• Manan

The diary of an Introvert during Corona


Photo by Jeswin Thomas from Pexels

I wake up to the birds chirping outside.


I had a dream. It still seems fresh. But it is running through my hands like sand. I take my phone and write it down: I was at my ancestral home, our whole family was together, I threw a glass of water on my cousin because he didn’t look at me while shaking hands.


I look out the window, the air is soft. I can smell the summer coming. I look at my bed, half of it disheveled, the other half perfectly neat. I pat my pillow lovingly, removing all the creases before I make the bed, flattening every edge till it seems right, till it seems beautiful.


I spread my exercise mat on the floor. My work laptop sits on the table. I look at it. It glares back. I breathe a sigh and open the calendar: First meeting in an hour. Enough time.

I work out till I could feel the aches. A slow burn runs through my body. Putting every joint and every muscle in its place.


I sit cross-legged now, slowly breathing through my nose. Thoughts bubble up and then pop: Each one observed, acknowledged and then cast into the void. I breathe till only the breath is left. Till my mind stops racing and all I could feel is a slow tingling sensation coursing through my being.


I take a shower. Water drips from my head while I dial into the meeting. My colleagues are describing the updates for this week. My attention drifts, I take the broom and slowly sweep the floor for hair ( I shed like a dog ).


The meeting is finished. I check the agenda. No more meetings for today. I put the laptop in my backpack and head to work.


The train is almost empty. An older lady sits two seats across, she seems majestic, even royal. There is a faint smile on her face as she clutches her iPad. She briefly glances at me, our eyes meeting for an instant.


The train starts. I see the trees racing by. Their tops swaying in the wind. I tell them about my day. Like old friends, they listen and they smile.


The office is empty. I place my laptop and start working. There are no interruptions, no colleagues talking over each other. My mind races for distractions, but I gently push it to focus. I get down to work. Time flies.


Sometimes I am startled by the housekeeper, she smiles at me while she cleans the doorknob with a rag. I could smell the disinfectant. A smell so alien and now so common. I smile at her and then I dive back in.


On my way back I call my parents. They look happy. My father asks me about COVID statistics, my mother remarks on how blue the sky is.


Back home I open my laptop, figuring what to write. My mind seems foggy. The words come and go. And the serpents start to raise their heads


What should I do? How can I help? What should I be? Am I wasting my potential? Everyone is getting ahead…


I close my eyes, trying to steady my mind. I look at the note I wrote for myself. A mantra, a promise


No comparison. No hopes Always on the edge and Create. Create. Create

Two hours later I look outside. The sun has almost set. Its last dying rays setting the treetops on fire. I can hear a faint sound, someone is playing the national anthem. I look up. The sky is almost dark.


Now I am in my bed, staring into the void. My body slowly sinks into sleep. Just before I am cast away: I hold my attention and say a prayer: a prayer of gratitude, for people I love, for blessings I have.


And then, I dream.

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© 2017-2020 By Hafiz Abdul Manan.

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