My friends and I, when we were much younger, used to play a version of hide and seek called “dabba”. The difference was only that those who were hiding could win if they managed to sneak up on any of the seeks, slap them on the back and yell “dabba”. Every once in a while you’d have someone hide until everyone else had informally agreed that the game was over before running out of their hiding spot, slapping you on the back and claiming victory. An obviously meaningless, shameful victory.

So when I saw my positive covid test on Monday morning my first reaction was: “What a morally bankrupt, post-game dabba this is.” “COVID”, I thought to myself, “Have you BEEN outside this week?? It’s sunny and 21 degree celcius. IN NOVEMBER. The pandemic, I thought we agreed informally, was over. You can’t dabba me NOW?!”

After that Monday morning dabba, I’ve been at home, restless and mostly too tired to do anything about it. But wallowing in self-pity is an indulgence allowed to dabba losers. But it’s not been all doom and gloom. There’s been some genuinely lovely things that I discovered I love this week and here’s a small list of the ones I remembered to write down.

One of these afternoons after growing tired of sitting on my deewan, I plonked myself on the carpet and watched an episode of Ramy while I sipped some warm water from a glass mug. I dozed off in a bit and when I woke up, I was still holding on to that mug – it was nice and warm – and my head, slightly tilted, was resting on the backrest of the little blue seat next to me. Would’ve been kind of perfect if there was a person there to rest my head on, no? I’d shuffle in place a bit, yawn loudly, adjust my head on their shoulder and fall back asleep. Maybe they’d turn off the TV after the seventh successive episode, put on some music and hand me a book to read instead? Lovely.

Balsamic vinegar is a great salad dressing. Lovely.

Kohli played an innings few among us will forget. It led me down the path of spending arguably too much time watching highlights of Sachin Tendulkar playing straight drives. Lovely. Or in this case, Glorious (as commentators across the decades called it).

The sun rose, as the sun does, every morning this week. Rohini Devasher’s exhibit at the Rubin museum last week reminded me that “the sun implies that there is a future” for as long as there is a sun, there will be a tomorrow”. I was having my coffee and writing this peice while the sun warmed my face, its light reflected off the tip of my pen and its simply being there showering comfort on an otherwise headache-ridden morning. Lovely.

Feng Suave has some great music; Ramy is a lovely show; Kinder joy does not sell chocolate. They sell happiness in a packet. Lovely.

Three of my plant babies had shriveled and nearly died while I was in India earlier this year. All of them now have baby green shoots. Is there a better color? Baby leaf green. Lovely.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan singing “Chalna ahiste, ishq naya hai” from Oh Re Piya; Roopkumar Rathod singing “Zulfein teri itni ghani…..Saaye me inake main jiyun” from Maula Mere Maula; Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia having an absolute ball which we are all privileged to witness on video here. Oh So Lovely!!

What a terrible thing isolation would be without the sun, this pen, the friends who sent me food, home remedies, playlists, TV shows, selfies, vibes and good wishes and the balsamic vinegar dressing. All little pats on the back like the mini dabbas we’d do to console the losing team while walking hand-on-shoulder as the sun set, as the sun does, to come back tomorrow and do it all over again. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.

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