LIVING IN A COVID CONTINUOUS WORLD

Though we are still living in a Covid continuous world, it is going to be one year since Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered what was probably the world’s longest lockdown in India. And without much of a notice, life as we knew it came to a grinding halt as we all learnt to pause a little. New concepts and a new way of life became part of our lexicon as we learnt to work—and workout—from home. We stopped taking vacations and began to spend time within our own four walls. A lot of neglected ‘homework’ got done as we fixed that leaking sink, oiled that creaking door and rearranged our furniture. In fact, one of the offshoots of this new lifestyle has been a rise in real estate prices (that had fallen post-demonetisation) as everyone realised the importance of owning your own home. This home no longer had to be in a prime real estate zone right next to our workplaces but could be in the far-flung suburbs, so long as there was a good Internet connection there. In fact, one of the first sectors to make a recovery was the real estate sector (residential, not commercial).

Moreover, those looking to live in concrete and crowded jungles just so they could be close to their workplace or the most happening mall and night club have now realised that this is not such a priority anymore. Instead, it is homes that have the most green cover, that are close to parks that are most sought after. Which is why I predict that Noida is soon going to overtake Gurugram as the most sought-after destination for homebuyers in the NCR.

Another lesson learnt from Covid times has been the value of relationships. Although lockdown has lifted and socialising has begun again, it would be interesting to note that the focus is one family and meaningful get-togethers instead of the statement parties. Since we are still being careful about whom we meet and limiting our social interactions, one is also reaching out to those who are really important instead of just anybody. This is a lesson that we had forgotten in our search for Instagram posts and Facebook updates. And of course, most of us have also learnt how to bake banana bread!

And just as we learnt to prioritise our socialising, we have also learnt how to prioritise our spending patterns. With incomes taking a drastic cut (the job market is still to bounce back to pre-Covid normals), we also realised that most of what we bought was stuff that we didn’t really need. Why rush after the latest brands when all you need to lounge around your home is that pair of bargain basement pyjamas?

Of course, now that the vaccine is here—and in spite of the fact that Covid is still very much around—we are slowly finding our way back to a new normal. And that’s the best part of it all for in the process we are also getting a chance to redefine ourselves; and to begin again!

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