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Mumbaikars on forced holiday

The government has advised companies to implement ‘Work from Home’ policy for their staff to encourage ‘social distancing’ to curb spreading of Coronavirus infections. The Maharashtra chief minister announced lockdown of all non-essential shops and offices in Mumbai. As part of relaxations in compliance requirements, the corporate affairs ministry has allowed companies to conduct board meetings through video conference and other audiovisual means till June  30. Long holiday, I mean, it’s time to be at home with all bars, cafes/lounges, hair salons and beauty parlours closed till 31 March or till further orders. Traders across India will keep their establishments shut on Sunday in response to the Prime Minister’s call for a self-imposed ‘Janata Curfew‘. About 40 crore employees of traders will remain at home on the day. Some of the essential services that will be excluded from the shutdown are providing drinking water, banking services, telephone and internet services, railway and transportation services, food, vegetables and groceries, hospitals, medical centers and medical stores and electricity.

Mumbai’s life is very fast as compared to any other city. There is no difference between day, night/early morning. That’s the reason, people feel very safe and and are never fearful. How can Corona restrict their spirits? Whoever stays in Mumbai works hard. There is noise everywhere – roads, streets, lanes, malls, restaurants and sometimes even temples. This noise leads to something entering your mind all the time thereby keeping it busy – something as basic as a vehicle honking. The noisy external environment also makes it easy, natural and complimentary to have a noisy internal environment (read mind) which is then always restless and feels busy and fast. Although the situation is not any different in other major cities of the country and the number of corporate headquarters in Mumbai.

All of a sudden when they are slapped with forced home arrest, they simply don’t feel good about it. There is lack of enough open space and congested houses. This city, for the population density and the activity levels, has very little open space where people could just go for a walk or just sit in peace. These things can have an immense calming effect and thereby slowdown is the internally bubbling energy. Almost all major cities in India and internationally have natural environments like beaches, parks, gardens, waterfronts, etc. but to reach all these is restricted by the government at this moment. Your immediate social circle needs an outlet to be together.

The Mumbaikar is always held high for his/her undying spirit, may it be a bomb blast, heavy rains or some calamity, they find their ways to live it to the fullest. When holidays are forced, they opt for holiday homes. Small get-togethers, party and prayers with close in family and friend circle. In the last few years, long weekends have become everyone’s favourite time to travel. There has been a tremendous increase in the number of people who choose to head out for quaint local getaways whenever a weekend break comes around. In fact, this trend has re-introduced vacations back into the priority list helping people de-clutter their minds and bond better with their families. Taking the advantage of forced leave, Mumbaikars already moved in nearby destinations for spending quality time with friends and family. All the holiday homes, private properties and bungles are booked. The owners have given lucrative offers with masks and sanitisation facilities largely being a need-based activity. Looking at how Mumbaikars want to make the most of their long weekend breaks, the organisers offer unmatched choices for a perfect weekend break based on people’s travel interest – be it for adventure, spending family time or for spiritual quest. This trend of holidaying over long weekends is driven by an increase in domestic spends, internet penetration and the availability of an array of weekend getaways and travel choices. Most of the Mumbaikars prefer to get out of town whenever the long weekend arrives.

Irrespective of students, servicemen, working professionals, we all crave for a holiday and some break from routine. Students get holidays from school whereas professionals and servicemen get holidays from their offices. These breaks help us to regain all the lost energy! When we forget what life is, weekends give us the scope to enjoy the life to the fullest. It gives us the opportunity to look at our lives in new ways. We all need some time to spend with ourselves only. One who has a family, spending good times with family is a must-to-do! Some utilise this time by doing some constructive work while some prefer for complete relax! And, if we suddenly get a surprise in form of extended weekends, like Coronavirus break, Well, that’s like ‘Dene wala jab bhi deta, pura chappar phad ke deta’.

Mumbai maids too travel to their nearby villages, it’s difficult to find a domestic help when you are at home and have many things to address. There is no mali, no maid, no driver, no assistance all are equally scared to get back on their job and if you are given a forced holiday, why wouldn’t they hesitate to take the advantage of the situation. In such challenges, the choice remains in going for a holiday. Mumbai might have been stalled, but Mumbaikar is living life to the core.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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