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COVID-19 lockdown contest - a realistic story of present times

The phone rang in a shrilly ring piercing Shubha's eardrums. Priya was calling. The moment Shubha picked the phone, Priya started ranting.

Priya: Arre Shubha, what are you doing? Why didn't you pick the phone for so long? Isn't your husband helping you out at home in the lockdown? Mine is so cooperative I tell you. He makes dalgona coffee also for me everyday!

Shubha: Oh how sweet! Send him over to make for me also when the lockdown is over! Because my husband is working from home all day, you see!

Priya: Oh okay okay! What new recipes have you tried recently? I have already tried the Oreo shake, biscuit cake, carrot cake, rava sheera, oh and the watermelon mojito! I can't tell you how minty and tangy and tasty it was!

Shubha: Nothing, I've also been working from home na, so I haven't really found the time to try new stuff. Also, there's nobody to do the trips to the grocery shop every now and then. Moreover, without the maids, our hands are already full with enough work.

Priya: Oh you poor thing. Never mind! I hope you're not compromising on your workout though! Have you tried the new ABC fitness app? Or the YouTube videos of XYZ actor, oh my god he's so handsome and popular! I do the full 7 minute workout everyday you know, and I already feel so active through the day.

Shubha: I just do my usual Suryanamaskar sessions and meditation every morning. Haven't really been keen on trying different stuff.

Priya: Ah ok. You're missing out on so much. I feel so bad you've to work during the lockdown also! I called Vibha didi yesterday, and she has learnt so many things on Youtube you know?! Home decor, DIYs, art, craft, painting, what not yar. I am so impressed with all her work I tell you. The Ottoman she made at home is awesome!

Shubha: Oh is it? Good for her.

Priya: Didn't you see her posts on Instagram?! She has posted every single one of the pictures there! Tomorrow is our second cousin K's third child's birthday so I have been really busy making a birthday video for him, because we can't have a party now na. It is so hectic I tell you, being social during the lockdown. When will you send in your video with the birthday wishes?

Shubha: I don't really have the time so I don't think I will. Anyway, I don't actually know the birthday boy so well either.

Priya: Tch tch, you've always been so busy with work na, no time to talk to people or socialise only. So bad you don't have any fun during the lockdown also!

Shubha: Yeah. Actually I had been thinking this lockdown is in view of the COVID-19 situation, and not realized that this is a using-adult-summer-vacation-productively-contest. We all are working for more than eight hours a day, to ensure that our companies, employers and colleagues do not suffer the losses of this economic slowdown alone. We are trying to help others financially and otherwise who aren't as lucky as us to probably have even a square meal a day. So I guess I lose in the contest, but I don't think I really mind it.

Priya: Uh hmmm yeah yeah. Sorry Shubha I'll have to hang up now, my friends are calling me to play the online housie, it is a lot of fun you know? You should try sometime! Okay then, I'll talk to you soon. Take care, bye!

The line went blank even before Shubha could say a thing. She sat there gazing at nothing.


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