As the entire world is agog with lockdowns and social distancing (the word is a misnomer for physical distancing) and I remain trapped in India (I live in HK), its been refreshing to watch how my neighbourhood is coping with the lockdown.
My immediate neighbourhood is filled with duplex standalone houses filled with residents who never had to experience the sometimes awkward social chore of running into neighbours in a lift or in a car park as is usual an apartment block. Social run ins are hence a planned encounter rather than by accident.
Which is why I was gratified when the kids started showing up in their terraces in the early evenings to fly kites across empty skies. I was less thrilled to see stray dogs sometimes strolling through the shady, leafy tree lined empty streets. Old men shout out covid news from the balconies and terraces. Morning milk runs is another opportunity to shout out random news stories across the neighbourhood.
Best of all, is the return of the song bird who trills a lovely two tune note in the evenings in my terrace or on that of my neighbour’s. An egret has taken to visiting an empty plot, again, in the evenings.
Add to all this, the surprisingly breathable air and one is left to ponder whether all this national trauma doesnt have a silver lining after all.