To market. To market. Shopping during the lockdown. Finely Chopped Covid-19 Journal 8

Bringing back my 'essentials' from the market. Ignore the graphics.

We donned our masks and stepped out of our apartment gate for the first time in ten days  or so yesterday. The recent government directives say that masks are a must when going out. Even if made at home. Please follow that.

We had no reason to go out all this while. We had most essentials at home. Solanki Medical at Pali Naka, Bandra, sends us meds when we need them. The anda pav vala cycles down in the evening with eggs and pav. We also call in for bread from Baker's Dozen via Swiggy. The vegetable cart guys come down our lane and we buy what we need from them. Thanks to our switching to what I call the #LittleJackHornerMeals more than a year back, we are not as non-veg dependent as we once were. So we have not gone out looking for it.

Most importantly, Shopahowlic at Pali Naka delivered cat food for Baby Loaf. This is one thing we hoarded I admit as Baby Loaf does not eat anything else and the shopkeeper told us that the the supply chain might stop soon. K did a Mother India act on hearing that and we bought three 2 kilo bags of dry food of Royal Canin to go with the 2 kilos of Whiskas we bought earlier and a 5 kilo pack of litter. Thankfully they all have a long expiry period and yes, we cannot have him starve. Or not pee and poop.

Baby Loaf does not eat anything apart from cat food

None of the neighbourhood grocers are delivering at the moment. On the plus side, most are open for business and that too in a very orderly manner, as we saw yesterday. We went to Roman Stores first opposite Kotak and then to Prince  instead as the latter had the chamomile tea that we needed. In both places circles were drawn on the pavement outside for people to stand in. They served us from a counter that they had set up outside the shop when our turn arrived at Prince. There were a couple of men standing there who would take your order and get your goods and then the bill at the end which we paid using PayTM. No currency notes were exchanged. They told me that they shut at 2 pm. It was 1.30 pm when we went. The queue was not too long. They did not have bags but we had gone with cloth bags. Once home, we kept the bags in a corner and we plan to empty the stuff a couple of days later. Took out a few essentials in between and washed our hands after that.

We needed to buy dhaniya powder, aata, kitchen rolls, methi seeds, hand wash, butter and bread. Kitchen essentials.

I picked up my 'essential' too. Six 100 g bags of bhujiya (three Haldiram Bikaner Bhijiya and three Haldiram mix) and 500 g salted cashews. Don't judge me. It might be a long winter but there is no reason to grimace through it. The guy next to me bought bags of Lays chips and the guy on the other side bought a number of Cornito bags. We snack addicts need our stash!

We picked the last of the 3 Nespresso pod trays in the shops too. At this point we do not even check for the flavour. We are happy to get what we can. I had moved to Nespress espressos at home a while back and am no longer dependent on calling in for cappuccinos from outside. K was at the start of the quarantine. She has moved over to the dark side now and has begun to like her espresso too.

No matter how hectic our days are (her's way more than mine), we try to make it a point to have an espresso together after lunch. Sharing a laugh for the few moments that sipping on an espresso takes. Trying not to talk job lists for a bit. Thankful to be home and safe and sound and well provided for.

Silently looking forward to the day when we can go back to Candies again and have a cappuccino together for breakfast. Double shot for me. Single for her. And the softest chicken sandwiches in the world. With chips for me. Cookies with chocolate chips for her. If it is a weekend with my mom in law has come over then we would request Sylvia to get us a fish curry to go. And cheese potato balls.

Cup of life

The one thing which did most of us in during the lockdown was the failure of the e-commerce apps including those of large retail chains. Some are coming back into action I believe though currently our area is not serviced by any. I understand that they might have faced problems because of the lockdown in terms of logistics and manpower availability and that systems collapsed.

It would have really helped if the government had got together with the e-commerce companies to ensure that deliveries of essentials happened unhindered. By providing the best possible safety to delivery personnel in terms of masks, gloves etc. Creating delivery windows on the roads. Cashless and contactless deliveries to minimise risk to both the delivery personnel and those receiving.

That would have really reduced the need of people to go out and helped implement the lockdown better. Reduced stress too. Especially for those of us who have elderly family members and who live away. We would have felt so much at peace if we could ensure that they were well stocked by ordering in for them remotely. They would have been at peace too and not anxious as they all are.

Well, whatever has happened has happened. Like I said, it is a long winter.

Now that the initial shock is over, hopefully we will all able to find better ways of working. Turn poison into medicine. I am sure that everyone is trying.

The valiant local shop keeper, the baniya or kirana-wala as one says in Hindi or mudi-aala in Bengali, has shown us the way.


jjs said…
In my area, both big basket and Amazon pantry are providing services. Big basket delivers at the door step. The delivery guy who came, requested me politely, mam ,please sanitise your hands after taking it inside. When i said sorry to him, that he is being asked to work, when we are sitting inside our house, he said mam atleast I have my job. Life is tough