This Lockdown Life


I asked some friends, family and colleagues to send photos that show them working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic. I would like to thank them for participating in this fun activity and sending their photos by taking time out from their busy schedule. What started out as an idea for a short blog post with a few friends grew into a big caravan.

Many of us have not met in months. So it is nice to see everyone - 60 and more being added - on the same page, like sitting around an imaginary bonfire on a pleasant night, surrounded by happy people.

An introduction is perhaps expected of this post, but pure dread is what comes to mind whenever the thought of writing an introduction merely surfaces. Any attempt to reveal some grand truth would fail instantly. This is no longer the time of “random musings” like in the heyday of blogging some 13-14 years ago.

I’ll leave with an idea borrowed from the writer Annie Dillard:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labour with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order - willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern.

Stay safe, have fun and good luck.


“Don’t bark now! I’m on air!” - Maya Sharma


“Maybe I can hit both biceps and shoulders sitting at my desk today.” - Abhinav Bhatt


"Explaining about the situation at Galwan valley and doing live with one hand fractured is not a challenge, but to set a right frame for the camera is definitely one." - Neeta Sharma


"TV often doesn't allow you the luxury of working from home." - Uma Sudhir


"Going live with my lab." - Harsha Kumari Singh


“This is a very composed WFH look. Mostly I have a tonne of food surrounding me. And two other laptops.” - Stella Dey


"Work (from home) is worship, and some audio issues." - Swati Sharma


“Because we are always looking for the former world, before all the traces of the former world are gone.” - Jayashree Nandi, quote from Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel


"The PAIN I had to go through!" - Shreya Roy Chowdhury


“The advent of a new work life.” - Himanshu Shekhar Mishra


“There’s me right now at work.” - MS Gopal


“Field reporter trapped in confinement of walls.” - Purva Chitnis


“There's no such thing as too many screens in this 'new normal'. Breaking news together apart, tiding through system crashes and patchy internet (at times).” - Shylaja Varma


“It called for a paradigm shift after 100 days of work from home.” - Soumya Gupta


Phaijal bhaiya working phrom Wasseypur.” - Mohd Faisal Kidwai


“The challenge of working from home when an energetic two-year-old is around.” - Alok Pandey


“Can I please do this from Himachal now?” - Divyanshu Dutta Roy


"Stressed, depressed but always dressed." - Ayesha Tabassum


“Most adorned fashion accessories this season - mask and gloves. The world is corona-fied.” - Swati Varma


“The office next to my bed.” - Deepshikha Ghosh


"Work + home = Best of both worlds." - Deepika Pundir


"Alexander Pushkin wrote some of his best works in his kitchen. Let's see if this works for me." - Ajay Kamalakaran


"Humans are the real virus, they should remain restricted to a screen.” - Sameer Khan


(Left) “‘Work from home’, they said. Toh balcony ke paas jake khade ho gaye OB ke liye." (Right) “When you're in a 14-day quarantine and don't have to run for a P2C spot. Balcony zindabad!” - Shonakshi Chakravarty


“Need another cup of coffee, and a haircut.” - Vaibhav Tiwari


"These days, work is where home is." - Maitree Baral


"How to do the perfect 'work from home asana'." - Anisha Singh


“Best thing about WFH - a steady supply of jasmine tea.” - Anindita Sanyal


“Welcome to my cubicle! Got myself a desk earlier this year when COVID-19 was not in the air. Best decision ever. I love working from this small but functional home office I've created for myself. It helps me create a space between the working and relaxing places. Plus, everyday is casual Friday!” - Parul Gupta


“The one where I work from home with MJ.” - Sumana Nandy


"The owl knows me better than my supervisor during work from home." - Anubha Mahendru


“This after 14 days of quarantine.” - Anurag Dwary


“Work from home like a boss.” - Joshika Kapoor Piplani


“When 'home sweet home' is turned into 'work from home’.” - Santosh Rao


"To be able to wear my favourite 'owl pyjamas' to work, is a dream come true." - Chandni Mathur


"Working from home is more of a blessing because I can take a 10-minute nap and eat any time I want." - Aishwarya Ayalasomayajula


“WFH for me is comfort and balance - a cup of tea, a good book and my cozy little corner by the window are really making me get used to my new office.” - Ridhima Shukla


“The art of standing long! Pillars and steps around, but nowhere to lean or sit.” - Sneha Mary Koshy


“WFH a new reality.” - Sophia


“It has been over three months of working from home, and while I welcome the chance to wake up 10 minutes before my shift starts and the ability to just work out of my bed, I miss the charm of meeting friends at work and having that banter. Although, I do get the chance to sneak in 10-minute naps. Just kidding. (Or am I?)” - Abhimanyu Bose


“The world may be contained, information is not.” - Aditi Ghosh


“Working on my bed and a laptop table was leading to back issues. Had to invest in a table and chair since we don't know till when this will last.” - Anam Naqvi


