When Time Stands Still

There are those days when the horrors of the pandemic keep replaying in her mind through the entire day, so much so, that by the time she is done with her day, she feels like a carcass, dragging herself to her own grave.

That’s how life has come to be these days. Long, uncertain, unbearably disturbing and fearful.

Her own weight seems too much to bear. The past plays itself out at times and those mundane everyday moments of happier times feel alien. As if it never really belonged to her. Or perhaps, they are vignettes from another lifetime.

How she struggles to pull herself out of bed every morning! It requires a herculean effort to put the kettle on and make herself a cup of tea that is meant to be savoured, sip by sip, while she sits by her potted blooms by the window.

The sun filters through and fills the room with a warm glow. For a moment, she forgets her fears and loses herself in the warmth of the morning light. The mind has been playing havoc ever since the past month when things started to get crazy and the second wave has been causing havoc like never before.

Then, the news of losing so many people she knew. Their smiling faces and their voices often coming to haunt her. Her anxieties have been shooting up and she can see that her medications aren’t helping her anymore. Thankfully, a friend got her back into therapy this week, which has come to be a big relief. It’s better when she’s on a call talking to the people that she knows genuinely cares for her. She lets her heart out. They laugh and share jokes and sometimes, they get wistful and shed a few tears as well. Life has come to that, now.

Today, after weeks of feeling despondent, she longs to break free of her confinement and step out into the park—to feel the grass beneath her feet and smell the flowers and watch the towering Cassia tree swaying to the breeze, with a lush carpet of pink underneath it.

Someday, perhaps—her heart tells her.

Beyond a tediously long and indefinite wait, though.



Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by VinithaShilpa and yours truly.


13 thoughts

  1. I could feel these words. We have been getting a few bad news from back home too. This virus has impacted everyone I know. Every other day I would be asking after someone’s health and how they are doing. Waiting for the day when all of this will be over.

  2. Despite the fact that we are not “all in this together” in the way celebrities and media would have us think, we are all experiencing something that, in some respects, gives us a definite shared experience and basis for empathy. I think the emotional rollercoaster is one ride none of us escapes. Exactly HOW we deal with it varies, as do the means. I’m fortunate to have retired just as the pandemic hit, and have little real NEED to venture out into public spaces. The downside to that is, if it weren’t for my husband occasionally coaxing me out into them, I could be a happy little shut-in. One of the things you learn in CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training is how to take care of yourself in an emergency first, so as not to become a problem for first responders, then how to check on friends and neighbors and help first responders if needed. I’ve become fairly adept at staying out of the way, over the past year.

  3. When hubby was detected positive, all I could imagine was a bleak future, scary, uncertain. Now, I force myself to live in the present. WHatever the future holds, I will have to face it. We all will. Until then, let’s just live in the today and deal with it as bravely as we can. Let’s also shed a few tears and feel the frustration that follows the blows life gives us from time to time.
    It’s difficult, but we have to live with it.
    Hugs, Esha!

  4. It’s been such a difficult time! Just getting through each day feels like an achievement of sorts – a gold star for staying alive with our sanity somewhat intact. Stay safe, dear Esha!

  5. It is so true, Esha. When I talk to my parents and constantly advice them due to fear, there is a struggle to talk. There is almost nothing to talk at times when fear overrides me. As I read yours, it was like reading their mind. I will listen to their fears and struggles without sending back more fear to them.

  6. This is the state of mind. You have voiced that fear, loneliness, despair, disappointment very well, Esha. Some day, perhaps it would be easier to get to the park and walk without fear. Hopefully, that day gets here soon.
    Hugs, Esha!

    1. Yes, doing everything to stay safe, Arvind! Managing so far!! Hope you are well.

  7. It looks like you entered my head and penned down what I am going through. But then I guess all of us are going through that. We all need our friends to hold our hands so that we don’t sink.

    1. Sunita, you’re right! It’s so very tough…and it’s struggling to manage the tumult of our emotions on a daily basis which is getting to be difficult now. The undercurrent of fear and anxiety is killing us all.

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