By Dr Veena Adige

A glass filled half with water is seen as half empty or half full according to the perspective of the viewer. The mandatory lockdown all over the world can be seen in a positive or a negative manner.  It is for our own good, to prevent infection and if it can be done by just staying at home, it has to be done. 

Nine year old GSB Vsisters, a group of home makers of Navi Mumbai, has used this time of lockdown for the best possible ventures.

We have exhibited our cookery skills, exchanged recipes, and helped others.   An average of four meals a day for all the family members and with no maid, is a challenging job, hence more recipes, better it is. Knitting, embroidery, drawing, painting and other skills, almost forgotten in the fast pace of life a few weeks back, now surfaced and design were being exchanged over whatsapp and other social media. It is astonishing to note that in the absence of full time jobs and rushing to catch a train or a bus, we have come up with infinite skills. Skills that were relegated to the background have now surfaced.

Vsisters having fun

After gudipadva in late March, we had 24 by 7 Ram naamsaptah which used to be held in Wadala, Mumbai but was cancelled because of the Lockdown. Vsisters downloaded an app in which eight Vsisters at a time could use and together we chanted Ram Naam till Ramnavmi, though not continuously. We had bhajan singing also and spiritual discourses. It gave us a sense of fulfillment, togetherness and companionship.

We then had a Lockdown Fancy dress contest where all Vsisters and their family members could dress up at home and post the pics on whatsup. We had about 35 interesting and innovative entries. We used social distancing and made Kishori Nagar of Mangalore the judge. The prizes were won by Kiran (Nari Shakti), ShaliniShenoy (SaiBaba), AnjaniPai (SantTukaram) and SheelaKamath (Bhajiwali). In the children’s group the prizes went to   SumedhaPai (Krishna,) AdwaitNayak (Jewish King), ShlokaKini (Rani Padmavati) and Arjun Adige (Construction engineer).

Singing Contest

We then had a singing contest where members of Vsisters and their families could sing a song and send it to us on whatsup. There were entries not only from all over India but even from the US, Dubai, Singapore, UK and Switzerland. Even male relatives participated in this exciting contest. The judges found it very difficult to give limited prizes and gave 17 prizes.

Vsisters then had a Lockdown Arts and Crafts contest where beautiful items made during the Lockdown period were sent and prizes given to the best ones. There were more than a hundred lovely entries.

We then decided to produce a magazine in the near future when the problems ceased and asked all the Vsisters to take selfies and send them. Some of the ladies did not know how to take a selfie and it was a learning time for them. They contacted their children and grandchildren and sent beautiful selfies.

Our children also took to social media to display their drawing and painting skills, attend virtual dance and singing classes, talk to their classmates during the extended vacation and generally have a satisfying time. Five year olds who are too old to play with dolls or cars, and too young to read, have developed their own version of playing during these trying times.

Enthusiastic Arjun

My five year old grandson Arjun enthusiastically helps in jhaddopocha, putting clothes in the washing machine, putting them for drying and then folding them up. He has utilized his time in playing jaltarang (using steel utensils with varying levels of water), balancing steel glasses in a pyramid form, and video talking to his friends. In all the lockdown days he has not even once said that he wants to go out. His parents are working from home and he divides his time between them and us. He knows the importance of staying at home, social distancing and using mask. He, who used to run to open the door, now keeps quiet and talks to people from a distance.

All in all, one can say that the glass can be half full to those who wish to do the best of the situation given the circumstances.