“Filing stories for one of the best news websites from my living room. Of course the sitting arrangement keeps changing based on the movement of my four-year-old son.” - Arun Nair


“Majorly missing the field and the real-life conversations while constantly dreading this becoming the new normal.” - Anupam Chatterjee


“‘Blue collar’ worker any which way you look at it.” - Nandita Sengupta


"Daily drill, not Netflix and chill." - Chitra Rao


“Sonny's tiger keeps a watch while I work.” - Novel Roy


“It has always been work from home for me ever since I joined my new workplace in mid-March. This is definitely the new (ab)normal.” - Shatabdi Chowdhury


“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.” - Joyita Pal Gupta


“Work from home rules to fight the fatigue: Coffee and music. They have kept me going and remotely sane because the concept of WFH or ‘home-office” has been driving me insane. It's sometime past 9:30 pm at the ‘home-office’ and am contemplating, does working till late everyday mean you can report to work at the ‘home-office’ slightly later than usual in the morning the next day? Work from home office policies kya hai? Just a thought.” - Priya Randhawa


“Isolate yourself, but can't isolate work.” - Sagolsem


“Work from home 24x7. A reality check.” - J Sam Daniel Stalin


"Enjoying the new normal of working in the corporate world.” - Tituraj Kashyap


“Do I have food in my mouth?
Yes.
Am I wearing pants?
Maybe, maybe not.” - Ramarko Sengupta


“When you're on a conference call and mom yells: ‘Cooker ki sitti band kardi thi?’” - Draksha Sharma


“Get comfy and work.” - Bibinaz Thokchom


“It unfortunately took a pandemic to find a much-needed pause.” - Richa Taneja


(Left) “Cushions and sunshine: What short people do to survive WFH using tall people furniture.” (Right). “Work, quarantine, rep-eat: Happily holed up to see folks; no hugs, no full faces, just masks, happy eyes and comfort food.” - Nandini Gupta


"Work from home is the new normal.” - Sayamanta Achom


“Day 93 of WFH: It is not only the line between professional and personal life that is fading. Work from home has led to my hairline fading. FML!” - Arun Padmanabhan


“Updating my CV with 'can WFH'.” - Prashasti Satyanand Shetty


“Only went to the desk to take the picture. Otherwise I work from the bed.” - Arunima Kar


“WFH = Work for/from home.” - Joyraj


“There's already so much pressure around, at least relax when you are working from home.” - Nishant Saxena


“Working from home is a big challenge. Reporting from the field is what we are used to. Working from home is more challenging than actual reporting. And the hours are longer.” - Saurabh Gupta


“Four hours less on the road and no formals, yet more productive. More savings even after a 10-per cent pay cut. Traffic, time, health and stress all relived, gained some family time.” - Atishay Singh


“How thinking about the lockdown while working can give you some ideas.” - Nishikant


"Done for the day, off to bed now." - Jayant Kumar


"Accepting the new normal." - Ankur Dutta


“I’m working from my home in rural Bihar, a relatively insular place in a world upended by the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the reduced risk of contagion, I don't feel too sanguine about the future. The rural livelihood is in jeopardy and many risk landing in the throes of poverty. Farmers in my village recently sold maize for Rs 11, roughly two-third of the minimum support price offered by the government.
"Agriculture is becoming increasingly unsustainable because of the growing climate stress. Many of those who earned a living doing odd jobs in big cities across India have returned.
"They sit hunkered down in their homes, staring at a bleak future. A lot of what is happening is beyond our intuitive comprehension. Looking at all the pain and suffering around me, I feel that work from home is no more than a dubious privilege.” - Pratik Kumar


“Life, just like in cricket, has the tendency to throw you a googly every once in a while. We see ourselves staring at a new challenge, which like every other case, brings with itself its own advantages and disadvantages, its ups and its downs. What matters though is what we focus on, how we choose to deal with it. Accept it, focus on the ups, and create your happy space in it, and you'll find your peace. Think of it with a reluctance to change from how it used to be, focus on the downs, and find reasons to complain, and you'll find your misery.

“For me, work from home has been a good experience. It has given me a peaceful and safe environment, moments of solitude and silence, find my space yet stay connected to my colleagues, given me more 'family time', more time for my hobbies instead of driving in rush hour, but most importantly helped me reduce my carbon footprint significantly - an issue of great importance to me.
“The best we can do in a world full of ideas and opinions is to be the change we wish to see, because only one’s own actions are in one’s control.
“Thanks to technology that we can now stay connected to the office and beyond with just a few clicks and taps. We can see each other, hear each other, and have more to talk about since we aren't around each other for 10 hours a day.

“For me, (W)ork (F)rom (H)ome has been a change that I (W)elcome (F)rom (my) (H)eart. How about you?” - Abhishek Chakraborty


“Nothing is pending, logging out." - Debanish Achom

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Please send your work-from-home photos with a caption to journeybasket [at] gmail. Will add them here. Thanks.

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