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Groundhog Day

·8 mins·

Life during the lockdown #

Yet another day has come to an end, and like the past two months, I am scratching my head thinking what things I did today were “productive”. I lay there in my bed recalling the early morning row with my mom because I overslept yet again.

Mom vs me (1-0), if we are keeping scores. 

It really pissed me off for the first few weeks or so, but I guess, I got used to her rants.

Definitely not a good start to the day. Popping a pantop, I sat there waiting for that not so early morning acidity to go away. Mom walks in with a plate of sliced beetroot, carrots, apples and a glass of lukewarm water preaching about what some Facebook post said about the benefits of lukewarm water in an empty stomach.

The row we had forgotten about over a loving plate of fruits. I didn’t like the taste of beetroot when I first tried it, a month ago but now it had really grown onto me. The muddy smell it gave used to be worse a month ago as I recall. Now, even the red tint it leaves on the whites I always wear doesn’t seem to bother me.

Just when the plate is empty, the fruits had done their job, and I found myself rushing for the washroom. Scrolling through the social media feeds as I clear my bowels, I stumble upon news that your rival’s transfers aren’t working out while your club is busy swooping in generational players.

Half an hour or so of reading the book you were so into and it is lunchtime. I eat whatever mom has prepared for lunch, facetiously complaining that she’s put too much besar in the curry. She gives me a look that reads, ‘You ought to have prepared whatever you liked insted of sleeping till noon.’ and adds that Mr. Prime Minister has said it helps fight covid.

I don’t bother explaining and getting into an argument again, so I just finish my meal and get up. Finally, I turn on my laptop, rubbing my palms, let’s get to work, but wait… what am I supposed to do today? Like I had done anything yesterday. Checking a list of items, I have in my to-do list:

Skyrim (FYI the best game ever)  
Humble Pi (continue the book)  
Python / JS / C++ / other random stuff to learn  
A list of movies/series friends recommended  
A list of videos I bookmarked yesterday  
A bunch of papers/resources to read from  

As I’m deciding what I want to do for the day, BAM!! Social media takes over!

Social media vs me (67-2).

(Damn it’s gonna be a tough comeback, social media’s rather good at this.) Almost two hours flies by surfing between Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Discord and engaging in anything you find there.

And when friends in group chat start talking about stuff but you can’t make out if its Sumerian or ancient Egyptian they are talking, you slap yourself into “productivity” and decide to continue the fractal (Koch curve) in JavaScript and get to work.

The only bit of code you’ve managed today is ctx.draw( ), because without realizing you have started surfing on the internet which began from the search about vertices of a triangle.

Not even an hour has passed before your butt cheeks are weary and your tummy rumbles. It’s about 3:30 when you can no longer bear the rumble of your tummy and call out to your mom for khaja, but she is nowhere to be found.

I could sense her in our neighbors’ house complaining about the lousy son who wakes up late and doesn’t help her with chores. Corona or no, aunties got to chat.

Let’s give her something good to talk about for tomorrow then. I dramatically enter the kitchen as I imagine myself in a chef’s clothes. Poor man’s Gordon Ramsay mode activated. Watching too much Gordon Ramsay videos might not make you a good chef, but one thing’s for sure, you’ll narrate the ingredients in your head as he does:

A fistful of spaghetti
Into boiling water (10 minutes wait, for it to be just the right texture)
Into the colander
A touch of olive oil 
        (that's what you say but you are pouring just a bit of *tori ko tel* 
        into the colander terrified your mom 
        would haunt you for pouring half a bottle of it for a fistful of spaghetti)
Pan. Heat. Oil.
Fry chopped tomato, garlic and onion. Blend.
Spaghetti into the plate; spread some grated cheese and the blended sauce.


 Some other day's spaghetti

(Some other day; a different version)

The dish is ready and mom arrives to an aromatic smell of cheese and garlic in the kitchen. Her eyes meet mine; wild west theme plays in the background, and she starts yelling at me about the state of the kitchen. I had made lassi topped with peanuts while waiting for the spaghetti to boil.

“Bon apatite, mademoiselle”
I serve her the dish with a glass of lassi. She runs her eyes over the neatly placed dish to find any missing ingredients. Ah ha! You forgot besar.

“What good is chowmein without besar?” “And for the last time it’s not chowmein its spaghetti Italian hand gesture, just try, and tell me if is it any good?”

Her fork rolls and gathers a bunch of spaghetti strands, cheese and the sauce.

She tastes, Anton Ego style.
“It’s actually good!”

Mom vs me (1-1). Sweet equalizer, well tasty to be more precise.

Well, let’s continue the code and finish off the Koch curve.
A few moments later,
Epic Saxo Guy rings under the pillow
I pick up.
“It’s almost five, you ready to go.”
That cooking maneuver just took me an hour and half. Damn you, Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay inside me replies, as he usually does, in a cursed tone.

I didn’t really want to go running then, so I replied “Well, I am kinda doing some coding, let’s skip for today”.

“You said that yesterday. Now get ready, I’ll be there in 5 minutes.”

Reluctantly, I change into my running shorts and shoes. But, changing into these gets me runner’s high and I start sprinting until my lungs can no longer handle. (Its lockdown, I know. I wore a mask and maintained distance).

We’re running, striking up conversations and he mentions that he was hitting on some unknown girls and he started flirting with one of them. But the girl turned out to be a cousin of his classmate, and now he was embarrassed. Good for you, you can at least have a chat, I thought. I can’t even seem to have a conversation with anyone.

A bunch of guys are flexing their rock-hard abs in the park. I put my hands on my belly and sigh as we go by.
Soaked from head to toe, I return home, cool down and take a shower. I get back to the code and polish it for a while, and before long, it’s dinner time.

Casual table talks commence. All of a sudden, mom and me are arguing about the number of Covid cases today. Unlike any other time, I was confident, and I placed a bet to do the dishes if she’s correct. Dad throws in his say and mom hers. For all the BBC radio news mom listens to and the Routiney dai ko post I follow, neither of us were correct.

Dad R.K.O’ed us out of nowhere, and the final score now reads 2-1-1. I picked washing dishes over cleaning the kitchen. When we were done eating, I muffed my ears with my headphones and listened to Roy Dotrice narrate Ser Ilyn Payne lopping off Ned Starks head.
Doing the dishes feels like a backdrop when you’re fully into the audiobook.

Back to the code.
A semicolon here, a bool there and it seemed like it was over. But alas! The canvas looked like a 3-year-old going nuts on a sketchpad before the browser crashed.

Ten tutorials and forty Stack Overflow questions later, I found the bug was a negative sign missing while calculating the coordinates. Frustrated with myself for making such a silly mistake, I now had a strong urge to take it out on somebody.

Loading up seems to take forever in this dang old PC, but the music makes the wait bearable. Kazin Niko starts firing and taking people’s limbs off with a Bazooka. When I’d had my fill from the bloodbath, it was bedtime, and I laid down scratching my head.

In terms of productivity we had none today - so tuck yourself into bed, “hoping” to wake up early and put an end to that self-similar recursive piece of geometry.

Understanding my language #

Pantop – a medicine for gastritis
Kazin – Cousin, in thick Eastern European accent, as pronounced in the game
Anton Ego – The food critic in movie Ratatouille
Tori ko tel – mustard oil
R.K.O’ed – wrestling reference