Quarantine Haze: My Mind Announces Lockdown

Stuck at home with nothing to do is all about ambitious plans, but even greater ennui

Raiyan Siddiqui Updated: Apr 24, 2020 12:59:09 IST
Quarantine Haze: My Mind Announces Lockdown Image used for representative purposes only (courtesy Pixabay)

Home-quarantine has been a blessing—I get to plough through my wish list of countless films, TV series and books. I’d vowed to finish at least two movies every day and have been on a winning streak, until today. My body refuses to move.

Dammit body,” I scream in my head, “What’s going on with you?

Silence. It lies spread-eagled on the bed, one leg dangling by the side, one hand intertwined with the window rails, not showing a single signs of movement for the past hour.

I was supposed to be watching a movie, you know. After almost 2 hours of ‘studying’, Mom agreed I could do whatever I like with my free time, which is basically all day.

Nothing. Body feigns deafness. Desperately, I turn to Mind for a solution.

“Hey, don’t you decide what my body does? Do something. Show ‘em who’s boss!”

No response.

Strange, given that I cannot get it to shut up normally. Such silence from Mind was definitely new. I think I see Mind smiling a bit, but who knows? Three hours have passed since then, maybe more; I don’t know for sure. I stare at my silent clock—its batteries need changing.

Mom and Dad will be sleeping for at least another hour, so no rush. Wait … Mind seems to be waking up ... no, never mind. Maybe it needs motivation. I decide to help.

Let’s see, umm … Goliath is swimming in the fishbowl—“Do you want to feed him maybe?” I ask. It doesn’t reply. “Fine, fine”, I say, “Ooh, do you want to finish organizing the library?,” I ask, glancing over at the abandoned books in the corner of the room, the empty spaces in the shelves waiting to be filled. Still nothing.

“At least finish your assignments, man. It’s going to be a while before college reopens and you know what, the workload will be killing then." 

Nada. No response. Finishing today’s guitar lesson, organizing the closet, looking up that girl I’ve been fancying for a while on Facebook, write something for the upcoming competition, finishing that unfinished book, watching the movie that got a glowing recommendation from all my friends—I keep trying, but nothing works. Not even the prospect of opening that brand new pack of Pringles, which is normally foolproof.

Furious, I scream at the top of my mental voice, “WELL THEN, WHAT DO YOU WANNA DO?”

A small voice replies, “Nothing.”

“What? You can’t sit around all day. You have to do something.”


Flustered, I retort, “What do you mean ‘why’?”

“Can’t a mind just shut off for a day? Is that too much to ask for? I work for you day and night without complaining and is this the thanks I get in return?” it answers, fuming.

A wave of guilt overtakes me suddenly, “Fine, then. Take a day off. And you know what, I’m pretty tired too. Why don’t we both shut down for the day?”

“Yes!”, Mind replies decisively and goes mute again. Clutching my pillow tight, I try to fall asleep, fully aware that I have let another day pass without moving a finger.


The author is a college-going teenager from Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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