Off school – III: Contemplations

In this ongoing series, we bring to you contemplations of two young teenagers who discovered the lockdown to be a unique opportunity for inner growth.

Our first write-up is from Sochumlo Suki Ezung, a 14 years old, Class 8 student of G. Rio School, Kohima Nagaland. She is the youngest published author of Nagaland. Her debut book “Suki’s Magic Box” was published when she was 10.

I never once thought, the lantern I lit up on New Year would eventually lead to this. Something close to what I browsed on Google “Black Death” would suddenly happen to the world.  To finally understand what it meant to be in lockdown, experience a pandemic. All summed up in one word, one simple word ‘chaos’.

A lot had changed after the Lockdown was pronounced. Though I’m partly happy to have experienced my childhood wish of getting the longest break in school, I still miss waking up early to go to school. To forget what it was really like getting inside a car, to actually feel boredom… this is all new. Now I wake up only to see the same suffocating ceiling twenty four seven.

The world really changed and morphed into something worrisome. It’s pretty scary, just thinking about how things are never going to be the same. And I got to say, I miss those silly advertisements with no such mask protection guarantees.  I miss shaking hands with people. I miss the gatherings we used to have.  I miss the normal. So just like anyone, I too want this pandemic to end.  

But lately, I also found out that this virus can’t always be seen as a curse to mankind.  Because of this lockdown, I’ve been reflecting and really giving a proper thought to my life.  I also got to understand gradually that things can’t always be the same. In a way this experience is like a ‘red light’ to keep you still momentarily, something that makes you pause before you proceed further.

Nicole Reed once said “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly to the best things that will ever happen to us.” Take the pandemic as an opportunity to think about ‘self’ and others around you, to treasure those little moments of your life that could be forgotten.  I’ll conclude with a short poem I wrote…


Nevertheless, perhaps a coincidence, or a cruel fate
Uncertain, some call it pure nature’s hate
Others say its human’s fault
Religious people say its Gods terrible exalt.

Before I thought, it was a stumbling block,
An unfortunate jinx of realism that struck at 12 o’clock.
An unthinkable fantasy,
a devil’s blasphemy.

But a small voice always divulges
To make me think otherwise…
What if all these sayings
were merely excuses, a pitiful cynical craving,
just coverings to your heart aching?

Our next write-up is from 18 years old Rohini Sen, based in Mumbai. She has recently passed her class 12 exams and is looking forward to her university studies.

The year 2020 is a massive let down for many. There were birthdays spent alone, marriages postponed, dreams of holidays crushed, loved ones gone forever. Adding to this, for students, was the pressure of graduating from high school or college during a worldwide pandemic. For some however, this quarantine has been an enlightening experience and for others, a mixture of both. I was part of the latter.

2020 was meant to be a momentous year for me; my friends and I had big plans. We passed out of high school this year and to treat ourselves, we were planning our first group holiday without the supervision of our parents. We had extensive plans which had been steadily expanding since 2019. This holiday was significant for us especially as our friends’ group was going to split up this year, with some of us going abroad, or to other cities to pursue higher studies. Instead, 2020 turned out to be a year of continuous curveballs being thrown at us – no 18th birthday celebrations, no Graduation ceremonies, no holiday, no formal high school Farewell.

However, despite the series of disruptions, the Lockdown brought with it its fair share of positive lessons for me. I realised that unforeseen and unusual circumstances can actually be turned around on their heads to discover opportunities and pleasures in otherwise small, insignificant things in life, which we overlook or tend to take for granted.

For instance, in my case, ever since I turned 14 it has been a norm for me to celebrate my birthday with friends. This year however, due to lockdown restrictions and the fear of contamination, I was unable to go out with my friends. I was heartbroken initially, but my parents went far out of their way to make my 18th birthday special for me and now I have a newfound appreciation for how much they do for me. I shall forever be grateful for how caring and supportive my parents are and have been throughout my life. I had forgotten what it meant to celebrate my birthday with my family and how much more special they make it just by being there.

This lockdown has also been very productive for me. My voracious reading habit is well satiated and I also developed deep interest in Economics, Psychology and the Korean language. I also discovered a hidden talent for drawing that had hitherto lain dormant from the fear of failure.

Life in a city like Mumbai is fast-paced with hardly any time to stop and take a breather. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to slow down and become more aware of what’s happening around us, both in my immediate surroundings and in the world. Global events outside the pandemic haven’t been much encouraging but have given an added sense of meaning to my life by challenging my understanding of the world and making me realise that every voice counts, including mine and that I shouldn’t be afraid to use it.

Overall, the lockdown was a cathartic experience and a journey into self-discovery. It gave me the time to not only explore my newfound interests and abilities but also to grow as an individual and learn to have a positive take on bleak predicaments.

Other stories in this series:  
Off school – I: MusingsOff school – II: Early years, Off school – IV: Mommy on, Off school – V: Screen time, Off school – VI: Nature, Off school – VII: Time to choose

Featured image : Team LV
Story images : Authors

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.

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