Holi 2020. Something sinister is in the air. Nobody has figured it out, though. A man from Mumbai, with his wife and two school-going kids, takes his annual break to Mahabaleshwar. Revelry ends prematurely. He is asked to vacate the resort, and, ultimately, lock himself down in his small apartment. The forced closure brings nervous excitement. But will it last?
The waft of koftas and pulao from the kitchen, gives way to bread-and-butter. Watching Ramayan makes way for Netflix binge. Getting rations from the local kirana store to feeling hopeful seeing big circles being painted outside the liquor shop—lockdown was a bitter-sweet, albeit a tough ask. But, like that man in the small Mumbai flat, we knew—or were forced to learn—how to make lemonade when life threw lemons at us.
In situations like this with not much options left, but to play ‘lock-unlock’, becoming atmanirbhar was the survival mantra. It means self-reliant. “It could also mean: ‘You are on your own,’” writes Krishnan Iyer in The Morning Star: When -ve became +ve.