Quarantiny – Chapter 8 – Day 9

Quarantiny – Chapter 8 – Day 9

Day 9
Saturday 25 April 2020

“Learning new minimalistic ways of being
not merely looking, but really seeing”

ANZAC Day morning in Australia. Second day of Ramadan. It was quite late last night, when I went to bed. I woke up with the ABC news in the morning. Very proudly displaying the ANZAC day coverage focusing the uniqueness of ANZAC Day this year. Just few dignitaries attended the ceremony at the War Memorials. However, once the day was inaugurated by the Governor General and the PM, people in their suburb in front of their properties light candle, played bugle – it was a show of respect from wherever they can. What an impressive scene for a country to experience and to keep up their spirit as high as possible even in a critical time like this. Lot to learn!

The weather outside was genuinely nice, sunny and I could see the tree leaves were happily dancing with the gentle breeze. The Yara was flowing as smoothly as possible, the seagulls were still playing their unending ‘test match’ – never seen so many seagulls at Yara river. While, no one was walking across the Yara bank few people were still driving to ‘somewhere’ on a Saturday morning.

Day 9 for me. For me, only 5 more days to go. I am almost at the end of my quarantined life now. Everything remains the same accept there is a pile of soft drinks and a bowl of fruit displayed on the buffet table as my ‘still life sculpture’. My creation over last few days!

It was time for me to activate our new COVID-19 meeting toy – ZOOM! Yes, I had to attend two consecutives Zoom meeting. These meetings went till 1:00pm. Meanwhile, missed call from Kabir and Saifur (my Canberra friends). So, called them back and had a good 30 minute discussion with each of them. Kabir was enormously proud to share the news that his daughter and son has commenced Namaz. I was highly appreciative and gave full credits to the parents. Saifur, always is a man of hope and high spirit. Shared his joy of having the first Ramadan observed with his new relatives, the in-laws of Ishrak (his son), at their home yesterday. Talked to Evana (Saifur’s wife) as well, the most highly spirited and adaptable person within our group. You always end up feeling positive after taking to this couple. Their spirit and philosophy of life gives you extra energy, gives you extra strength to move on. She was extremely excited to share that their work has been awarded with the ‘Job Keeper’ policy payment from the Government. Hence their jobs are not at threat! I was very happy to hear that.

Work time. Tried to do some unfinished work for the housing project but still could not concentrate enough to come out with a concrete outcome. Pushed the whole work plan for tomorrow! The phone rang. The voice of Nurse Ema was on the other side asked the usual questions. Any symptoms of the COVID-19? The answer was, thanks for asking but so far so good – nothing yet and, how are you? She was happy to have the answers and also thanked for asking about her wellbeing. This call on every day, gives a huge sense of comfort, huge sense of security that someone is monitoring my health, some one is caring for our wellbeing. This is a unique system inbuilt into the quarantine programme which no one will be able to appreciate enough if they are not part of such COVID-19 Quarantine programme.

Watched television, again FOXCrime channel. Liked the Criminal Minds and NCIS. It is almost 5:00pm, waiting for the door knock anytime, indicating the delivery of iftar and dinner. Yes, the door knock took out my attention from the television. Opened the door, collected the two packets of food. Prepared the Iftar on my working table. By 5:46pm, I was enough hungry to break my fast and I did. Again for the first time in my whole life, did break my fast over two consecutive days by myself, all alone, all in isolation – except the evening sky and the sunset as my partner.

As part of my daily routine, called Nigar and she was overly excited to receive Iftar from Parul’s house. Shared a photo of the beautifully presented iftar (photo below). Immediately, I wrote a nice txt to Shaheen and Parul, expressing how happy I was for them to share Iftar with their neighbours even in a time when social distancing is in place! You can do good things if you really wish to perform that from your good heart. This couple proved that again.

Thinking of good heart, the next call that I received was from another person, who, not only has a bigger heart but also extremely loveable personality. Both Nigar and I are great fan of this couple. Yes, Nirupoma (our Melbourne friend) called and wanted to deliver some of her cooked Iftar for me. What can I say, I was speechless with the love and affection from this couple. I just had to decline their request as the quarantine authority has exclusively mention that they will not allow any outside food items at any cost. Incredibly sad refusal for me. But we planned to celebrate this missed out occasion in another day, once we beat the COVID-19 by winning the war.

Finished my Iftar. Reaz called as his daily ritual. Asked about my wellbeing and how I was coping with the Roja. He commences Roja today and obviously not enjoying, not only for the longer days but also for restricting him from smoking. This no smoking is always his biggest challenge during the month of Ramadan. But he has accepted it very strongly and with an immensely powerful will power, he is implementing this over last few decades. All on a sudden, he got too excited and left the call as his younger son came all the way from Dhaka to meet with him in Manikganj. An unexpected and surprise visit. Reaz has not seen him for more than 20 days by now. I was happy to finish the call for the father and son to spend some quality bonding time.

Coincidently, Kishoree called and put me on speaker to have a chat with both Tasneef and her. What a refreshing and energetic event. Taking to Kishoree and/or Auditya is always an energetic incentive. Always look forward to hearing their voices and now Tasneef comes as bonus. Talked about 15-20 minutes and gathered some more spirit to sustain another 6 more days that I must stay here. The moment I was off the phone, it was a call from Shaheed vai (our Melbourne friend). Talked to him and shared the same feeling as I do always with him. Life is too short, let us try to facilitate best use of it, whatever is remaining.

It is the first day of Ramadan in Bangladesh. Tried to call Keka, Kakoli and Meghna without success. Probably everyone is busy with the preparation of first Iftar, which is extraordinarily celebrated in Bangladesh. But this year, the social distancing will obviously have an impact. I will probably hear it later from them. Texted Mohona to check her well being and requested her to take care and stay safe in Scotland.

By now, it is time for my regular prayer. Finished that responsibility and then decided to walk. Again, within the room, walked around 2.5 km tonight. Due to the Roja, I have shifted my walking time from day to evening. Now, off to my Netflix movie theatre to continue with The Last Kingdom.

Good night.

“Quarantine is fine,
but you need someone to tell you
that quarantine is fine”

Farhadur Reza Probal

Farhadur Reza Probal

Architect Farhadur Reza FIAB MPIA

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