When the outbreak was first reported in January, I thought it would get over before it found its way to India. I was to travel to Pune, Mumbai and Bengaluru for masterclasses with my husband (chef and restaurateur Bakshish Dean), which this got cancelled.
I was to travel to Turkey with OTAI in March and that got cancelled. I run a club called Explore India and take expats to hidden gems in the country: we were to go to Ramgarh Heritage near Chandigarh on March 27 and that got postponed. A personal trip to Spain with my family got cancelled. Being a travel writer, it’s not easy to sit at home and churn out stories as I can only do that much with memories.
Prior to the lockdown, a typical day would depend on if I am at home in Gurugram or travelling. If travelling, I would be busy exploring the destination and cuisine. If in town, my day would vary as each day is not similar in my case, but overall it would comprise of writing, eating out, planning events, at an event, etc.
Since the lockdown, and over its many extensions, I have been busy keeping the house clean, while my husband takes care of the kitchen and other family members pitch in other jobs. So, it’s quite a bonding exercise, quite like playing ‘Ghar Ghar’ as little children. As they say, "family is where life begins and love never ends".
I have always been fond of cleanliness from my college days where I was a hotel management student. All those housekeeping lessons are coming in use now. I have also been writing a lot on various topics as I have a lot of spare time: making cooking videos and I am also working on an upcoming farm project in Chandigarh.
If there’s one life lesson I’ll be taking away with from the outbreak and lockdown is that there is nothing more important than life, which definitely is not predictable. My purpose is to be happy in any situation and to take life as it comes, as well as be kinder! Most importantly 'Family is Family!'
While lots of my events got cancelled, and travel has come to a standstill, I still managed to get plenty of time to write. Also, I lost five kilos doing jhaadu-pocha and eating a balanced diet.
(Rupali Dean, a Gurugram-based food and travel writer and restaurant consultant, spoke to Shantanu David)