T+L reader Anjana Kanwar Singh is a corporate professional, working at a telecom company; she resides in Chandigarh. Just before the lockdown was declared, she went to Himachal Pradesh to live in her apple orchard. In an exclusive peek into her daily life there, she tells us how she spends her time while in lockdown, and how can one stay positive during such bleak times. By Pallavi Phukan
1) Why did you decide to leave for the mountains during this time?
The moment my office declared work-from-home, which was almost 10 days before the Government had declared a lockdown, I decided to leave the city for the mountains. My son just turned one, so his health was my first priority. Plus, a house in the apple orchards means you’re surrounded by only apple trees! So, that way you’re already cut-off from the crowd and practising social distancing. Also, March-April is apple blossom season, so moving to the farm was an obvious decision.
2) What were your first thoughts when the lockdown was put in motion?
The COVID-19 cases were rising so in a way I was prepared for such a step by the government. But the moment it was declared, my first thoughts were about my parents who live in Solan town. Though it’s only a two-hour drive from our orchard, I can’t reach them immediately if there’s an emergency. Also, in the mountains, markets are located at far distances. As soon as the lockdown news broke, I ran to our storehouse to re-check everything!
3) Because you’re in the mountains, are there any particular challenges that you are facing during this lockdown?
The medical facility is anyway a challenge in the remote corners in the mountains. Thankfully, at the moment, the government is rigorously working at Panchayat level too, so things are in control.
4) Describe your typical day in an apple orchard? Also, where would you like to travel to once this situation settles down?
I am working from home, which basically means, I am glued to my laptop amid an apple orchard. However, I am trying to stay outdoors as much as possible. I have set up my work desk under an apple tree, and work breaks now mean taking a tour of the farm. Also, I have set a tent in a corner to attend all the video meetings. Basically, I am trying to make the most of the current situation.
To answer, where I would like to travel once the situation is normal, well, I can’t wait to hit the beaches. Maybe Goa or Pondicherry to begin with.
5) Any advice to T+L readers on how to remain positive?
Luckily for me, I am able to enjoy the outdoors while in lockdown; so that’s keeping me positive. But for everyone confined to their homes in the cities, my advice would be to take breaks from their phones and laptops and take out time to meditate and find a way out to engage in something creative like painting or cooking. Also, going forward it’s inevitable that our lifestyle will change so try to adopt a sustainable way of living.