The initial months of Lockdown were very aggressive and lots of strict guidelines. No stepping out of home, no smooth movement, only essential shopping and spending at home all the time. It was something new for most of us and we had no experience of anything like this before. Spending time in lockdown, though it was for our own safety, turned out to be something like spending time in prison. Work from home became the new work trend and everyone set up their offices at home only. I started learning cooking in lockdown. Though I had been living for over a decade and I cooked for myself all these years. However, I spent a couple of years in a shared apartment and I wasn’t cooking that much so I almost had stopped cooking. Moreover, we even had a maid once so cooking was something I hadn’t touched in years.
When the news of complete lockdown broke out, it created panic and stress, for sure. People started buying stuff for a long. My fridge too was stuffed, I must say overstuffed and the entire kitchen drawers were filled with packaged food, food which could last long, lots of nonperishable foods which had a longer shelf life. There wasn’t any supermarket within walking distance range and there was a panic of coming in contact with an infected person.
Everything looked like a post-apocalyptic movie scene. Every place was shut, malls, shops, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, etc. Roads were empty, no sign of human being. People were scared to touch each other. The initial months of lockdown were very stressful but later on, things started to get a little normalized, and strictness started to get a little flexible. However, while we were all locked inside homes, we started to do a lot of things, things that could give us joy, things that could keep us engaged and occupied. I started cooking in lockdown. I even started painting which I hadn’t done in ages.
Why did I start cooking in lockdown? It was the first time in years.
I am no chef. I just manage to cook for my own and that’s it. That too very basic, just to keep myself going. During this pandemic, when there wasn’t anything much to keep me busy in, cooking in a lockdown situation was something that gave me a little confidence that I could cook for others too. Though there was office work and other things to get involved in since it was a slightly new form of life, something different was needed to satisfy it. Thus, cooking in lockdown was the best I could find. It’s not like that I didn’t know cooking, I knew it. But here the situations were different. I love staying alone and locked up at home but at the same time, I also love to step out and roam in the markets. Last year, I made 12 travel trips in 12 months and I took a pledge that I would travel to 12 places next year too. But I could only make 2 journeys this year.
Before this, I was eating outside. I was ordering food online from Zomato, Swiggy, or I was eating at a nearby Dhaba. I knew it wasn’t healthy at all but at times you have to do it. When the lockdown was imposed, I started cooking on my own before going back to my home. And guess what, I haven’t cooked after coming home. But I miss cooking when I am on my own, at my apartment, cooking for my own or cooking for someone else. Well, since it was lockdown and access to routine things was a not that smoothly possible and storing was the only option left. So I had lots of stored food with long shelf life and that’s how it all went. Though there was a grocery shop nearby and a vegetable shop at walking distance, I visited there on weekends most of the time. Later, we started getting things at our address, thanks to the vegetable suppliers that somehow eased the process.
Cooking in lockdown was really turned out to be amazing. Trying different cooking dishes and cooking styles, watching videos, and learning from YouTube was both fun and a learning experience. At times, we overcooked the food making it too pathetic to be eaten and at times, the dish turned out to be really so nice that it made us proud. Lots of people started their cooking channels on YouTube during the lockdown. They learned from YouTube and posted videos there. I cooked dishes in the lockdown which I hadn’t cooked before; the only reason was that I didn’t know to cook them.