Wednesday 12 May 2021

Vaccine For My Mental Health!!


My Evernote used to have TTD (Things to do) or GTD (Got Things Done). After I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and a quick session on guided journaling during my teaching fellowship, I made these minor changes in my capture routine – I turn every action item to green, when it is done. Green is good for the eyes, they say!

Today my Evernote has a long list of names.

I need to call them almost on a daily basis as they are seniors living alone, young school going children, friends who are Covid positive, relatives who have their loved ones in hospital, cousin who is recovering, cross check if they got vaccinated etc.

Yesterday, when a friend told me I was the only one who spoke to her when she was recovering, as we spoke during pre-corona times, discussing a broad range of topics - property, office colleagues and business ideas. When she actually mentioned that, it was a huge learning for me. The last thing a mild Covid positive patient wants to listen to is "Oh my god, how did you get it?" "Take a second opinion" "May be you need to be in hospital".

I am guilty of asking few questions like, "Are you sleeping well?", "Where are the kids?" "Do you feel like eating anything special?" "Did you get your Oximeter?"

So basically only the last question was Covid specific, rest were usual!

Seriously, we spoke about Saree business, sharing quotations for container homes and the only new topic that got added yesterday was Bhagavad Gita. She said each time she finished reading a page or two, she felt rejuvenated, fresh, ready for the rest of the day. What a positive message!

My cousin today shared an audio clip with my 86 years old aunt singing in her child like voice. 

A couple of days back the same cousin shared the images of her terrace garden - beautiful flowers. I will take her permission to post it here.

A friend in Calcutta whose father  is 80+ and mother, a COPD patient, booked a flat a few weeks back because the current house is dark, dingy and turns damp during monsoon. The only motivation she had to book the flat when the world is upside down was their well being, when things get better. Looking beyond the current crisis is such huge positive frame of mind.

The summer projects kept flowing from my students and it flooded our Art and Craft groups, assuring me of their well-being – Drawings, handicraft, stories in English, useful products out of waste, handwriting, science experiments, posters on CAB awareness or to protect the environment, questions to shoot at the school Head Master as budding journalists, innovating cars, sketching portraits and appreciating each other’s work.

What the pandemic has taught children is the quickest transition to digital medium and to learn as you please, with or beyond text books.

A developer in rural Bengal where I invested a small amount to book a plot for farming, mentions Agri forest last week as something their society wants to focus on. I seriously want to believe the pandemic has made even the developers who are usually labeled as capitalist, more humane and responsible.

One example is not good enough perhaps. As an early adopter, he is probably showing the way to other developers to have environment friendly initiatives in their projects – alternate construction, structures that do not abuse nature, creating livelihoods and now promoting agri forest as a community initiative.

I go through the numbers every single day in MoHFW site and I tell myself - I either lose hope or learn from this and spread hope. That choice is entirely mine. I obviously choose the latter every single time.

Except Instagram stories for self and client, I completely stopped writing long pieces. My interns do the first draft for most of my projects - I edit and share with clients. I am writing this piece today, after almost a year, just to highlight even children are learning how to deal with this - Are we ready to set some great examples for them?

If you are not able to deal with the grim news around, switch it off.

Even better, if you pick up any of these dancing videos created by a narcissist, self-obsessed who are light years away from reality, mute it and watch – Silent Comedy, I say!!

When a Covid positive cousin of mine shares images of her terrace garden, a Covid positive friend asks me to send her the quote for container homes because she plans to build one in her plot, when a COPD relative gets oxygen cylinder at home with some hassle, gets a bed in a hospital, an ex-employee says she was affected a few days back and is doing well now, my friend’s friend’s oxygen level is picking up, someone from my sister’s in laws was affected and stable - All of them recovering, hopeful and healing!!

I consciously choose to wire my brain with daily doses of positive stories I see around - This vaccine needs no patent or production, it is how I change my lens to learn from what is around that makes all the difference.