I can now officially say that I know what rigorous imprisonment feels like. I’ve learnt this in the last 36 hours, and I don’t recommend it to anyone, not even those of you who snigger at my middle and mispronounce French words.
As we know from the movies, most people who get arrested are allowed to make one call. Not me. I am not allowed to call anyone, or even greet anyone who calls me with cheery familiarity. Not loved ones. Not unloved ones. Not even those who are celebrating a birthday or anniversary. The last bit was unnecessary, because information about significant dates is now barred from me.
The only food I’m allowed to eat is that which I cook myself. I can no longer indulge in the anticipated pleasure of booking a table at my favourite restaurant. I can’t even order my usual bacon and egg sandwich.
Then there’s punishment of the rigorous kind. Like literally having to go the extra mile, even when the weather is unbearably muggy (today was one of those days, when every dust particle in the air was sweating like a peasant). Instead of using the convenience of home delivery, I had to trudge out to get a bottle of water, skirting around unmentionable objects on dusty streets. The experience was so uncomfortable, that I had to repeat it, this time for aspirin.
About 18 hours into the routine, it started getting to me. Since there was no familiar alarm to wake me up, I got up this morning, feeling groggy and listless from too much sleep and having nothing to look forward to. I spent the morning dreaming of futile luxuries like manicures and hair trims.Futile, because my current state only allows me to get these at the grottiest places, which don’t have enough clients to require an appointment.
I am slowly losing track of time, and have to wait for the newspapers to figure out the date. I'm not enough of a veteran yet to do the lines and cross thing.
I feel betrayed, bereft and totally alone.
Actually that’s not true.
In spite of my solitary confinement, I know I’m not alone.
A google search has revealed that there are at least 2 dozen people in the world whose phone touch screens have also frozen. But then again, they didn't have to suffer this indignity on a public holiday when service centres were closed.