Indians Narrate Stories Of Gratitude & Connection In Times When We Are All Feeling Disconnected

Indians Narrate Stories Of Gratitude & Connection In Times When We Are All Feeling Disconnected

The COVID-19-actuated social distancing and work from home has been a difficult feat to achieve and hold on to for most of us. Suddenly, it seems that the world that never used to sleep has been tucked into a nap by a virus floating around. However, this short nap has also, in a way, connected us back to so many things and moments that are somewhere the pillar of our lives and that we had forgotten to value in the rush behind the mundane. A lot of us might have noticed that we are feeling a lot more connected to our loved ones simply because we are sitting and talking now. As we create, paint, write, and sing to fill our time, we are discovering parts to ourselves that most of us didn’t even know existed! And for this, we, at Homegrown, as we are sure all our readers are only filled with gratitude, compassion, and positivity. Which is why, we decided to reach out to some beautiful people who narrated their stories of growing from within as they spend their time inside. What came out was a series of heartwarming stories of simple human life that we couldn’t resist sharing with you. These stories only strengthened our conviction that it is only in these little moments that we truly live life.

For the past few days, while some people have been relying on video calls, gaming, social media or messaging platform to feel more connected, some others are introspecting and looking inwards and giving time to activities that they couldn’t engage in before. Life in the Urbania is so very fast-paced that it’s only fair that we are not equipped enough to handle a period of stagnancy. Whatever your medium of coping be, there is a sense of solidarity in the world and we hope these stories will make you realise that we are all really united by the human experience and that light and joy can be kindled in absolutely any situation. Also, it is this very spirit that makes us human.

The Deliwala’s

23-year-old architect Jill Deliwala tells us the most beautiful story of her parents connecting with their cousins via video-chat here.

“So, this social distancing has been quite difficult for my extremely social family. My sister and I are millennials and we usually find a way to pass our time watching TV shows and browsing through social media. It has been particularly difficult for my parents and their cousins as they are used to spending time in person, hanging out, singing and dancing together (literally!). My family is very close-knit and it is unusual for us to be apart from each other for so long. Especially my parents, who haven’t had to lean on digital medium in order to feel more connected with loved ones.

On Sunday, 22nd, after applauding doctors and other helpers for their tremendous amount of work, my parents and their cousins decided to come online on a Google Meet call. It was really sweet to see how all 50+ individuals were trying to figure out how to use the application. Very soon, they all started playing Antakshari. Eight couples were online from their respective houses singing and laughing loudly. They even assigned a monitor who could control the turns and time like any Antakshari game.

I’ve used the same software for work the past entire week, and my colleagues and I don’t even keep the video on to see each other’s faces. My parents, on the other hand, were telling their cousins to hold the camera properly so they can see each other’s face.
I recorded the entire call while they were playing Antakshari. It not only made me emotional but also it was one of the best things I’ve seen or heard in the past week.

It was beautiful to them find joy and happiness through just a small medium of video calling. I honestly feel I don’t think I have enjoyed my life as much as they have done”.

Here are a few screenshots from the video Jill took during their game and call.

Jill's parents talking to the whole extended family on video call.
The entire family played games on call.

Designer Priyal Shah tells us about taking the time out to do things that you love with people that you care about while taking care of yourself.

With her friends working all over the world, Priyal managed to finally get all of them together on a video call after ages. 8 friends from 6 completely different cities got on-call together and the result was a bunch of smiling faces. Priyal and her best friend are not in the same country anymore but they share one of the most beautiful relationships there ever are. Rehaan lives in Chicago, USA and their own busy schedules as the time difference don’t allow them to do the things they used to love doing together. The pair took this time off to make some avocado toast together and even if they are not in the same part of the world now, they make sure that they do these small things to feel as connected as they would, had they been together.

Priyal’s mother is a yoga instructor and every evening, the entire family, including her aunt, and her brother and his wife, have been doing yoga together on the terrace. In a house filled with working professionals, this is an oddity and we love that the Shahs have made the most of this time. Rehaan’s mother is a really good painter too and she has taken this time off to create some beautiful pieces.

“This is us trying to make the most of what we have while giving time to things we love doing but cant in the stupid routine of life.” - Priyal

The friends on video call from 6 different cities.
Avocado toast made by Rehaan using Priyal's recipe

Having pets save you from the negativity and anxiety

Vedika Mehta adopted an adorable puppy just a week ago. She lives alone with her mother and is an extrovert who is used to immersing herself in her work while maintaining an active social life. Her puppy Chase came to her at a time when she was feeling quite lost and confused. It has only been a week but Chase has become her entire world. He has grounded her and she hasn’t even realised that she has been home for the past seven days. This time-off has given her more time to connect with her new pup. Vedika has always had a lot of love to give and Chase is the ideal outlet.

Her best-friend Verzan is probably the most extrovert guy one could imagine. He is someone who needs to eat out, connect with people and basically is so social that he fills his day to the brim with a whole lot of activities. The friends get together on video-call and play games like Psych, QuizUp, Cards Against Humanity and Ludo. It is a breather from nights spent at clubs and bars and has helped the group feel more connected and have more real conversations.

Vedika with Chase

Isha Doshi and Chintan Joshi are a married couple that has their cat Mia to keep them sane during this time. Isha is a cat-mom and solely attributes her sanity to her little Mia. With job timings that are often stressful and demanding, the couple is taking this time apart to spend time with each other. They are digitally connecting with friends all over the world and are doing adorable photo-shoots of their little joy Mia who finally has both her parents home to dote over her.

Isha with Mia - photographed by Chintan

Business Analyst Samaga Chakraborthy talks about her beautiful dysfunctional family and realising how much she’ll miss home and her indulgent family now that she’s moving to London during this period of self-quarantine.

“For someone who likes her own company in the comfort of her mini-Fabindia of a bedroom, quaran- “time” doesn’t seem like a huge ordeal. I miss my friends and drinking/ranting/laughing with them so much though! That being said, in spite of my rather loud, volatile family being confined to their respective rooms as well, the occasional bump-ins have increased and I’m not complaining. We’ve started opening the Prosecco bottles saved for ‘special’ days, made charcuterie boards after panic shopping and through the jibes and retorts, we’ve actually had great conversations. I’ve never been more thankful for a family that enjoys alcohol and good food as much as I do, until now. Staying-in isn’t a task if I have my elder brother convincing us about how deep state still exists and/or my mother making sure there’s tonic water for my gin. Surprisingly, I also stepped up and changed the one thing that I felt handicapped about - considering I’ll be living on my own very soon, learning how to manage a house. From planning meals and making lists to waking up at 8 am to buy things, all with my mother, I realised how great she is at her job. And maybe, the reason I’m so resilient at my work is a product of looking at her being the same”. - Samaga

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