A guilt outing during Covid times


Not even once did we cross the ‘laxmam rekha, remained confined within the four walls of our home during the first two months of the lockdown. All the items of daily use, including medicines and groceries, were ordered and delivered at our door step, quarantined at the designated corner before being put to use.

At a time when the positive cases were minimal, threat perception was at its maximum. There was so much fear of the lurking danger that even after outside movement was permitted for limited hours, there was a sort of inertia, hesitation to step out of the house. We had to muster courage even for going out to the neighbourhood park for a walk. A hurried round in the park and we would rush home before the hooter. Oh! The sound of hooter gave me an eerie feeling, brought back memories of December of 1971 at Jalandhar when dreaded sirens would blow at any time during the day and night. A shiver would go down my spine every time a siren sounded alert of a possible aerial attack. The same fear and anxiety, but enemy is invisible this time.

Considering the seriousness of the situation, we, a retired couple in early 60s   has been following the guidelines strictly, taking all the precautions. Now there is hardly any restriction, yet our outing, by and large, remains limited to the nearby park for a walk. Despite the pandemic fatigue setting in, we have been adhering to no travelling, no socializing, no eating out regime.

We have remained confined to our home during the entire period, but for one indulgence, a guilt outing.   It was a wedding in close friend circle that my husband and I attended in the month of August after seeking consent from our children. Yes consent, you read it correctly. A case of role reversal!  In these unprecedented corona times children are the ones taking call on the movement of their parents.

It was a weird feeling getting dressed in a formal sari, adorning jewelley and wearing make-up after months. I was all decked up; however, the final accessory was the mask without which I could not step out. We had an inexplicable feeling entering the hotel, the venue for the party. Temperature checked, hands sanitized, Aarogya setu app downloaded, names tallied from the guest list, we stepped into the hall of a five star hotel. Oh my God! So many formalities, as if we were at an airport boarding an international flight! Even inside the hall, the scenario was so different from the usual wedding scene, just a handful of guests.No customary hugging, just a distant ‘namaste,’ rightly so under the circumstances. The most conspicuous were the designer customized masks matching with the dresses of beautiful damsels.

Well, that was the first and the last social gathering we attended in the past nine months of the pandemic, that too with restraint. Let us hope and pray for the early launch of vaccine.  It is only in a world free of Covid that we will be able to indulge in festivity with gay abandon. Till then, it is better to exercise restraint and take precautions.

(Published in The Tribune as MIDDLE on 26 December 2020)




10 Replies to “A guilt outing during Covid times”

  1. Delightful write up ! How well you have portrayed our feelings, during Covid 19 times. I was just curious to know about the lunch/dinner at the wedding. Maybe in an sequel to this middle.

    1. Thank you so much .I am delighted to read your delightful comments. This is what I wanted to hide from the pubic glare -unmasking during the lunch.You caught me. ha..ha..

  2. Beautifully written article….. soo relatable and true to the time we have been through and still tryiing hard to reel back to good old days…
    Rama,your narrative skill is very pleasant and amusing. Stay blessed and keep delighting us with interesting write ups on contemporary issues.

    1. Thank you so much Mrs Dhawan . I am sooo happy you found it relatable and amusing.Coming from you means a lot to me…
      Regarding my writing skills , I owe a lot to my friends from English department.

  3. Rama this time the caption itself ‘A Guilt Outing during the COVID Times ‘ aroused so much of curiosity. The most interesting, hilarious and out of the trodden path was your statement ‘ seeking permission from children to go out for an ‘Outing ‘
    We are also Suffering from the same syndrome of COVID.
    We had an hearty laugh .
    You reminded us of War Conditions of 1971 Indo – Pak war .
    Sirens during war and now of ambulances arose the same feelings of fear and the chill goes down the spine in the same way.
    Hope & prayers for better days in the year 2021

    1. Wow ! You have put it across so beautifully .Yes , children are the ones controlling the outings of their parent in Covid times , warn us to take precautions .
      True, our generation has clear memories of 1971 war… the same fear and anxiety.

  4. Absolutely a pleasure reading such a nicely scripted piece of work. With every passing piece of writing , the articles written by you are becoming more interesting and relatable ! I happed to go for very small get together yesterday after refusing to socialise due to fear of contacting Corona since March 20. So had to get decked up ! can you believe I had forgotten where I keep my make up kits! Had tough time locating all accessories!! 😂😂. FLOORED is the word for your article !

    1. Thanks Vini. It is a sheer pleasure reading your comments.I can definitely relate to your experience. Sans make-up for months , now I feel weird when look myself in the mirror wearing lipstick.Actually our prized possession, make-up items , lipsticks have become useless.

  5. Beautifully expressed
    Concern and precaution side by side
    Thoroughly enjoyed changing meaning of new normal 💐

    1. So sweet of you Simran for posting your lovely comments.Absolutely the reality of pandemic ! The new norm is so different from the normal.

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