I took a long time to wait and watch the scenario around me before I sat down to write this blog. The last few days haven't been easy for me. I stay in Bangalore (for work) and this trip to Varkala (27th Feb to 1st March, 2020) was supposed to be a short weekend trip before my routine visit to Kolkata (on 12th March). That was before this avalanche called Covid-19 hit us all. There were just 3 confirmed Corona cases in the country and all of them were on the road to recovery. I made it to Kolkata before the lockdown, but not only did my plans to shop and dine around the city take a hit, I also had to cancel my trip to Lamahatta (which I had planned almost a month before the lockdown). The current situation is no less than a nightmare for an avid traveller like me. Nevertheless, the only joy that I get these days is from reminiscing about the good old days of travel we enjoyed just a few months back.
Our train was scheduled in the afternoon, thus we had enough time for a quick stroll around the cliff and some shopping. I bought some memorabilia, a beautiful Kashmiri shawl (yes, a shawl from Varkala :P), and a T-shirt.
We packed our lunch from Coffee Temple and headed back to Zostel to get our luggage. The weather was so hot it could have given us blisters.
The train was on time, and to my horror, within 2 hours, it was also full (with two bawling children in our compartment).
Nevertheless, I was happy the trip had ended smoothly, without even a hint of Corona anywhere. The whole town of Varkala, even the beaches, had no hint of the virus anywhere. Nobody wore masks or gloves. People were taking in the serenity of the place.
It was only on my return to Bangalore the next morning that I heard a few more cases had been heard of in India. The situation worsened after that, and then the lockdown was imposed after just 3 weeks.
As much as I crave another vacation, I know for sure, things will not go back to normal soon. There may be tough times ahead of us, but I'm sure we will all make it through. I hope we get back to travelling soon, as the industry is in a mess right now. However, I would also like to maintain caution for a while after the lockdown ends. After all, nothing is more important than a person's life...not even travel.