Quarantiny – Chapter 6 – Day 4

Quarantiny – Chapter 6 – Day 4

Day 4 – Monday 20 April 2020

“Sometime quarantine yourself because,
only when the surround is empty,
you search within”

Thanks to Netflix movie theatre! As if, it was ‘introduced’ to comfort quarantined people. I really did not know, what would I do without a Netflix account. Last night, it was a bit late to sleep as I was enjoying a Spanish thriller on a serial killing in a small country town. The whole season had six episodes. I could only finish four as it was already 4:00am in the morning.

I woke up with a call from Sagar vai around 9:00am, which was 5:00am in Bangladesh. I was a bit nervous to have that call at that early hour. But it was day four for me and it was just a call to check on my condition as he was up for his early morning prayer. So, we exchanged notes. Bangladesh still maintaining its social distancing policies. People are not getting out of home after 6 pm until it is very urgent. The hospitals are extra alert, Covid-19 testing’s are going at capacity, people are still not sure, what threat is coming towards them and how to cope with the ‘invisible’ enemy.

The next call was from Nigar, who had logged in to work from home around 8:30am. I shared my updates and she did hers. The room phone rang. I had to let go Nigar and picked up the room phone. It was Evonne, the duty nurse called to have updated information on my health and/or any symptoms of the virus. She was genuinely nice, asked my origin and my primary language. She also acknowledged that she was a first-generation migrant from South Africa as I already got that from her accent! She also asked about phone conversations I am having with family and friends as that is particularly important to keep my spirit high. I could not agree more.

Called back Nigar and updated her about the service I am receiving. Just realised, I forgot to bring my breakfast from outside the door delivered at 7:00am! Got it in, same breakfast but with a different fruit and a chocolate croissant. Liked it. I had the croissant, orange juice and the vanilla yoghurt.

Make myself a cup of green tea. Took a shower and decided to watch the unfinished movie from last night as I was keen to see the end. There was obviously a huge twist that I could never imagine if I did not see the end. I was wondering, is there any twist that I may have to face at the end of this quarantine. However, I was mentally ready to face any challenges by now.

No work today. May do some secondary research on the affordable housing project but that’s it. I continued my newly formed routine of walking within the room from the window end to the door end. I walked for 45 minutes, which turned into 2.4 km followed by a one-minute plank. So unusual activities for me! But I thought, no harm burning some time by doing some exercise, which is/was never been my cup of tea! A huge influence from Nigar.

Lunch time. Knock on the door. It was a salad wrap with a fruit and a pack of ginger biscuit. I am never excited about any food with so much of ‘gaash bichali’ – the green stuff! But the lunchtime sudoku was interesting. By the way, I loved the water bottle – just WATER! It is a company established by the famous actor Will Smith and his son. The speciality of the water bottle is not only it looks smart but the whole bottle is paper made and recyclable. I took an empty bottle with me to show (one day when I am back in Dhaka) it to one of my friends in Dhaka who is in the bottled water business to explore the possibility of creating a new ‘genre’ of water bottle.

Work time. I did some secondary research on feasibility studies for our proposed affordable housing project in Bangladesh. Requested Dhaka office to share some more documents on housing. All these were for getting ready to have a zoom meeting with prospective Australian Investors on this Wednesday 22 April, who are willing to invest on our nationwide affordable housing project. Just wanted to do some homework prior to that meeting to make it fruitful.

Suddenly realised the beautiful weather outside, the gentle breeze across the river Yara, the ships on the far far away bay, the cars on the freeway travelling faster to reach their destination. As if, all were teasing my ‘prison state’!

Again, just went out through the big and bright window to enjoy the afternoon at South Bank – a gentle walk along the river Yara (photo 1 below). This time I went up to Collins Street to visit my first workplace at 51 Collins Street – Henderson and Lodge Architects (photo 2 below). They are not there anymore. Just another building. The Rialto Tower (photo 3 below) is still carrying so many memories for me in Melbourne. My first experience with such a tall building. I still remember the magnificent breath-taking views I experienced from the top floor in the 1990’s and felt guilty for not sharing that views with rest of the family members at that time. Memories, that all we carry with us as the most valued treasure!

