Finding happiness

Posted by Nehal Tiwari, Mumbai

Nehal is a 21 years old girl under autism spectrum disorder. She is pursuing her graduation (final year) in Information Technology from St. Xavier’s College. Nehal has penned her lockdown experiences and thoughts. We are happy to share her write-up with bare minimum editorial changes.

In December 2019, Coronavirus made people sick in China. Due to Coronavirus, lockdown happened in China on 23rd January, 2020. Then it affected all the countries of the world. Coronavirus made people sick in India in February 2020, and in all the countries. Due to Coronavirus, lockdown happened in India on 25th March, 2020.

Due to the lockdown, there are less people and cars on road, transportation is not there and we cannot meet relatives. No one is allowed to go out and everything is closed except medicine shop, ration shop and mummy’s office at V.T. Station. She works for MTNL. My final year BSc (IT) Exams were supposed to begin from 17th March, 2020 and end on 23rd March, 2020, but they got postponed due to Coronavirus outbreak.

Birthday 2019. Nehal – 2nd from right.

I am also missing travelling, as we are not able to go to Bhopal to meet our relatives this summer. Local trains don’t work, that is why I can’t go to the suburbs. Due to the lockdown, I couldn’t celebrate my birthday properly as cake shops were closed. I miss going to US club for swimming. I also miss going on vacations for sightseeing, trekking, getting wet, enjoying and clicking photos. I also miss going to places of worship and celebrations. 

Classes are not happening that is why I miss my college friends. The Exhibition which was supposed to be held at Delhi in April 2020 got postponed that is why I am missing Painting Exhibition. I also miss going out with my parents and college friends. I also miss getting little wet in the rain during monsoon season. Cases are increasing day by day because lot of people stay in small houses in Dharavi.

Due to lockdown I was feeling bad initially in the month of March. I am anxious as I don’t know whether I will give final year BSc IT Exams or pass without Exams at St. Xavier’s College. I was feeling anxious that I couldn’t give my final year theory Exams in the month of March 2020 and also about my future education. This year I was worried that we couldn’t go to Bhopal to meet relatives in Summer Vacation 2020.

This year in Diwali Vacation or Winter Vacation we will try to go to Bhopal to meet relatives. But it all depends upon exams of my younger sister Vaidicka, who is in 10th standard at J.B. Petit school. She will be appearing for the pre-board Exams which will be announced later. Also, it depends upon the spread of infection. I also became sad as I didn’t do swimming at US club this year and also, I didn’t go out with my parents this year.

Family outing. Nehal – 2nd from right

It was a very difficult time for me due to the above reasons and lot of uncertainties of the future due to the pandemic. But I decided that I will remain happy. I realised that this is an opportunity for me to carry on my studies as well as follow my passion of stone painting.

So, I am doing stone paintings as well as Watercolour paintings as I am very much passionate about it. I have stones of different shapes and sizes. First step is to select the stone and put the base colour on the stone. Second step is to draw the sketch, third step is to colour the sketch, fourth step is to finalise the background colour and fifth step is to make the outline with black colour. I try to make one stone painting daily.

I am also studying for the MCA Entrance Exams, which has a totally different syllabus as compared to my final year theory Exams. I am also studying for my theory Exams. I have also done a course on advanced MS Excel during this time.

Apart from stone paintings and studies, I am also cooking food, going for a walk inside the gate, doing exercise, thinking about positive memories etc. to keep me happy as well as busy.

I pray to God for containing the spread of infection and the lockdown getting over in all the countries so that everything becomes normal and we can go out without any worries.

We are grateful to Nehal’s parents, Seema and Anupam, for encouraging Nehal to write for the readers of Lockdown Voices.

Cover image: Team LV
Story images : Author and her parents

Other stories which touch on autism spectrum disorder :
Rowing through rough times
On the roller-coaster
The sunshine after storm
Staying afloat
Readers’ Voices – 1
Stuck in time
Three to the rescue
Tech-lit path
Falling in place
BiggBoss13 and lockdown
Emerging stronger
A new Ally
Paint, dance, teddy, cooking – lockdown can be fun
Life and COVID

Standard Disclaimer : The story contributors are responsible for all views and facts provided in their posts. Lockdown Voices and its editorial team is not accountable for the accuracy of the information posted.

One thought on “Finding happiness

Add yours

  1. I am a special educator, after reading this post, firstly I feel very proud that this post is written by a special girl with somehow modification. It is remarkable. Secondly I am very glad to get to know that our special children can be get higher level of education. By best wishes are always with Nehal . God bless you and your family Nehal.

    Liked by 1 person

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