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Kshiti Dholakia

~~~HAPPY~~~

Noida, India

Hi! My name is Kshiti Dholakia.

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My ME-TIME in QUARANTINE!

Jul 31, 2020 3 years ago

As a student, especially in India, the last two years of school are crucial for University admissions. Same holds true for me as well. I completed my Class 12th this year. Over the last two years, my life had been all about school, studies and coaching for entrance exams. Those two years, the driving force was the light at the end of the tunnel; the opportunity of finally relaxing and spending quality time with friends and family. I had my last examination on 17th March, 2020, just a few days before the entire country, entire world went into a total shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the lockdown came as a total shock for world, including me and my friends. Not only did it mean not being able to complete all plans made with friends, but it also meant a high level of uncertainty – uncertainty about when the Universities would have their entrances, when would our exams results be announced and when would the remaining papers be conducted? Despite having these questions nagging me and many more students, I decided to utilize my time in lockdown to my own benefit, make it my “ME – TIME”, something that I did not the time to do in the last two years. I got involved with an organization which focuses on building and molding teenagers to be future leaders and entrepreneurs. Assignments from there and appearing for online University entrances made sure that I did not lose touch of my creative and artistic side. During the lockdown, staying at home made me appreciate my mother and our house help a thousand times more. Earlier, I would be occupied with studies and hardly got time to even notice how much effort it takes to run the house smoothly. Now, since I was free of all study-related stress, I started helping my mother with the daily chores – mopping, sweeping and washing the vessels. I even started taking the initiative of making dinner for the family. This not only helped me be somewhat productive, but also made me fall in love with cooking all over again, as cooking was something I used to find therapeutic but did not get time to do. I also got to rekindle my love for reading and music. My Kindle became my best friend and I got back into my childhood hobby of reading before sleeping. Apart from helping in household chores, me and my friends started spending more time on our screens, be it by texts on social media – sharing jokes or by group conference video calls that would last as long as three hours, we did it all. I also happened to have my 18th birthday during the lockdown. It was with the calls of friends and family that I did not realize how quickly time went by. My neighbor also made me a birthday cake that I helped in decorating. Over the course of the last five months, I have had possibly the best time of my life. This lockdown forced me and my family to finally take a step back from our hectic lives and spend quality time with each other. I started spending the evening having tea with my mother; something that I always saw her doing with my grandmother. Me and my mother started talking and discussing about topics that have conventionally been considered as taboo topics in Indian culture. Topics like social media, college and future plans and even dating, sex and relationships till date are not openly discussed Indian households. They are either not talked about or teenagers are given the “talk” by their parents. Conversations on these topics flowed freely with my mother and it surely started a change in our personal equation as mother and daughter. Being a socially open person, not really an extrovert, I used to be friends with almost everyone in school and coaching. But these five months made me realize how real friendships work; its those who care will always find a way to stick back and irritate you (if they are your best buddies!). I learnt that having a smaller, closer circle of friends, someone you can call up at the wee hours of day are anyday more precious than a large group of pseudo friends. Apart from binge watching Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube and spending endless time scrolling through WhatsApp, Instagram and Twitter; something I got bored of pretty quickly in the first week or two of lockdown. It was at this time that I started spending time with myself. It was my “ME- TIME”. I would sit for hours in my balcony, listening to calming songs and sipping on coffee, just by myself. I would go and dance in the rain, where I would be only one doing so. It felt really liberating to be my true self in such grim times. Today while I write this, I can say this with utmost guarantee that I am a happier and more career-oriented person than I was at the beginning of this lockdown. I will be starting my college in weeks' time, something that I had been looking forward to for the longest time. I am in a really happy space in my inter-personal relationships with my family and friends. And I finally got to be the real ME!

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