6 July, Delhi, India

By Anandi Mishra

Today was more or less the same as yesterday, which in turn was the same as the day before. This is not broad brushstrokes of generalization being painted over all my days, but a mirror in which I see a messy blur. All the 106 days and 105 nights.

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When all this is behind us, we will very seriously be demarcating our time as the before times and Covid times. They will be marked by clear signifiers. For me, one of the markers of Covid times will be cooking as much as I can, even sometimes unwillingly. I would love to look back at this as a time when I managed to work on some of my friendships and willfully kept unwanted ones at bay. I will remember it as a time of unforeseen kindness from some unknown people, as a time of unforgiving summer and equally harsh landlords. But by the time we get to the other side, the collective exhaustion, the mass delirium might get too much. 

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I have slowly become far-sick. For a place and a time, I have no inkling of. For a people I have not seen, for an era that might be behind or too far ahead of me. Far-sick for an unknown life. 

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In the before times, I was a peripatetic. I moved cities, left relationships and people. Now, like most of us, I feel as if I am the one left behind. All the same, the numinous quality to these days and nights does not escape me. The darkness of some still days stays with me, as does the lightness with which some nights glide by. Most other days are a cluster of gloaming moments. Earlier, I would have felt an especial agent of the greyness, but I have become tetchy. The days stretch out in their vast emptiness. And my patience, the exact opposite. I am irascible, snappy but true to the bone. 

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Some sleepless mornings things are in a lock jam. I feel like a rusted old gate manning some ancestral property the heirs don’t really care about.