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#100HappyDays. Again.

I tried really hard to not blog about the worldwide pandemic that has or will slowly affect all of us – the Covid-19 strain of the coronavirus. There was too much about it doing the rounds already – from fake news, conspiracy theories, home remedies, death statistics, lack of ventilators to even anti-bacterial medicine suggestions! Some even went to the extent of informing me that the sonic vibrations of the applause rendered in favour of the first line of responders were caught by NASA satellites and the strain of the virus is effectively being weakened. To all those who might have trouble comprehending, the previous sentence IS NOT TRUE. Applause doesn’t kill strains of virus. However, as I was saying, I’d decided not to blog about until this morning.

After 10 straight days of lockdown, when I stepped out today, I found a lot of others standing at the grocery store, not just physically social distancing themselves but also socially. At least, twenty people and not one person with a smile on their face. Sombre masked faces, averted gazes and the stress of the insecurity of freedom and potential scarcity bogging their shoulders down. In these trying times, we as a people need to not only sustain ourselves nutritionally but also emotionally and psychologically. Yes, social media does help but are we still sharing our inner-most fears, looking for the tiny moments of happiness, uplifting ourselves through a time that we may have never imagined seeing in our lifetime? But this too shall pass.

However, until it doesn’t, I am rolling out a #100HappyDays Challenge (idea courtesy –http://100happydays.com/). I’ve done this challenge before and it helped me then, so why not now?

Rules:

  1. Actively look for something through the day that made you smile – your mother’s video call, your dog’s puppy eyes, a new recipe that you mastered, the pigeon by your ledge, a long pending finished work project, Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle or Jennifer Lawrence’s rise from the Oscars’ staircase or even that you took a bath after 3 days! It could be anything – but it has to be about you.
  2. Write a blog, post a comment on my #100HappyDays series, post a video, a picture – anything you want – but spread the happiness around.
  3. In these bleak times, more than ever, people want to know about the person you are and what made you happy – maybe it’ll make them happy too! After all, you’re not alone in this fight. We’re all in this together.

Graciously Yours!

P.S. Drop a note if you’re interested! I promise I will try to keep in touch with you throughout. Spread word! Stay safe ❤

The Love You Need.

For the longest time, I was not a great fan of dogs. I’d look at them fondly from afar but my canine knowledge was limited to “Hey, look at you!” and “Buh-bye!”. Mostly because I didn’t know what to do around them. Through the lockdown, I happened to have made friends (or that’s what I’ve led myself to believe) with three street dogs near my place of stay. I noticed them in the first few days of the lockdown in India, looking weak and fragile. I fell for their puppy eyes, which weren’t even really pleading in my direction but tugged at my heart strings. I couldn’t let them stay hungry. They were anyway confused by the lack of hoomans all around them suddenly. No entertainment AND no food? That seemed a tad unfair!

I started out with trying to understand what dogs really ate – I mean, pets hog pedigree and the stray ones seem to be mostly rummaging through garbage, so I wasn’t really sure where in the range do I step in. For a couple of days, each evening as I stepped out to buy milk, I lamented about the dogs looking weaker each day, lying on their backs trying to stave off the mosquitoes from the un-swept and now rotting carpet of early summer flowers, sometimes just on all fours, looking at us from afar. You didn’t need a high EQ to sympathize. I thought of bringing them water but that didn’t work out well. A friend suggested I try and feed them puffed rice, flat rice or maybe even bread. I’d put out the food for the two dogs I saw all the time – a black-skinned, red-eyed sinister looking Blackie and a light brown one with the loveliest eyes, Brownie! Forgive me but I am clearly not great at naming pups.

They were as wary of me as I was of them – I’d leave the food around, stand at a safe distance from them, maybe hide behind cars, just to see if they’d eat. Nothing worked. They’d go sniff the food, lick a bit of it and then dejectedly walk away. Prudes! One experiment led to another and Brownie finally gobbled up the ParleG biscuits I had strewn around. Blackie seemed to be interested in them too but she didn’t venture to take a bite. The third day Blackie growled at Brownie for trying to take away her share. Blackie was hungry but also sick – my silly brain kept repeating it. Some instinct, some NatGeo shows, some closely watching my friend around dogs, I sat low on my haunches, kept eye contact with Blackie and slowly extended the biscuit towards her, just Blackie and me. She hesitated, looked away, smelled, twitched and finally took the biscuit from me! Poor thing couldn’t pick the biscuit off the ground. Since then, it’s been a fun three months! Or more. Who’s counting?

Front to back: Scooby Dee, Brownie and Blackie.

Blackie and Brownie now trot towards me in glee whenever they see me around, food or no food. They added Scooby Dee to their coterie, who understands nothing of private space but just comes sniffing up on me. But her manners call her to first sit, settle in somewhere near me and only then she’s ready to eat. She lets me pat and rub her head, once I stop she starts chewing again. But the other day, they weren’t there – none of them. I looked up and down the road, under the vehicles, behind the pillars but no sign of them. The lockdown had eased, shops were opening up, humans were out and about – it wasn’t a far fetched thought that they might have gone away elsewhere. I didn’t find them the next day either. Sadness enveloped me! Dogs that I barely knew, who had no expectations of me, of whom I had no responsibilities, made me worry about them. My flatmate laughed at my tantrums. My friend rubbed salt on my wounds. Jokes aside, I was probably more hurt than worried. The need to feel needed arose! Stranger things have happened but this happened too. I wanted the dogs to want me! Ahh, the human brain. No wonder we’ve been trying to find a larger than life purpose for our existence. Maybe it’s all we are – we exist to feel, breathe, eat, be human. Maybe that purpose should be enough.

