Monday, April 20

21 Day Lockdown in India - April 8th- April 14th

Third week of the lockdown.
The jacaranda trees are blooming and the hillsides appear spray painted with bursts of purple. I got to enjoy the sight each time we drove into town to buy groceries. Nature won't be stopped.

Ecclesiastes 3:1- 8 To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.  

Now in lockdown times is really the best time to recalibrate, make changes in our lifestyles, ponder and practise thrift, sustainability and empathy. Work with our hands, plant a garden, grow your own food.
Take time to notice the little things.  

Time to get back to nature and learn from nature. The days are warm and delicious, we had some rain which brought out the leeches. The one most affected is Ben the St. Bernard who leaves bloody paw prints on the floor. 
Lazy days.   
For Easter a neighbour brought us hot cross buns and I made these origami hen in a basket to give to neighbours.
The overgrown tea had to be cut with shears and thrown on the ground. The factories weren't accepting it. The bison got to enjoy the tender tea leaves.
Now in the mornings one hears the clack, clack, clack of the metal shears and tea pluckers work. 
 The local bakery started baking bread, hurrah! after almost two and a half weeks.
It was so good to eat chicken curry with bread.
Everybody seems to be baking bread during the lockdown. Here's an article in Conde Nast Traveller India, which talks about stressed out Indians who have taken to baking bread during the lockdown.  
There's a flurry of recipes being exchanged.
Here's the first recipe I got related to bread and baking.
Tehmina Yadav's recipe for Slider Buns
2 Tbsps. active dry yeast
1 cup + 2 Tbsps. warm water (110 - 115 degrees)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 3 and 1/2 cups all - purpose flour.

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add oil and sugar, let stand for 5 minutes.
Add the egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 - 5 minutes.
Do not let rise.
Divide into 12 pieces, shape each into a ball.
Place 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
Bake at 425 degrees for 8 - 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

For the moment I'm just collecting the recipes. Quite a few because # QuarantineCooking chain mails are now doing the rounds on Whatsapp. 
We whatsapp our list to the grocery store and we go and pick it up later. We even had a small pick up come to our gate with fruit and vegetables. Queues outside shops with circles or squares painted on the ground, three feet apart in which one must stand and wait ones turn. masks must be worn when one steps outside the house. 
Three weeks into the lockdown people are organising themselves  to gets essentials up to the mountains.The government has failed to ensure channels and systems are in place to facilitate movement of essential goods and services. Unprecedented situation but a neighbouring state is proactive, leveraging government machinery and the expertise of the citizens to manage the pandemic.
We will survive. We have survived other disasters.  

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