It was just another Monday morning for the English teacher in the new normal. Vasudha Dixit, 39, settled down at her desk in the bedroom by 8.15am. She first ran through the school emails. Then she logged onto Microsoft Teams—a software platform used by her school to hold online classes—and quickly browsed through the assignments that her students had sent her. She started her first class of the day at 8.30am with about 23 students (though she can see only nine students at any given time on her laptop screen). She was done with work by 2pm. It was time for lunch.
Later in the day, after helping her son, a seventh standard student, with his Hindi homework, Ms Dixit returned to her laptop. Her mind was full of feelings about the unusual texture of life these days. In the next 20 minutes, she wrote a poem.
“Life has been very different since March this year,” she confesses, chatting on WhatsApp video. Fond of the poetry of Robert Frost, William Wordsworth and Makhanlal Chaturvedi, Ms Dixit teaches English and EVS (Environmental Studies) to grade II students at a private school in Faridabad.
The coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down for her, her colleagues and her students. The classes are held virtually, which means Ms Dixit no longer has to step out of the pleasant house she shares with her parents and her young son, in south Delhi’s Gulmohar Park.
“But I miss those daily interactions in the school,” she argues. She also misses going to movies with her son. It was in February that she last went out with Siddharth to a multiplex in Saket, after which they had pancakes and omelettes filled with bacon and cheese. “I wish I could catch up with my friends in person. However, I am grateful that the lockdown and its aftermath has given me a chance to spend time with family and to keenly observe the daily life of nature.”
Ms Dixit shares her poem with us.
A TEACHER IN LOCKDOWN
It was in March when it dawned on us that life had to come to a standstill…
In a hurry we said our byes, knowing little about the uncertainty that would spill…
The school was shut, for we had to adopt social distancing.
Stepping out was a big no, we had to learn how to be still.
The trees sprouted new leaves, the weather was fair.
I started observing the flowers, the butterflies… sighting a plane was rare.
I greeted the many birds on the trees around my house, I realised their beauty!
The Neem had flowers that intoxicated the senses, even as the Dahlias and Lilies brightened up my spaces.
Evenings on the terrace were magical… Venus shone bright even as the Moon completed its cycle!
We didn’t let adversity deter us…adapting to technology was the way forward.
It was time to meet our students virtually! To start learning and studying remotely!
The Sun shines brighter now, the hot loo has made an appearance!
The Neem tree has started bearing fruits, while Amaltas brightens up the park!
My balcony is full of fragrances…Champa, Roses, Jasmine… it is a heady mix.
Even as I go about my daily chores, the rains have now knocked at our doors!
I am still at home…with the hope that I would return to the way life was before!
However, full of gratitude that I got a chance to see all this and more!