The coronavirus induced lockdown has listed out several negative impacts and cynical thoughts among people. Every individual has been under house arrest for more than three months. Since socialising is a usual norm in our society, it was difficult for people to get accustomed to the stringent lockdown measures leading to boredom, loneliness and depression. Most of the people started missing their daily routine of work and activities when many discovered a positive side to it through a journey of self-discovery.
Amid the surging cases of COVID-19 in the country, several industries and companies opted for work from home option for their employees. At the same time, schools and colleges remained shut, which allowed working professionals as well as students to work or study from the comfort of their homes respectively and make the quarantine period as creative as possible.
There are a lot of people who started unleashing their creative sides and exploring their passion for satisfying their innovative self. From rediscovering hobbies and learning new skills through online courses and YouTube tutorials to trying hands-on painting, sketching, yoga, meditation, singing and cooking, people did it all to cherish their quarantine period.
Previously, the busy schedules of humans restricted them to concentrate on their hobbies and passion, but this lockdown came as a blessing in disguise for them to enhance their learning experience and nurture self-development.
Tirthankar Das, a journalist by profession, says, "During my school and college days, I used to crack silly jokes to keep my friends entertained. One day, I casually made a video on Facebook with a filter criticising WBUT (West Bengal University of Technology) that went viral garnering a lot of reactions. It was a motivation for me, and from then on, I started making more videos, but due to my irregular routine, it was difficult for me to upload videos regularly. But this lockdown period was a boon to me as I got ample time to observe, gain content ideas and create videos."
"I observed young generations were really bored during this period, and I tried to keep them entertained and happy through my small effort of making videos. That's how I found one of my hidden talents that is comedy and making people laugh. Currently, I am working in an organisation, but those viewers and their reviews still motivate me to shoot at least one video after my work hours. Making videos is not a burden anymore; I enjoy it now," he added.
For Ditam Chakraborty, a Biotechnology student, filmmaking is passion. His love for the art made him utilise his lockdown days more productively by learning video editing just by watching YouTube tutorials. "Although I am an MSc student, I have always been fascinated by the art of filmmaking. So when the lockdown was called out, I thought of learning video editing from YouTube tutorials, and I am happy to have stitched together a short film called 'Eighteen' which I wrote and directed two years back. Due to time constraints and lack of editing skills, I couldn't work on it, but now I am happy to gain a new skill which will help me to nurture my passion in future as well."
Adding to that, Ditam has also started writing scientific blogs on his website that he thought would have never happened if the lockdown wasn't announced.
While many have identified their new talents, there are a few who have rediscovered their existing passion or regained touch with their creative self. Supranita Panchal, who works as a freelance content writer, was always passionate about sketching since childhood but had lost touch with the art due to her busy schedules and time pressure. But this lockdown helped her regain touch with her long lost talent.
"Honestly, I lost touch with sketching years back, and never even touched my sketchbook and pencils. As the lockdown kicked in, I slowly started doodling and making mandalas. Once, I was going through some art based Instagram pages which really inspired me, and I thought of going back to sketching once again. Since I had ample time, I was able to concentrate on sketching and come up with new ideas. This lockdown actually helped me to unleash the side that was completely lost but now while I am doing it since two-three months, it has become a habit; I have gained a lot of confidence and have some serious plans to go ahead with it," Supranita said.
Something similar was discovered by Nabodita Ganguly, a student who loves writing poetries but failed to concentrate on her hidden talent due to tight schedules. "I have always loved writing poetries and expressing myself through it. But due to my busy class routines, I couldn't write regularly. This lockdown gave me an excuse to explore writing again. I got ample time to think, give a poetic touch to my words and share them on social media platforms as well as my blog. It gives me a strange hope that everything will be fine in the end," she said.
During the time of crisis, YouTube tutorials and online courses have been a major support for people to utilise their time accurately and add some skills to their already established career. Several online courses have been made available for free because of the situation to keep the public motivated and positive throughout.
Somdutta Chakraborty, a professional singer, said, "During this lockdown period, I have developed a new hobby for playing the piano. I have had a keyboard for a long time, but the learning process never happened because of time constraints. But this lockdown allowed me to learn to play the piano tunes from tutorials and other online platforms well, helping me to gain an additional skill. I am a singer by profession so now I have started singing along with the piano and would love to do so in my upcoming shows as well if I get a chance."
Not only for artists, but this lockdown has also been a blessing in disguise for working professionals as well to learn new business skills and upgrade their CV.
Koushik Mazumder, an IT professional, said that this lockdown helped to skill him up and enhance his knowledge. "This extended lockdown has taken a toll on many, but I tried to make it as productive as possible by learning and adding on some skills through online courses. I went through some courses on digital marketing, financial management and data sciences which were actually very enlightening and interesting. I also did a language course on Spanish that was quite unconventional, and I enjoyed it a lot. These skills which I never thought of acquiring, I believe would definitely help in future," he said.
Through activities and learning experience, all these people from different parts of the nation kept their spirit high with optimism and positive attitude throughout. This extended COVID-19 induced lockdown has taken a toll on many, however, things are improving gradually, and the world will take time to reboot. But this is also true that though the stringent lockdown measures concealed one side, the other side released plenty of creative minds on work.