Ekkees Din

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Should I start by calling Modi a fucktard for announcing a lockdown overnight instead of giving people a few days to plan and prepare? A lockdown without any concrete steps to combat the virus. He may have finally realized what dumbasses his vote bank is filled with and Corona Garba is how 50% of them are in danger of getting infected.

Anyway, we have 21 days locked in our houses with limited supply of food and lots of time. Sure, there are organizations who make their employees waste their time on building best case and worst case scenarios in a situation where we could all die. Bury me in a grave of non essential FMCG products. To a life dedicated to stuff nobody would miss if it was wiped off this planet.

The announcement was a kick on my backside. 21 days is a lot of time and what I do with it defines who I am.

Am I going to be someone who will survive on Maggi and gain 5 kgs at the end of it or am I someone who will use this time to find ways to workout at home and cook healthy meals?

Am I someone who will waste time posting shitty IG challenges or am I someone who will post her pup’s cute pics?

Am I someone who will work long hours at zero productivity for show or am I someone who understands people have housework chores to manage in addition to work and a bored family to entertain?

Am I someone who will maintain routine around the pup so there is no separation anxiety when I go back to work or am I someone who will spend more time with the pup because this time will never be back again?

(Ok, this is a tough one and am hoping Shirin Merchant’s webinar this Sunday will clarify).

Am I someone who makes terrible rotis or am I someone who will practice hard for small, thin and light rotis?

You get the gist.

Honestly, if people can’t survive a few weeks without househelp or a cook, they are leading a highly privileged life and this could be a wakeup call. It reminds of the series Schitt’s Creek. Sure, we are all privileged and will get paid by our employers and manage fine. But am glad Mom made sure we knew how to cook and clean. If only she had put in that effort for my brother as well.

A newbie in the kitchen or cooking for just one? Here are some tips:

  • Chop veggies for a week and store for a week

  • Every recipe needs onions and tomatoes. Chop those in bulk and store. A chopper does the task in a jiffy.

  • Cook extra at every meal and store leftovers for next meal. There is no shame in eating leftovers for 2-3 days. Better than cooking Maggi.

  • Eggs are your best friend. Fry them. Scramble them. French toast them. Omelette with veggies. Shakshouka is simpler than it sounds. Frittata is awesome. Bhurji is everyone’s favourite. Egg biryani for rice lovers.

  • Boil rice and store. Ditto for daal.

  • Be active for 30 mins everyday. It is important for physical and mental health.

Avoid Whatsapp news. Revel in the loneliness. Spend time with yourself instead of connecting with random people and posting on social media.

Read a book. Kindle app is accessible and ebooks can be purchased online.

Netflix and chill alone.

If you are quarantined with someone, this period could potentially break the relationship.

Are they taking on equal burden of the housework or do you end up doing everything?

Are they criticizing your cooking or appreciating salty bhindi sabji and will eat it without a fuss when you throw a tantrum at your terrible cooking?

See you at the other end after 21 days.

Am I going to be proud of how I use my time or am I going to be ashamed of the kind of human I turned out to be?

1 month Gotcha day

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It will be a month since Barfi came into our life and well, she isn’t the pup who came into our home on the first day. Our docile pup who was scared to venture anywhere without us now sleeps on her own, pees and poops on her own and demands tummy scratches at random times at night.

She owns the humans and she knows it. Everyday she pushes the boundaries to check the limits and everyday we push back without giving in. Now the house is her oyster and we can’t predict which new object will catch her fancy and have to be stored away.

  • There are no mats outside the bathrooms. Only 3 weeks back, every door had a pretty and colourful mat.

  • The centre table is empty and none of the tables have table cloths. Thankfully, I didn’t use my expensive and pretty lace table cloth from Istanbul.

  • My pretty sheer curtains have tooth holes.

  • All the plants have been placed at a height so they aren’t eaten up.

  • The kitchen door is always, always closed.

  • All the rooms’ doors are kept closed.

  • All my night clothes have holes in them.

  • She jumps and barks at me when I eat on the couch so I make it a point to eat there while ignoring her. She is calmer now.

  • She loves jumping up on people. Right now it is cute but when she grows huge, it could hurt someone.

  • When she is bored or frustrated, she shreds the newspapers in the loo and tries to eat them. During the day she is supervised but nights become a challenge.

  • When she is very hungry, she is inclined to eat her own poop. A common phenomenon among pups because poop is full of nutrients.

And this is just the beginning.

On the other hand,

  • My house does not smell of pee anymore because the house training was mostly hassle free. The first week was difficult and I spent hours in the loo begging her to poop. The 2nd week, we took her to the loo every 2 hours. Even at night. And there were zero accidents. During week 3 we got a little careless and she had a few accidents. Week 4 onwards, she runs to the loo herself when she has to pee or poop. Even at night, she doesn’t wake me to pee or poop. She will go by herself. I wonder if she is a prodigy or are all golden retrievers this smart. So much better than a human baby who are perfectly useless for the first few years.

  • She loves being praised and we didn’t have to use any treats for house training. We praise her like she is our queen after every bathroom break.

  • While she doesn’t sleep through the night, she has stopped waking me every 2 hours. We also wanted her to sleep away from our room to reduce her dependence on us and to maintain our space and privacy.

–  She likes to guard her one true love at night – her food and sleeps outside the kitchen door. Though, we are working on getting her to move away from there because it is inconvenient.

  • She is scared of outdoors and I make it a point to take her to the park in the complex once or twice everyday. She is getting socialized to kids, noise, people of all sizes and ages and to vehicles.

  • She sleeps from 9 am to 12 noon and from 3 to 6 pm. After every meal, she is most active and wants to play atleast for an hour. That is the time she is in a destructive mood and since the timing is predictable, we are prepared for it. My day starts at 6 am with feeding her, taking her to the park, grooming her and then KC or househelp take over while I get dressed for work. Once am back from work, either KC and I play with her, feed her and she falls asleep by 9.30/10 pm.

  • She loves playing with a small mineral water bottle. Am surprised at how strong they are. Not one hole in the bottle in 3 weeks. Her other favourite toy is a rope toy and she loves playing tug.

  • She barks or whines only when she is uncomfortable. All the websites online will tell you to ignore the whining/barking to avoid making it a habit. I had a long conversation with Mann about this because I want her Barfi to vocalise her discomfort. It is ok to bark when she has pooped in the balcony and wants to let us know. It is ok to whine when the ribbon on her balloon has come off and she wants us to tie it. I don’t want to shut off her communication with us. She isn’t a beagle who will howl/bark all the time.

My major worry was if we would be able to manage with our hectic schedule but so far, it has been fine. There is a long, long way to go because the whole world is a new place for her but I guess we are up for the challenge.

This is me when am exhausted on some days:

“I will go home and crash at 7/8 pm. Got no energy for anything”

But also me at 7/8 pm:

“Barfi, who wants to play? Let’s play. Let’s play”.

Can’t wait for her teenage years which will make the puppy phase feel like a cakewalk.