By: Harsheen Sethi
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It never really hit me at first. It was just a few days in my safe space. A period of winding down and being with myself. I remember hearing Koyals at 4 in the afternoon and gazing down the empty street with my mum. The silence was astonishing, but calming in a way.

I remember deciding to make the most of it and deciding to do something new everyday. From baking to writing to any activity I could think of. And then the cases kept rising. It went from ‘we only have a few cases’ to we being in the 3rd stage, or whatever the technical term is. And then the lockdown got extended. Another 2 weeks. Which didn’t seem that bad but then the realisation that my college had ended washed over all of us. It was a weird couple of days. Having witnessed the end of something you didn’t even get to experience. The realisation that our last day was our last day. That the see you soon had taken a more abstract meaning. That there are no more classes, no more canteen runs, no more sitting out of class. And then the assignments kept coming. And suddenly the things I had decided to do everyday took a backseat. I never realised how important those things were because in the few days I didn’t do them, I was constantly overwhelmed. The lockdown never felt and still doesn’t feel suffocating to me, except in those few days.  Not because I was locked up at home or I couldn’t go and hang out with my friends. But the realisation of everything happening simultaneously was hard hitting. And then I decided that it was all my in hands.

This lockdown wasn’t and isn’t about being productive, it’s about being safe. And being productive, in the most elusive of senses, made me feel safe. The idea of dressing up and sitting in my room made me feel better. Working out every evening made me feel satisfied. Lying on my bed and watching something unimportant on Netflix reminded me of the many nights I have done this willingly and then I realised that I was still doing most of the things I would do otherwise. In fact I was doing more. I may not be able to step out and have a laugh with my friends, I may not be able to dress up and go eat something utterly delicious. I may not to be able to a lot of things but I could do other things instead. And that’s what a lot of us have been doing. We have been baking, creating, experimenting new shows and reminiscing old ones, giving into silly challenges that give a weird sense of purpose. This time was ours, to use it and to waste it in our own ways. And when I started to feel in control of me I realised that things around me felt better too. I was spending more time with my family. I had my friends literally just a call away.

And I had my space. To create, to ideate, to imagine. To reflect.

This reflection is untitled, for in my mind, there’s no one word or phrase to sum up every emotion that is behind it. 

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