Also, they were trotting towards me in glee the third day. They’d not forgotten me!

Since then, Scooby Dee took off one fine day – she’d been pulling away for a while, enough to make me look up signs of dog pregnancy – but not before I managed to capture some shots of her. Another dog seems to warming up to me – too soon to tell!

I miss you every day, Scooby Dee.

For more dog stories, leave a comment below!

Graciously Yours!

#91-100/100

#THE LAST BATCH/100

And here comes the last post of this initiative! While I tried stepping out into one of my favourite breakfast joints of the city, I also explored street art in Delhi via an online AirBnb experience. Also, ink pen cleaning does not compulsorily require hairdryers.

My best friend got married. ❤ 2020 may not be all that bad, after all.

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#81-90/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

Could there be anything happier than a yoga mat that needs to be replaced? Still going strong, post three months since I stepped into the gym and I hope it continues that way for the rest of 2020 because things are definitely not going to get better anytime soon.

The thrill of learning to use chopsticks and baking your own garlic bread at home – the lockdown is turning into a joy, well every now and then at least.

Scooby Dee posed for a photoshoot!

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#71-80/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

They’re growing – the plants!! And Brownie, the dog, clearly doesn’t like bread. Didn’t even touch it – THE ENTIRE DAY! And that’s one hungry dog – always up for some food.

Meanwhile, Brownie’s hooman tried making a round stuffed paratha but all you see is a pentagon! Won’t US of A be proud? They’re anyway being led by an orange blob.

Litchis are love, but more is the love for colours! That’s my diary and my Kindle cover alongside my favourite Lamy. ❤

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#61-70/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

Will they grow? Won’t they? Been so so long since I did a bit of gardening! Are my green fingers still intact? Coming into that zone of the lockdown where you just go with the flow and recall the little things that made you so much happier before the paycheck took over your life. Did a bit of doodling and indulged in the “oh the love that is Casablanca”! Here’s looking at you, kid!

Looking for the moments of rainbow through the shower of despair that 2020 is.

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#51-60/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

I know I write a lot about my dogs – not that they’re “my” dogs – they’re just dogs who happen to wag their tails at me for food! So this one is Scooby Dee, as evident from the collage and demands to be treated with love ❤

Riding shotgun in the BatMobile after so so long – almost 50 days! The first sight of a traffic signal and roads! Who’d ever thought this was possible?

The love for food doesn’t cease – more like, the palate demands variety while the brain sees snowflakes in the okra.

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#41-50/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

In between feeding the dogs and myself, I also have to try and sell my book, right? So while I was hunkered down, with all I could lay my hands on, I prepared ‘For Sale’ posters for two nearby general stores who agreed to put up my books for sale! Modern problems, modern solutions! What do I say? Like Bundesliga, that did take off albeit without the crowd, but c’est la vie!

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#31-40/100

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

While we have been researching for my next manuscript diligently, it becomes difficult to focus on EVERYTHING at the same time – cooking, cleaning, working out, working for a paycheck, eating clean AND cleaning yourself up. So, while we fed the dogs and the self diligently, we also survived a bout of feeling low and learnt to address the self in plural form! We also saw the moon at 3:30 in the morning outside my window, peeping in, checking up on me. Thanks M! Doing okay, managing through.

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#21-30/100

What is this about?
Day 21-30 (cuz my rules!) of the #100HappyDays initiative started amidst the uncertainty that life, public and private, faces during the pandemic of the strain of coronovirus, Covid-19.

Where is this happening?
Few people from different parts of my life (a blogger, a sister, school friends, a Twitterati, work colleagues spread all across from Canada, USA to Kargil, India) have gotten together on Whatsapp to share our happy thoughts from the day, agreeing to trudge along and make life easier for ourselves and others, in the smallest ways possible. Take care of yourselves not just nutritionally but also emotionally and psychologically.

How can you be a part of it?
Leave a message below and I will get back to you at the soonest! ❤

#LOTS OF DAYS/100

Oh, it was a good time! From finishing a sketch for World Art Day (first pic) to holding an Instagram Live on World Book Day (last pic), my troop of dogs kept me cheerful, workouts kept me fit, food so so much happier and Marquez very confused and very impressed at the same time, somehow!

The others in the group celebrated birthdays, cooked fancy food, welcomed a new baby into the world and kept themselves busy to keep sane!

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

#20/100

What is this about?
Day 20 of the #100HappyDays initiative started amidst the uncertainty that life, public and private, faces during the pandemic of the strain of coronovirus, Covid-19.

Where is this happening?
Few people from different parts of my life (a blogger, a sister, school friends, a Twitterati, work colleagues spread all across from Canada, USA to Kargil, India) have gotten together on Whatsapp to share our happy thoughts from the day, agreeing to trudge along and make life easier for ourselves and others, in the smallest ways possible. Take care of yourselves not just nutritionally but also emotionally and psychologically.

How can you be a part of it?
Leave a message below and I will get back to you at the soonest! ❤

#20/100

A bad work day can still be remedied by ice cream! Albeit not the best option during an air borne respiratory disease doing the rounds but a little blob of happiness never harmed anyone. Yet!

Without naming names, pancakes and family games on Zoom call happened!

Stay healthy, stay safe! ❤

Graciously Yours!

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