Quarantine tales: How Bengalureans are coping with lockdown

The poster for Corona Cashaya   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

At 6.07 pm on a Wednesday, keyboard tunes to Kishore Kumar’s ‘Yeh Shaam Mastaani’ reverberated in a gated community in Bengaluru. The occasion: self-isolation.

It all started as a call for ideas to entertain oneself during self isolation, on the WhatsApp group comprising residents of the apartment complex. Balcony antakshari was a suggestion that amused many. The one who proposed it, explained the concept in tweet-sized instructions: “We just pick a time, get to the balcony and play antaksharifor a bit.” Yet another resident offered for her son to play the keyboard which would be attached to speakers. That sealed it.

The apartment complex

The apartment complex   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

And so it was decided: It would be a 20-minute session when people would come to their balconies that look into a common courtyard and croon. A few minutes past 6 pm floated a familiar tune. One of the songs was the apt and relatable number ‘Mere Samne Wali Khidki Mein’ (which translates to, in the window opposite mine). And thus, balcony antakshari turned into a balcony concert. The evening ended with ‘Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna’ (that translates to ‘never say goodbye’).

Next evening, a German lady whose father was an opera singer in Austria, offered to play his CDs from her balcony. And the day after that, a stereo blasted kids’ favorites like ‘Prince Ali’ from Aladdin, ‘Sunflower’ from Spiderman, and ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen.

Keep up the spirit

Another resident introduced a cocktail she had concocted and christened Corona Cashaya. The creative that left others on the group drooling, had the beverage served on the rocks with a blob of ginger and a whole lemon artistically placed next to it.

She had bottled three of the same and declared them free for grabs. “Will just drop it at your doorstep and leave,” she offered generously. “Important to keep spirits up!” the post ended with a smiley. And thus began the auction on the same WhatsApp group that lasted nine minutes. This left some, who missed the window, enraged. And so, the next batch was promised.

Then came Sunday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged everyone across the nation to follow Janta Curfew i.e. to remain in their houses during the day as a drill for the future lockdown. And the occupants in my residential complex did everything prescribed which was to do nothing at all.

Save the usual measures like sanitizers at the gate, recording temperature of anyone who comes from outside, and closing access to common areas of the club-house like gym and pool, as of now, COVID-19 has helped us discover music lovers and mixologists in my community.

If your gated community/apartment complex is doing similiar activities to cope with the pandemic, let us know at

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:11:21 PM |

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