Here’s What You Do!


apa, if all our family members get COVID, then what would happen?”, asks my seven year old daughter, Sohana.

She’s such clear with her questions and so expressive that I miss a beat when a question like that comes.

However, Dinky and I have made one rule, and that is that we have to stay calm no matter what. Calm is infectious (..more than the virus!) and that’s all we need at the moment.

Otherwise, we’ll lose it all even without giving it a fight.

The delay in my response has already given the little mind enough ideas, and I can see the BIG tears rolling down her face turned smaller than usual because of the anxieties.

So, I tell her very matter of factly, “Nohana, we have to keep our immune system intact.”

Now, she’s listening. She wants to know more, the sudden stopping of her tears tell me.”

It’s strange I can tell that, even while she’s mostly covered in her face with the mask, which too appears too big for her small face.

“Doctor Mamu was telling me earlier today that even if a virus attacks our body, our body soon starts fighting with it. If our immune system is good, not only would it kill the germs, but it would also make our body stronger next time. That’s how nature works.”

“Nohana, what can you do to keep your immunity high?”, I asked.

“By thinking good thoughts, eating good food and staying hydrated”, she said confirming she knows it all.

She smiled. After all. She adjusts her mask, which is flimsy dealing with the cold, the tears, the cough.. too much for it to handle, apparently.

The date today was 27th Sept, and today was the first day, since 7th Sept, when I actually went out to the balcony with her. Of course, still fully geared with my mask, and a bottle of sanitiser which has suddenly become such a constant in my life.

That’s all we can do, guys. Sohana know it and so do we all. We may not be able to protect us from the virus, despite our best efforts. I thought I was cautious, my family was cautious ,,but it did happen. 

The good news still is that we still have a lot in our control – and it starts with what our intake is: mental intake as well as physical. That’s what would keep us strong to fight it, in case it comes. Here’s my daily checklist for your reference. This is, of course, in addition to the medicines which you may be prescribed:

  1. Vitamins:
    1. Vitamins C
    2. Multivitamin
    3. Zencovit (Zinc)
  2. Food:
    1. > 1.5 L Water
    2.  Fruits including banana, apple, anaar, 
    3. Nutritious Food
    4. Coconut Water
    5. Hot ginger water
  3. Reading and Listening list:
    1. John Maxwell’s “Make Today Count”
    2. Easy Translation of Bhagwat Geeta
    3. Humour they say creates positive hormones. I was reading a book called FML (Viewer discretion advised: 18+ 🙂 ) which I find quite funny actually.
    4. The survive and thrive podcast by John Meese. (Yeah, I want to thrive not just survive..) 

Now, is there any of the above that is not “still” in your control? With a little support from your family or caretaker you can manage it all easily. Do it for your kids too. 

Focus on what you can control.

Post this emotional furor, Sohaan and I did some more usual talk, the more 7 year old types. “Papa, how many days before I can hug you?” .. “OK.., and Mama?”..

It was such a comfort to have her speak out cheerfully like that. 

I can’t explain what it means to me now to have a “normal talk”, “a dinner together”, “standing beside each other”… after having lon..ged for it for so long.  

We had our one:to:one time may be after a month. I don’t know how much comforting was it for her, but I certainly felt blessed. 

Tanav, my 11 year old son, chose to stay inside. In his room. I later figured that he was talking to his mom while I was with Soha. He needed the one:to:one time too. He has his own emotions and so much more to deal with.

It seems like they’ve grown up much faster in the last 3 weeks than they have in years. They’re on their own, and even taking care of each other. They’ve, once again, surprised us with what they can do and achieve.  

Of course, children, like we all, have their emotions, all we need to do is to support each other so we open up to our emotions and find good ways to deal with them. 

Bottled up emotions are harmful. Help your children find ways to deal with them instead.

How would you answer Sohana or your child if they asked, “Papa, if all our family members get COVID, then what would happen?” 



[5-Bullet Tuesday] Some Ideas While You’re Still Locked Down

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading –

Lockdown has allowed you to time to read those old half baked draft writings of your own. The one I found the most interesting  was the one I had noted about the Indian version of the SKILL-WILL matrix. While the original one is taught in management schools, nothing can beat this indigenous version which goes like this.

