Lockdown – Part 1 – Unfinished Story

Fiction Short Story
Dramatis Personae
Husband – A Retired “Veteran” – a gregarious “outdoors” type person.
Wife – a Career Woman – presently “working from home” due to Lockdown.
22 March 2020 – 7:30 AM
Wife: “Where are you going…?”
Husband: “I am going for my usual morning walk. Today is Sunday – I’ll get some breakfast – Idli, Wada and Dosa on my way back – so – we both can enjoy…”  
Wife: “You can’t go out – today is “Janata Curfew” from 7 AM to 9 PM – and it is already 7:30 AM…”
Husband: “To hell with all this bullshit – I am going out…”
(The Veteran Husband walks out of the house and goes for his customary daily morning walk. He returns one hour later – in a foul mood)
Husband: “Bloody Nonsense – everything is closed – even the restaurant – so – I couldn’t get any breakfast. And – there are some youngsters roaming around asking shops to close down – some even asked me why I was outside…”
Wife: “I told you not to go out – there is a “Janata Curfew” – everyone has to stay at home…”
Husband: “Isn’t it voluntary…?”
Wife: “You know how things are – why risk your life and limb by going out…?”
Husband: “Then what happens to my golf…?”
Wife: “Golf…?”
Husband: “I have scheduled at “Tee-Off” at 11 AM with my course-mates. I have even booked Uber Cab to pick me up at 10 o’clock. After golf – we were supposed to have our customary Sunday Beer and Lunch at the club…”
Wife: “You better cancel all your plans for today and stay at home – I am sure the golf club will be closed – and – Uber Cabs may not be running – and – even if you manage to go – you may get stuck somewhere – I told you – it’s “Janata Curfew” – it’s best to stay at home and remain safe…”
Husband: “That means our customary senior-citizens evening get-together is off too…?”
Wife: “Yes – the curfew is till 9 PM – so – you just remain at home…”
(So – the Veteran Husband cancels all his Sunday Plans – and – he remains at home – observing “Janata Curfew”…)
22 March 2020 – 4:45 PM
Wife: “Come on – you lazy man – let’s go to the balcony…”
Husband: “Balcony…? It’s still quite sunny. And – why are you carrying that Thali and Tablespoon…?”
Wife: “Don’t you know…? We are all supposed to stand in our balconies and bang utensils – or – you can clap if you want – better still – why don’t you blow your Conch Shell – blow the one you got from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. That Conch makes a good sound…”
Husband: “You want me to blow a Conch Shell – do “Shankh Naad”…?”
Wife: “Yes. Why not…? It is an auspicious occasion”
Husband: “Auspicious occasion…?”
Wife: “Yes. Corona Virus…”
Husband: “How can “Corona Virus” be auspicious…?”
Wife: “Not “Corona Virus” you stupid man – it is the beginning of the war against Corona Virus. We are supposed stand in our balconies and clap our hands, banging, ringing bells utensils etc for 5 minutes to express our gratitude and give a standing ovation to all those providing essential services during the fight against Corona Virus. Come on – don’t be a “spoilsport” – you are a Veteran – you must join all of us citizens in this…”
(“Okay – Okay…” the Veteran says – and – he joins his wife in their balcony. At 5 PM – for 5 minutes – as she beats the thali with a tablespoon – he blows his conch – the “Shankh Naad” reverberating in the atmosphere…)
24 March – 8 PM
Husband: “Did you see the TV…? They have announced a “Lockdown” from midnight. Total curfew – everything closed – we have to remain in our houses…”  
Wife: “Really…? I think our maid had some inkling of this – she has gone to her village…”
Husband: “Our maid has gone away…? And – you allowed her to go away…?”
Wife: “Who am I to allow or not allow…? She didn’t say anything in the morning. Then – in the afternoon – she called up to say that she was scared of catching Corona Virus – so she was going away to their village where they were safe from Corona Virus…”  
Husband: “What nonsense…? Isn’t she safer here…?”
Wife: “She is right. Corona Virus has been imported from abroad – so – it is more likely that maids get infected if the person they work for has returned from abroad…”
Husband: “But – we haven’t been abroad…”
Wife: “She works in many houses – mostly in houses of IT “Techies” – and many of them frequently travel abroad. Someone must have returned from abroad – so – the maid may have got scared – and – there are so many rumors floating around – she was saying that most people living near her house were going back to their villages – a sort of exodus…”
Husband: “I think the “Janata Curfew” must have triggered the exodus – these people are street-smart and canny – they could predict the “Lockdown” – whereas we didn’t have a clue…”
Wife: “Anyway – forget about the maid. You go down and get some milk and other things we urgently need – I will give you a list…”
Husband: “Now…? At night…?”
Wife: “Yes. It is 9 PM now – and – everything will be shut down from midnight onwards – shops may not open tomorrow – so you better go fast…”
(Husband goes down to the neighborhood grocery shop. He returns after one hour…)
Wife: “Why did you take so long…?”
Husband: “There was a huge rush – panic buying – total chaos – but – I managed to push my way through – and – I have got everything you wanted – except milk – which had finished – so – I got a large packet of milk powder…” 

(And so – at midnight of 24/25 March 2020 – the COVID-19 Lockdown started – 21 Days of strict Lockdown) 

To Be Continued…

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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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