From Monday, city streets will probably return to life. After people were confined to their homes for 75 days because of the nationwide lockdown put in place to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has affected over millions across the world, they will be able to visit malls, restaurants, hotels, shopping centres and places of worship. In containment zones, however, strict restrictions will continue till the end of this month.
Mint asked leaders from different walks of life what they would like to do once the restrictions are lifted on 8 June. Here’s what they had to say.
Viswanathan Anand, Chess master
The first thing I would do is be grateful. Many things and people we took for granted are what we missed the most. I also missed my family, being away for most part (Anand was stuck in Germany for over three months; he returned to India towards the end of May). I hope the lessons that we learnt during the lockdown don’t leave us too quickly. Besides that, I will have to be an apprentice for my son as he starts online classes. Children have had to deal with so much more than us. Their physical space and relationships have shrunk.
Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-founder & executive vice-president, TeamLease Services
Meet my family, friends across borders and complete my bucket list of travel. But I know I won’t be able to do it anytime soon. During the lockdown while the body has been in isolation, the mind has been a messy, busy, overcrowded construction site with long hours and difficult trade-offs. I need some time-off to prepare myself for the long haul. So maybe I will head out to the hills, with minimal cellphone network, with my daughter to enjoy some alone time and trekking.
Vikas Khanna, Chef, author, filmmaker
Fly back home to Punjab (his home is in Amritsar), where my mother is. I’m in New York right now and trying to coordinate and ensure delivery of food and sanitary napkins in Indian cities. We have reached over 10 million meals in 125 cities till now. I would like to continue this work for some more time. On the work front, I plan to travel from Amritsar to Dubai, where I’m working on a new restaurant.
Manu Jain, Global vice-president, Xiaomi, & managing director, Xiaomi India
Catch up with my family. I have a family of 150, all in Meerut. Sometimes they come to Bengaluru (where Jain lives), sometimes we go. The other thing I will do is resume Xiaomi fan meets. When we started this company in India, nobody could even pronounce our name properly. It’s thanks to the Xiaomi fan com-munity that we are what we are today. We do have virtual meets, but it’s not same as the physical ones.
Samit basu, Author
Meet people. I have been putting off meeting people because of work for years. Not having an option to meet people for over two months has made me an extrovert. I can’t wait to see my friends and people who I haven’t seen for so long. And also travel. Because of work, I put off my travelling plans. I want to go to Tokyo, since I have never been there and one of my books is based there. But I’m not sure if it’s safe to go there, so I will go wherever I can.
Manish Malhotra, Fashion designer
Head to the salon. I have tried cutting my hair twice. The second time was a bigger disaster. And I want to go to my office, look and touch the fabrics and create designs that I have been thinking about throughout this lockdown period. For 30 years, I have worked and travelled non-stop. These two-and-a-half months gave me time to introspect and I’ve realized less is more. I want to spend my mornings sketching, something that brings me happiness, instead of checking emails and messages.
Jagdip Jagpal, Director, India Art Fair
I mostly use public transport, from e-rickshaws to the metro, in Delhi. Since most public transport isn’t running yet, I plan to cycle around Delhi, and see things in an informal way. For me, cycling is not just about fitness; it’s also about play. It’s a means to an end. I’m also thinking of starting cycling clubs in different cities. Maybe I can ask my network in every city to join me and we can even have meetings while on the bike.
Dattatri Salagame, President & managing director, Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions
I assumed my position on 1 April, when we were working from home. So the first thing I will do is go to the office and meet my colleagues. I have had many conversations with them over video calls and messages but it’s not the same. Leadership is about how you emote and interact with people real time. I would also like to get back to my fitness regime of playing badminton and doing yoga outside.