The screen of my phone reads 5.45 a.m. as I rub my eyes and gain the strength to sit on the bed. Light escapes the smaller gaps between those Taupe drapes that fall from the ceiling on my gigantic french window. M.S Subbulakshmi hums as her playlist syncs with the start of my routine. The beat of mridangam serves as the count for my suryanamaskar and along was the yoga flow the hot water from the top tier of the coffee filter also transcended to the bottom tier carrying the most fragrant decoction. The brilliant brown colour of my coffee to match the browns of my kitchen, the aroma that descends the serenity in the air, as I sit and watch the entire community slowly come to life.The fresh fragrance of mud from the previous night’s rain, the smell of those jasmines from my balcony’s garden and those from the next few pages of Midnight’s children as I pass my eyes across the new chapter and read about Baby’s Salem’s take on snake and ladder.

Honorable Mention | RTF Designer’s Days of Quarantine 2020

Category: Essay Writing
Participant: Deepa Srinivasan
Profession: Designer
City: Bengaluru

The alarm bells of my phone indicated the same thing that the grumbling sounds of my stomach did called for breakfast. And the hands of the clock slowly move to 9.45p.m. when the table is set.

● Laptop- Check
● Mouse and Keyboard- Check
● Water bottle, Badam in a bowl- Check
● Journal and a fully filled ink pen- Check
● Prints of the latest plans with sketches, markers and a sharp pencil- Check

The clock reads 10a.m. hoisting the flag for the official day to begin with a couple of calls, going through the day’s meeting list. To-do lists are made and stuck on the Journal’s hard cover, sometimes next to the touchpad of the laptop, even on the screen. The day had a few design iterations and ideation in the pipeline which told me that it was a pretty packed day.

Meetings were scheduled with clients over Meet and we were going to try and see if we can share screen and make them understand the design by taking them through the 3D.The entire thought of it was frightening, not being able to scribble on paper to aid our oral explanation or drawing on prints to note modification.This was going to be time consuming and was going to make way for a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding from both ends of the call and this only made things worse.

But we were thankful for the technology that even made this possible in the first place and to keep things going in a rather stagnant scenario. We believed in ourselves and we trusted our clients and were sure to make the best of the current situation.

Screen Sharing and having the video on at the same time, helped them understand our tone and our language better. We still drew and scribbled, we held the paper to the screen. It was time consuming of course, but the technology didn’t disappoint. The meeting went well and it was very relieving that it was lunch even before I realised. Mumma’s instant sambar came in handy with my electric cooker’s hot rice to calm the rats running a relay inside my tummy which was accompanied by an episode of revisiting FRIENDS to help pass the lunch time and to unwind a bit and even prepare for the rest of the day. The day slowly moved with a bit of Sketchup, a pinch of Enscape to render, served along with the full platter of AutoCad and a lot sketching for garnish.

A meeting reminder pops up for the team to catch up which secretly tells that the day is closing down. This brought a unique joy despite the fact that the distance between my office and home right now was just 3 feet. All of us meet with another online video call, quickly discuss our day along with some bickering about difficult clients and comparatively longer productive conversation discussing designs.Pictures of food are shared in the whatsapp group along with their recipes and memes to keep us entertained through the day.

The mouse pointer rests on the log out icon waiting for 6.59 p.m. to turn 7.00 p.m. The laptop is shut and dinner preparation commences, inaugurated by a video call to mom who is all ready and waiting to teach and watch me try something new tonight. The udemy course on Design of Retail structure runs in the background as I take notes enjoying the cold breeze of the next rain clouds along with my glass of Haldi doodh. The clock strikes 11 and the Midnight’s children in my nightstand drags me towards the bed for me to fall asleep tonight to the stories of Baby Salem again.

The bells of my phone ring and my screen shows 9.59 a.m. I wake up to the tiny panic attack that I overslept the alarm again, as I crawl from my bed towards my laptop bag to pull out the laptop, injuring its sides in the due course. I hit the login button with half my eyelids struggling to stay open trying to tell myself that tomorrow I will wake up at 5.45 a.m. just like my dream.

P.S- Everything starting from 10 a.m. in the above story is true, the part before is a dream, that I am working towards achieving before the Work from home ends and which seems to complete the story better.


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