By Jyotsna Joshi
Podcast by Akanksha Seth
Life gives umpteen occasions to each one of us to find happiness and beam with positivity. This year has been a rollercoaster ride for so many people, with some losing their near and dear ones, few losing their jobs, few migrating away from cities where they worked and affiliated with it. Marriage invitations being curtailed to only a select invites. Travel lovers suspending their plans only to sit at home and become disheartened with the rising Covid-19 cases and their hopes of normalcy being restored getting bleaker. Still, among these broken threads of despair, gloom, negativity, there lie few threads of hope.
For IT professionals and all those working from home since March, who had also moved with their parents and families, no where till now had they enjoyed so much time at home, getting served the home cooked food, ever since they passed from school/college and left home. Never had people celebrated so many festivals together at home where family dining is a norm. No where before had people taken charge of their own household chores and paid importance to healthy and nutritious food. Few may argue that Covid times brought with itself an oppression manual for the females in house- wherein the ladies would do all the household tasks as well as their office jobs. Additionally it has been reported how distribution of work fell more on the females as compared to the males during Covid. This had brought to fore incidents of domestic violence and abuse too. But largely, people were happy staying with their family.
Few of my friends in IT sector were in fact elated on receiving the news of extension of work from home till March 2021. Though the professional and personal space got blurred as a result of work from home routine, people at least got an opportunity to stay with their family and dine with them. Sectors like teaching saw advances towards online delivery, with teachers trying to match footsteps with technology. While the OTT platform emerged as a new favourite of people, enjoying the web series and movies from the sprawls of their living rooms, modes of partnerships among companies also witnessed changes. Akshay Kumar offering to cook in Kurkure advertisement just for the fact of getting 2GB data is a new move that highlights how big firms are capturing the times of crisis and turning it into opportunity. While this advertisement instils a behavioural shift among people to encourage males to cook, it stems from the new normal fact that people at home during lockdown have limited options- self cooking is one of them. So why not give them mobile data along with a beverage/snack packet?
Changing times indeed call for new delivery mechanisms- like more of shopping through big basket in big cities; and new modes of payment- with even vegetable vendors avoiding cash and opting for payment through PhonePay/GooglePay. This highlights a simple fact- wherever life plants you- bloom with grace. For there might be n number of reasons for you to be bogged down, but even if there is one door which you can knock open, then you will make your way.
The author is a Public Policy & Economic Development Consultant with KPMG Bangalore