It is May 11th 2020 and most of India has been under lockdown for 46 straight days. These have been tough times for everyone. While some of the folks i know have been cribbing about being bored to death in this lockdown, for me it has been a busy time. My current field of work which is "Cloud Technology" picked up as everyone was locked up with nothing but technology to entertain and survive and hence there was a lot of work. While me and my family was trying to navigate the chaos and madness of ordering everything online, i would say we were able to deal with the situation without going out much. This was until my phone broke, crashed, bricked, it was gone.
While i had a spare 4 year old iPhone to fall back on but you know about spare phones, they were too old to trade for a newer one is why you decided to label it as a spare and keep it. They almost never work. So after struggling to get my office and personal stuff to work on an old phone and tablet, i decided i needed to risk my life by going out for better and updated technology.
I will have to drive nearly 10 km to reach the nearest store which was open and selling a sane phone. This would be one of the longest drive in last one and half month. While somewhere deep down within there was some excitement to go out after such a long time but it was mostly overpowered by the nervous energy around.
I got my car keys and prepared myself to go out, as I was driving farther away from my home the feeling started sinking in. I started paying attention to things around, the roads were empty, it was a pleasant surprise. The weather and pollution levels had been exceptionally low for quite some time now, Delhi was great again. I had started enjoying my ride towards the mobile store.
There were so many thoughts flooding my mind. The infrastructure, roads looked impressive and clean. I could see only some grocery and medial stores open. There were street hawkers selling fruits and vegetables. Everyone was trying to do their bit to survive this lockdown. Some business were lucky that they could still operate in lockdown, most of them were closed making their owners and workers nervous and anxious as everything was shutdown without any planning. While some belive this situation is a Protagoras Paradox with no winner, I just wish the situation get back to normal.
When i reached the store, i was temperature checked and my hands were sanitized. While i was expecting that i would be the only person in the store, i was surprised to see 15-20 people already in the store. I went to the sales person and told him to directly take the phone model to the billing section. I had to wait in line, there were people already waiting to buy stuff before me. Standing in the line I realized that it was really hot inside the store as i saw the table fan next to me i realized the store had turned off the central air conditioning as a precaution. The side effect of turning off the air conditioning was that it had gotten too hot to breathe with your mask and as a result most of the sales folks had either removed their masks or pulled it below their noses. This made me more nervous, while i told the cashier that his team was not wearing masks properly I knew that as soon I would have left they would have again relaxed and adjusted their masks. I am not sure how vulnerable central air conditioning units are and if they are doing more harm than good by not using them.
Finally i got my phone and I drove back in trepidation. While driving back all I thought was about how much the world has changed in last 1 month. Just a simple tasks of going out and buying a phone was now a special event and deserved a blog entry.
- This article by The Atlantic captures the lockdown in India pretty well.
Photos & Videos
Here are some of the photos which i manage to click during my trip, i wished i had clicked more but I guess I was too focused on saving myself