All-purpose flour

Yes, this post is titled ‘all-purpose flour’. You read it right.

It is day 60 of the “stay-home stay-safe” mantra the world has been chanting in different languages. In this part of the world, more specifically in my house, it has been complete lockdown owing to the high risk cases of men around me. Two with asthma gods waiting to crouch down anytime and the other one an ex-Kawasaki (I get it, ex-Kawasaki is not necessarily a risk case, but I would never spend another dreaded 10 hours in the hospital looking at that thick liquid pierce into my son’s arm). Anyways, 60 days of lockdown has been beautiful, nothing like we’ve seen before, with four of us locked into four rooms of the house most of the day, taking calls, doing homework, showing our face on zoom/webex calls and creating a world of make believe that nothing has changed.

The first thing I did on March 15th was, I summoned my boys and told them, we are going to be in here for a long time. I don’t want to resolve PS4 fights, and arguments over how he got 5 minutes extra time and how the next day he owes the other one 8 minutes. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Yes, it is ridiculous, I know. And I also know there are a lot of parents on this boat, its full. So I told them, there is only one thing I need from them, ‘be nice’. We have never been inside the house for a long time in a long time, so this will be new. We will get frustrated, but we have to live with it. I made them talk to each other and draw up a ‘mutually’ agreeable schedule for the PS4 based on when their friends were available. If I hear high pitched arguments then the PS4 is mine for 24 hours 😂. Touchwood, day 60 and no sword fights over the PS4. I get the little banters here and there, but those are manageable. So lesson one of this quarantine, ‘be nice’.

Monday mornings are still the worst, whether we venture out to office/schools or not. There is a shit ton of work for the kids, calls at work and the usual grind. It just feels like the start of the beginning of a long week. The only saving grace is, you don’t have to wake up early, make lunch, pack lunch for the kids, get ready and drive for 45 minutes to get to work. My half tank gas is intact for the last 60 days. The gas tank that saw a gush of 14 gallons every week hasn’t seen a gas station in 9 weeks. Yes, I am cashing in on all the money I save from gas. Lesson two – Monday will always be Monday.

Eating food was a compulsive disorder 60 days ago. We had to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at set times. The last 60 days has just thrown that schedule out of the window. It doesn’t matter when you eat, you just eat when you are hungry. Whether that is healthy or not, who cares. There is really nothing healthy about this quarantine, neither physically not mentally. But this time has taught us the value of essential ingredients. Mine being all-purpose flour. I ran out and there was none online, until finally I got some delivered last week. After a week of being put away while the virus died, I opened it yesterday and I never thought the sight of all-purpose flour would make me so happy. I got baking bread and hamburger buns. At midnight I was sitting in front of the oven, watching the buns turn brown and scrolling through Facebook. The meaning of ‘essentials’ took a whole new direction and just whipped through our lives.

Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ etc. are the new messiahs of joy. The English Game, Self-made, Little Women, Jane the Virgin, World War II in Color and the list is ongoing. A series is the new addiction. It’s funny earlier when you went to work, you rushed to get back home, now I finish work to rush to watch a series. I guess it’s the feeling of seeing the outside world, although make-believe, even for a few hours. The importance of getting out of your house and meeting people assumed a whole new meaning in the lives of people all around the world. While we could do it, taking turns to pick a place to eat, deciding who would drive, walking upto the garage, my friend teasing me about my tiny car, giving me directions, getting to a restaurant, ordering food, sharing food, talking about everything under the sun, from babies, to politics, to work, to gossip, paying the bill and heading back to the office, seemed like an accepted everyday truth. And now, I crave to have one such afternoon with her. I want to say, I’ll pick the place, I’ll drive, let’s just go. The role friends and people you see everyday fills your life and that void now is gaping at you.

With the way things are, it seems like we will be right where we are after another 60 days. The heart wishes for a lunch with a friend, maybe we will go back to work, maybe this.. maybe that.. It is sad that will all the advances medicine has made, with all the brilliant minds that walk the earth, we live in a world of little hope, politics dictating when I can drive to the store without a mask, park my car, walk into a store, find the baking aisle, and pick up that packet of all-purpose flour and drop it into my shopping cart… but more realistically I see myself scouting for all-purpose flour online.

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