All on a sudden, it started to rain! Roads were wet but the rain drops on the Yara was creating a rhythmic orchestra as if to celebrate my return to Australia or to wash away all the Covid-19 germs with the flowing water to the sea to make Australia ‘Covid’ free.

Like always, Melbourne rain was short lived and the weaker late afternoon sun came out and I realised, time to return to my quarantined hotel room. I discovered myself standing in front of the window where my soul just came back and re-joined with the body. I was happy and inspired to go ahead with the remaining 10 days of quarantine.

The door knock broke my very empowering thought process. Yes, dinner time. Collected the dinner from the corridor. My favourite, Pasta Bolognese with a hot bread and a lemonade. It was only 6:30pm, too early for dinner for me but I just had it as it was still hot! A good satisfying meal.

Called Nigar to checkout what was she doing. Cooking Thai soup. And she laughed at me for having the dinner so early. “Eating ‘HOT’ dinner on time is the only option I have dear”, my response to her. While talking to Nigar, the room phone rang. Unusual time for the phone to ring. I told Nigar to call later to pick up the phone.

It was the voice of Rowena, the duty nurse from downstairs. She introduced herself and asked, whether I need any extra support from them because of the start of the month of Ramadan this week. Do I want them to delay their call until late in the morning, to check my health condition, as I will be having ‘seheri’ at the dawn. I was already impressed with the system and now I wanted to hug those people who designed the quarantine programme thinking so detail and deep with individual needs. I just reconfirmed, no additional services are required and happy for them to maintain the regular call time. Very comforting.

At 7:00pm, I watched the ABC News to keep myself updated with the latest situation across Australia and the globe.

7:30pm, I watched the 7:30 Report on ABC – particularly the one to one interview with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbul. I am always interested in Australian politics because of its practiced democracy. Only over last 10 years they have thrown the ‘democracy’ outside through the window and introduced ‘party power politics’. Malcolm Turnbul is one of the victims of that very nasty and dirty time in Australian political history. I was just interested to see his views. Some of his statement was enormously powerful and direct hit to the ruling Government. Which was very courageous for him. But he is an extraordinarily successful and inspiring self-made business person anyway. Life goes on for him.

I ended up watching 4 Corners after a long time followed by the Q and A programme on ABC. Both programmes were highly informative for me. I was informed all about some of the background and way forward works happening here in Australia to cope with the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Responded to Reaz as I had a miss call from him. Talked to him for a while. Manikganj is in total lockdown due to the serious possibility of community transmission of the corona virus among residents. He was a bit sad and upset with the total situation and did not feel like continuing writing his auto biography today rather preferred to sit outside and get lost in deep thinking while flying with the local birds on the sky and travel with the natural breeze, mentally. It seems, he was still having a great time than his quarantined time in Dhaka.

Talked to Auditya. She was terribly busy all day with her work. Now having dinner with Ma as Nigar made Thai soup with chicken. Lucky girl! I miss all those home-made delicious foods. Hope to get in few days’ time. I was keeping a record (photos) of all the foods cooked by Nigar and Auditya while I am stuck here in my quarantined life as they promised to cook each of those items once I am back home in few days’ time.

It was almost 9:00pm. Packed all the garbage and left outside the door. Called Amma, Meghna, Kakoli and Keka to share each other’s stories including my quarantined daily life. Everybody seems ok, just a bit worried about the raising numbers of death and infected people in Bangladesh. The attitude was, just watch and see! And pray for each other.

I did say my regular prayers. Now it is Movie time. Soon, I will visit my Netflix Movie Theatre to select and watch a movie followed by bedtime.

Good night.

“We born alone, we live alone, we die alone,
only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion
for the moment that we are not alone”

Farhadur Reza Probal

Farhadur Reza Probal

Architect Farhadur Reza FIAB MPIA

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