what about those people who had lost their accessibility to these basic needs, how would they survive?

Leaving aside the physical aspects of life, people had also suffered psychologically with so many people losing their near and dear ones because of the deadly virus, people losing their priced possessions and there is nothing worse than a broken spirit. These were tough times when people required mental support. But its a human fallacy to stay out of anything that’s not unicorns and rainbows just out of fear of the other person getting dependent on them. Thus, its one of the utmost virtues to have gratitude and respect for those who stand by our side at our time of need.

A lot of international news were also making headlines recently. One of which was the brutal homicide of George Floyd by the state’s keepers of peace. This had garnered international support with protests happening all over the world along with larceny and arson. People took this as an opportunity to expose everyone they thought were guilty of using “White Privilege” or promoting racism, ranging from actors, statesmen(old and new), public servants, sportsmen, etc. I would refrain from getting too political on this topic but I would like to quote a line from Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind —

Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on Earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world?

Just as I was writing this article, I received an unfortunate news about Mr. Sushant Singh Rajput, one of the best actors of Bollywood, had committing suicide for an underlying condition of depression. The reason I bring this up is because I feel people very conveniently use “depression” interchangeably with “sadness”. Depression is more deeply rooted than sadness, yet it is curable.

The real issue is, society underrates male depression and tells them to “man up” for whatever the cause may be.

I’m awestruck to see people who ignore and seen-zone messages, all year round, suddenly start caring through their well-crafted social media posts whenever it concerns a celebrity. But again, that’s the deception and the hypocrisy of the society we live in.

To sum up, I have made points of my realizations of the above worldly events:

  • The best project you will ever work on is, yourself
  • Don’t take anything for granted — food, people, friends
  • People are materialistic
  • Don’t waste what you have, it might be a privilege and luxury for some
  • Have gratitude and respect for those who stood by your side at your time of need
  • Don’t consume everything an organization sells, think for yourself
  • Save for the future
  • If we live at the cost of others, we fail as a society There’s nothing worse than suppressed emotions
  • Life goes on

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