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'I enjoyed the vastness of the sky'

By NANDINI ANANDKUMAR
Last updated on: May 15, 2020 10:46 IST
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We asked you, Dear Readers, to tell us how you spent five weeks during the lockdown and share your best memories with us.

Nandini Anandkumar, 49, a teacher at the ONGC Public School, Neravy, Karaikal, in Puducherry, didn't let the lockdown get her down.

Photograph courtesy Nandini Anandkumar

The news of the lockdown came like a bolt from the blue, as final exams were going on for the children in the school where I work.

I could understand and fathom the gravity of the situation, when the nationwide board exams got cancelled.

The initial days were spent in frequently watching the news, which created panic somehow in a part of one's being.

Then realisation dawned that it was not worthwhile and would only lead to draining of energy.

I felt that gearing myself up to channelise energy in a positive way would be rather meaningful. So I devoted my time to praying for the situation to heal at a local level, a regional level, a state level, a national level and a global level.

Loka samasta sukino bhavantu... The reciting of this prayer gave me soul-satisfying fulfillment. This I undertook as a daily ritual -- the first thing on waking up after lighting the lamp. It helped me connect to a higher consciousness.

All sort of rumours were spreading: One positive COVID-19 case found. Two positives and then more found.

Perhaps, the prayer had its power, to some extent -- till date, Karaikal, the place where I live, is a green zone.

 

The other things I did during the lockdown days was to regularise my daily meditation and yoga exercises in a systematic manner. The effects of this were obviously positive. It has helped me relate to the sufferings of people who are less privileged.

Though I did not leave my home, I contributed in whatever way possible through donations.

I read books, which could not be read earlier for dearth of time.

Being an early riser, I enjoyed watching the rising sun and the vastness of the sky during the dawn hour. And seeing the star-studded night sky fade away. Equally enjoyable was the chirping of birds, when they sing with faith, in the still dark hour just before dawn.

To hear one's own recorded voice, singing, even if one is just an amateur, uplifts one's soul too. I tried recording bhajans and yesteryear songs, and shared it with friends and relatives. Inspired by me, they too sent back similar recordings. That, indeed, made your spirits soar.

I spent time writing poetry and felt it gratifying when I churned out a couple of very good poems on nature and existence.

Being a teacher, I had online sessions with the school kids. This included enriching the kids with values for life.

But before imparting these lessons to the school children, I meticulously worked on what I planned to deliver. I put together many audio recordings, which really inspired the students and the parents as well. The satisfaction, I felt, from the feedback I received from parents, really stirred up my energy levels to perform further.

I connected with the earth by doing some gardening, praying to the primary source of our existence, The Sun, feeding birds, cows, ants, pigs and other creatures who visited my backyard. There were nearly a dozen cats to be fed every day.

Of course, there were romantic moments too -- Tom and Jerry time with the soul-mate; that kept life going.

The daughter, the apple of my eye, who is in the final days of her medical training, was back from her hostel. To see her every day was a joy in itself.

I cooked her favourite foods and tried my hand at new recipes too.

I enjoyed moon-lit dinners with my daughter and son; kept giving sermons to both, whenever needed. We watched some movies together, tried our hand at photography, got connected with childhood friends, shared lingering memories with them, did a lot of spiritual reading and kept the time on our hands during lockdown going.

Life is indeed beautiful, in spite of the ifs and buts.


It has been more than five weeks since The Lockdown began.

How have you spent these days?

Share the highlights with us through pictures and videos and the best ones will be published right here.

You can mail your most interesting, funny, sad, even angry lockdown moments via stories, pictures and videos to getahead@rediff.co.in. Please mention MY MONTH-LONG LOCKDOWN STORY in the subject line.

Don't forget to mention your name, age and where you stay.

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NANDINI ANANDKUMAR
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