Disclaimer: The following contains snippets from the diaries of people all over India. This is the author’s attempt at empathy and is no way a confession that she comes at night to read your journals.

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Dear Diary,

I think my mother and father missed me so much that they didn’t go to the office for the past week. It’s really fun that they are at home all the time. My father and I built the biggest Jenga tower I have ever seen and mother let me help in the kitchen for the first time. I think she knows I’m all grown up and responsible now.

I am worried about one thing though. I do not think I have ever been this worried in my five years of life. My parents don’t think I understand but I see them whispering and worrying after seeing the news. The man on the TV keeps shouting something about bats. After every half hour, I need to sanitize my hands. I don’t understand it completely but whenever I see my mother with her “stressed-out face”, I give a big hug and tell her it is going to be okay. She and I feel better after that every time.

I need to sleep now if I want to help make pasta tomorrow.

Goodnight,
Samaira

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Dear Diary,

I have had enough! My kids are driving me crazy and for my husband, well, the news is obviously more important than helping around the house. Cooking three meals, cleaning the house, washing the dishes, putting up with bickering children and a perpetually sleepy husband is tiring.

Today I decided to do something about this. My daughter was on dishwashing duty, my son did the dusting of the entire house in ten minutes (a feat worthy of the highest praise) and my husband’s phone was confiscated in favour of chopping up vegetables. After a week of me doing all the work, this reprieve was well-deserved in my opinion. The only thing left to do is call my parents and convince them to STAY AT HOME.

I need to go and check if the kitchen has burnt down yet or not.

Goodnight,
Mamta

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Dear Diary,

What is quarantine? A lifestyle that demands isolation and no human contact? Man is a social animal and needs human interaction to thrive. I have lived a long and full life and never in my sixty years had I ever thought that I would face a global pandemic in this lifespan.

My daughter keeps asking me to stay at home but who will explain to her that I have commitments to uphold? Reema’s son is getting married next week, I need to attend kirtans in my society, and the Sharmas are coming for dinner next Wednesday. I really need to go to the market to buy vegetables and other rations. Mamta tells me that everything will probably shut down in a few days and we will enter lockdown mode but I find that highly unlikely. How can the government lockdown the entire nation?

And anyway, this virus will never infect me. My hygiene is impeccable.

Goodnight,
Lata

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Dear Diary,

This is not what I had in mind after my board exams, believe me. This is not an outlet for my whining but at the same time, I had different expectations after two years of mind-numbing studies. I suppose the global scenario is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I hope it stays that way. I do not believe my heart can withstand another pandemic in a few years.

Quarantine is not so bad. I never realised how much you crave something when it is refused to you. I never knew that going outside held any importance for me before. I am trying to be productive but my laziness cannot be cured.

On a more serious note, I have researched quite a bit on this virus and its widespread effects. The search for a cure and a vaccine will take a long time. The death toll is increasing day by day and I find myself sanitizing my hands every time I read of a new demise. Doctors and health workers have been working day in and day out and I have even more respect than before for them. We all have to do our bit by staying safe and at home.

Looking at the glass half full, the air quality has never been better. I have never seen stars in the city before. There is a new quietness that was never expected to exist in a metro city. It is also a wake-up call at an international as well as on a personal level to be more self-reliant. It also teaches us that all actions have repercussions.

Be glad you will never endure the perils of washing dishes.

Goodnight,
Tanvi

– Tanvi Jain, DPS Noida

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