life during lockdown

Stuck at home, architect-author finds solace in books, poetry

Stuck at home, architect-author finds solace in books, poetry

Dr SS Bhatti, Architect-author

Mona

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 5

Both by temperament and training, architect-author Dr SS Bhatti is an introvert, which he believes is an essential trait for creative souls. “You need designated space and time to indulge this divine endowment. I have been following my instincts concerning this rule ever since my schooldays,” he opens up when asked about life during the lockdown.

He deems the current lockdown not as an imposition on his work ethic and lifestyle, but as a golden opportunity for those who are so restless that they love to spend more time away from home. “People should try to reflect, not merely mediate in popular parlance, to figure out what they have been doing and ought to have done,” he says.

During the lockdown, the very first thought that occurred to him was that of thanksgiving. “I am goaded from within to pray for our teeming millions for whom Covid-19 is a snatcher of daily wherewithal while keeping them exposed round-the-clock to the lethal infection. I wish I had the resources to reach out to them with a helping hand in these death-inviting circumstances. I have decided that we will not deduct the salary of our domestic helps. This is the least we can do as a gesture of goodwill to our fellow humans,” he says.

Most of his time is devoted to listening to Shabad Kirtan on YouTube, writing poetry and books, regular participation in Chandigarh Tribune’s Open House question and the like. He regularly posts on Facebook and Twitter on the unfortunate prevalent situation and some of his ideas concerning how to utilise the precious time in self-quarantine. Adding to his routine of Gurbani recitation, he composes and sings ghazals, besides learning Hindustani sangeet.

“My wife Rita Bhatti inherited from her illustrious eye surgeon father Dr Man Singh of Batala her passion for plants, which are her constant companions. Expending love and care on them is her way of prayer, which she now extends to include beseeching Lord God for the welfare of the teeming millions,” he speaks of his partner.

Their eldest daughter Navita and her daughter Sahiba, who had come here for a holiday from Bengaluru, are stuck with them for the time being. “Their presence has livened up the domestic ambience. Sahiba engages and educates us by vocabulary-building games. We also receive regular long calls from our daughters Anvita in Canada and Kavita in the US and using Skype or Google Hangout to see each other to share our anxiety caused by the deadly pandemic,” he says. His schoolgoing grandsons Gurtej and Prabhtej’s short soul-uplifting concert on violin and flute is the recent highlight of their cross-continental calls.

“In this fast-paced life, people seldom know what they are running after. If a staggered lockdown through the country becomes a regular feature, it would give them much-needed time to sit and ponder.”

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