Quite relatable, isn’t it? Take your time to understand and laugh (and contribute towards the world Laughter Day which was just last Sunday)

Now try placing your colleagues in each of the quadrants. It’ll be fun. You yourself are, of course, Faadu! 🙂

What Movie I watched —

Finally watched the movie, The Sky is Pink, starring Priyanka Chopra, the Secret Superstar girl, Zaira Wasim and Farhan Akhtar. While the start is a slow, the movie picks up pace somewhere in the middle. Rented it from Apple TV for 150 bucks. I would highly recommend the movie, it’s very fulfilling although it does become emotionally heavy towards the end. And more so, knowing that it is based on real life of  story of Aisha Chaudhary, and her family, whose real pictures and the song composed by her brother they show at the end. 

Affirmation I’m chanting –

It’s extremely important to remain mentally and physically fit regardless of the circumstances. One thing that I’d recommend you do daily is to chant, write a daily affirmation. I usually go with one until I find another which I like more. Here’s the one that’s keeping me going these days:

I’m balanced.

I’m calm.

At the center off the life’s storm,

I’m serene.

Web series I’m following –

So, you’re looking for programs that you can watch with your family isn’t it? I doubt if there are any completely clean family shows these days. They all have at least some abuse, vulgarity, or violence. But the good news is that perhaps your family’s tolerance threshold has also increased with time, so I would still suggest you to go for Panchayat, if you haven’t seen it yet. Anyone 7+ can watch although it couldn’t completely hold my 11 year old son‘s interest for long.

Another one that perhaps require some more threshold limit is Ekta Kapoort’s Fittrat, showing on ZEE5. This is the story of a smart go-getter girl, Tarini.

Fittrat is one of Ekta’s shows that doesn’t start with K, but with an F and F words don’t end there, so be cautious, but other than that (well, and glamourising smoking throughout), I wouldn’t mind watching with family.

There are a few places with adult humour but nothing vulgar. I have watched 6 episodes of the 15 yet. More on what my family likes about this show in the next bullet.  

What family activity I’m doing –

One of the activities you can do while at home it to get your family to share their perspectives on a common thing of interest. For example, if you’re all watching a show like in our case it is this web-series, Fittrat. Even though it is the same show you we’re all watching, the  lens through which each pair of eyes is seeing is very different. You’ll only come to know of that when you ask. When I interviewed my family about what is the best thing they like about this show, here’s what they said.

My six-year-old, daughter, Sohana likes the way they’ve shown the friendship of the lead character Tarini and Amy, her chuddy buddy.  Sohana is looking forward to how eventually this equation would take a turn when Tarini falls for her best friend Amy’s fiancé.

Tanav, my 12-year-old son is fascinated about how Tarini would eventually fall for Amy’s BFFs fiancé, “that’s really something I am looking forward to see.”, my pre-teenager says.

Deepti, my wife loves Tarini’s confidence in herself.

And as far as I’m concerned, I love how they’ve shown the luxurious lifestyle of the filthy rich, which is otherwise quite rare to see on small screen.

If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.


How COVID-19 crisis is helping you sharpen your saw?

Hi All,

Here’s your weekly dose of “5-Bullet Tuesday”, list of things I’m enjoying or pondering.

Story I loved–

One thing that I try not to miss these days is tell children a bed time story. This one in particular is the one that I loved the most. It is an extension of the old rabbit and the tortoise story that you all would have read. It’s really interesting how the rabbit deals with losing to a tortoise and what happens after that.

It’s particularly relevant in today’s quarantined world where instead of competing with each other, we must learn to complete each-other instead. Give it a watch here.

Quote I’m pondering —

Mother Teresa once said this. I wonder if there would be a better time to implement it.

Song I loved –

I’m pretty sure by now you have heard this, but if not, you must do so now. First time I saw it, it brought tears of joy to my eyes, extremely emotional and one that connects us all as a country.

Yes, my friends, Muskurayega India. Watch it here.

Poem I loved –

Ayushman Khurana’s poem on Corona warriors is extremely poignant. Hear it from the horse’s mouth here.

What I’ve learnt —

One of the concepts that is taught to MBA students in Strategy class is that of Stretch and Fit. Stretch is how organizations smartly utlilize their meagre resources to meet their aspirations. Fit on the other hand is how organizations match its rsources and capabilities with the opportunities in the external environment.

This little learning is extremely applicable in today’s context of a locked down world due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Not only organizations but even individuals are learning to stretch –extended family meetings online, neighborhood balcony tambolas and Antaksharis on a chain-phone call with school time friends.

And we’re learnin to fit as well, learning to eat without non-veg, sleep without AC and drink…, well, what’s that?

If you like this post, then show the love by sharing it with friends and family. The best part of writing a blog is the discussion that follows, so do register your thoughts and views below.