Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch

Count your blessings

Lockdown couldn’t have come at a better time—and we have technology to thank for it


Iremember India’s victory in the 1983 World Cup like it was yesterday. I didn’t actually watch the final in real time, hear unfold on the radio instead. But I still remember every over fall of wicket, and of course, Kapil Dev’s magnificen­ce, so man decades down the line.

You can imagine my excitement then, when the movie bas d on those events, 83, was ready for release in the theatres.

But before I could make any plans to see it, Omicron began spreading its tentacles all over the country. And, with great reluctance, I had to cancel my plans to see the movie that had captured one of the seminal events of my teenage years.

I was gutted, of course. But I cheered up considerab­ly when I discovered that I wasn’t going to miss out on it for too long. Eight weeks after its theatrical run, would be released on a streaming service. And given that I had waited for nearly four decades to see it, what was another eight weeks?

But this entire episode got me thinking. I know that being stuck at home in lockdown-like circumstan­ces is far from ideal. But who can deny that this is the best time in the history of mankind to be isolating within the four walls of your house?

And we have technology to thank for that. We can work from home, interact with our colleagues on Zoom, and network via various social media apps. If we want to cook, we can get ingredient­s delivered to our doorsteps in a matter of minutes. If we don’t feel like cooking, we can order in our favourite foods through various delivery apps.

All that we need is available to us at the click of a button, and we can enjoy the best that the world has to offer from the comfort of our living room couches, as we binge-watch our way through everything the sundry streaming services have to offer. What more could a locked-down person possibly ask for?

Don’t believe me. Well, let’s conduct a little experiment.

Imagine that Covid had struck not in 2019 but in 2000.

How would we have coped with the pandemic in that decade?

Working from home would have been a complete impossibil­ity because nobody had high-speed Wi-fi (or any kind of Wi-fi) at home. So, we would have a choice of either shutting down all businesses or keeping them open but risking infection to all workers—not much of a choice, you will agree.

Cooking would have been a challenge because only the basic groceries would have been delivered by your kirana shop. And certainly, you could not have ordered in any cuisine of your choice and had it re-heating in your kitchen in less than an hour.

And what would we have done during those long evenings spent at home? Yes, we had a few DVDS stashed away that could have kept us entertaine­d for a couple of weeks. And we could have watched TV for an hour or so. But there would have been nothing like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or other such streaming services, offering us zillions of shows to feast on.

Looking back on the last two years, I have to admit that lockdown has not been so bad to me. The lack of distractio­ns meant that I could finish my book, Madam Prime Minister, well within deadline. And though its release has come in the midst of Omicron, I have still managed to promote it, conducting TV interviews via Zoom, answering questionna­ires via email, and so on.

And when I wasn’t writing, I managed to read all the latest books, thanks to my Kindle app that stood in for all those shuttered bookshops. I cooked everything my heart (and my husband) desired, getting everything from sausages to sauces delivered to my door. I ordered in from my favourite restaurant­s, and even though the experience wasn’t quite the same, the food certainly was. And I spent my evenings watching the best TV shows and movies made over the past few decades.

Technology may be a mixed blessing. But at this time of global crisis, we have technology to thank for keeping us sane.

Spectator fans, listen up! Seema Goswami’s new book Madam Prime Minister is now on stands.


The views expressed by the columnist are personal

 ?? ?? THANK TECHNOLOGY Eight weeks after its theatrical run, would be released on a streaming service
THANK TECHNOLOGY Eight weeks after its theatrical run, would be released on a streaming service
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