Humour: Five kinds of Lockdown de-stressers
From funky knitting to gadget-tripping, the possibilities for release are endlessUpdated: Sep 13, 2020 07:33 IST
It may safely be assumed that everyone has, by now, developed a cluster of coping skills to beat the isolation blues. It is now time to devise a cure for the cure: a controlled withdrawal from excessive baking, incessant exercising, obsessive redecorating and endless Netflix-watching. Here are a few suggestions.
First, the freakishly persistent disentangle knots from a messed-up ball of wool. Then the “fun” begins. The needle bearers consult YouTube for funky patterns, scarring you with the realisation that there’s a whole universe of knitters out there who look and sound nothing like your grandmother. From tattooed divas seducing you with wine bottle covers to preppy lads peddling rainbow-striped jewellery, there’s a whole world of woollen goodness waiting to wrap you in its warm embrace. And if you’re not convinced by the cute alliteration, googling Ryan Gosling knitting memes ought to do the trick.
In this video game called 2020, we can choose gadgets to tide over untenable circumstances
At a recent socially distant outdoor gathering, I met a millennial with an unusual accompaniment: a collapsible hula hoop. As the conversation inevitably moved from a critique of mask-wearing habits to the point of antibody tests, the hula-hooper slunk into the garden, spinning the colourful ring expertly around her shins instead of her waist. I politely enquired about this fitness subculture, and didn’t come away disappointed. At some point in the conversation, something called ‘hoop yoga’ came up. (Followed by goat yoga and beer yoga. Gold.)
I recommend this activity with caution. No, you don’t have to begin by imitating Milton’s heroic couplets. Start small. Insert a silly rhyme in a WhatsApp message or post a limerick on the refrigerator door. Then scale up. A meditation on the lockdown sky on Facebook. A little verse about mortality on Instagram. If you’re sounding like Rupi Kaur, take up hula-hooping instead. If not, progress to the poetry slam at a screen near you to bare your deep dark soul through pithy phrases. And if all else fails, there’s the much-wronged haiku.
While the U2 concert in Mumbai last December still echoes in some of our ears in a bittersweet refrain, the doers are doing their thing. I’ve heard a beautiful rendition of Yellow Submarine on a harmonium, and a bass solo from a friend whose rapidly growing tresses foreshadow a heavy metal fixation. Another is taking her riyaaz as seriously as she does her workout. Yet another is strengthening his roots in music theory. For anyone interested in benefitting from music without actually practising it, there’s always Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia, a mind-expanding book on music and neurology. Because simply listening to music is so 2019.
Twenty-twenty rid me of a big phobia: that of whirring mixies and hissing pressure cookers. Before I alienate everyone below a hundred years of age, let me introduce gadgets like infrared thermometers and pulse oximeters, e-bikes with power-on-demand and hair clippers with colour-coded attachments to the mix. As we cross one level of difficulty after another in this perverse video game called 2020, we can choose gadget after gadget to tide us over untenable circumstances. These damn machines always seem to know what they were born to do.
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From HT Brunch, September 13, 2020
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