Day 15: Story Of A Mask

I’m at a place in my life when errands are starting to count as going out.


We are on Day 15 of the Circuit Breaker (CB) period in Singapore. Who would have thought that, yesterday, the Prime Minister was going to drop a bombshell in the form of extending CB till June 1st 2020?! Yes, many of us kept asking each other , how can we end CB by May 4th, our cases are increasing by 1000+ every day. Yet, it was still a shock to have our fears validated.

Additionally, school holidays are being moved from June to May, so as to coincide with the Circuit Breaker extension period. Not really sure why that’s being done, but my personal thoughts are thus: If the Circuit Breaker measures end on June 1st, followed by a month-long School break, it could result in a mass exodus out of Singapore to any goddamn place that still allows flights/boats/cars. Which will be followed by everyone flocking back into Singapore, after having thoroughly enjoyed vacations – thereby, potentially kickstarting the dreaded ‘third wave’ of Covid-19. By rescheduling the mid year School break to co-occur with the CB measures, the government is in effect ensuring that people don’t go gadding off the moment these measures are lifted. Not that it can be controlled entirely…..anyway, this is my opinion on the matter.

Nearly had a panic attack yesterday; I was hanging clothes outside our balcony, and picked up one of the pegs, and there it went 😰….flying down to the sunshade! You might ask – what went flying? The mask, of course – the single most essential item of clothing now known to Singapore residents! You may leave the house without a stitch of clothing on, but certainly not without a mask 😂

The Infamous Mask

Husband wasn’t too pleased, seeing that it was his mask that went on the uncharted flight. Muttering ‘sweet nothings’ under his breath, he unscrewed the handle of a mop, sellotaped a knife to one end and fished out the mask from the sunshade; all the while, throwing me dirty looks 😐. At the end of this breath-stopping ‘ordeal’, he didn’t have much to say beyond – ‘Take better care next time.” Hmmmm, rethinking the whole incident now, it would have probably made for a nice excursion to the forbidden ‘Outlands’ – had the wind picked up and dropped the mask 15 storeys down to the ground. Oh well, maybe next time…..

Day 7: Another Blah Day

Life is hard; it’s harder if you are stupid.

John Wayne

We’ve completed a whole week of circuit-breaker measures in Singapore. And yesterday, we had the largest number of positive cases – 386, racking up the national tally to 2918 . The government is handing out fines and warnings like candy, because – PEOPLE JUST DON’T LISTEN! I do not understand the sense of entitlement assumed by some people in this country – as if no rule affects them, and it doesn’t matter if others are impacted by their actions.

Today is hot and sunny – there hasn’t been a trace of rain in this part of the world. Social media is rife with discussions on what can and cannot be done in the current situation, as the rules keep evolving so quickly. Things that were allowed 2 days ago, were no longer permissible yesterday, and what was alright yesterday, can’t be done today. The best course of action is to just stay put at home, venturing out only to get food or groceries or medicines. Even going to the hospital for ‘non-pressing’ issues is deemed an offence as of today.

In news around the the world, a Virginia bishop who defied social distancing and vowed to spread the Word of God till he is ‘either jailed or in hospital’, has died from Covid-19. Well, guess he got his wish to be closer to God. The US President is once again off on his own tangent (to God only knows where) and has declared that he has ‘total’ authority to reopen the economy ahead of schedule. I hadn’t realised that reopening the economy was a competition item in the US. I think everyone thought of USA as the golden land, land of dreams and opportunities – here is another chance being offered – the opportunity to die.

We (I always like to think of it as a collaborative effort when I go stir the pot for a couple of seconds) made milk halwa yesterday, and it is so yummy! Didn’t think it would turn out so well. Much better than the store-bought variants, that’s for sure. And with no additives either.

Yesterday, I started reading One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus. Interesting so far, and I can so see this being made into a Netflix series (like 13 Reasons Why). And my friend sent me a link to knitting flowers – that’s another thing I’m looking forward to doing over the coming weeks.

Day 3: Good Friday

Your grandparents were called to war. You’re being called to sit on your couch. You can do this.

@SaraJefry on Twitter

Today is Good Friday – observed by Christians across the globe, commemorating the suffering and crucifixion of Christ. Singapore has a Catholic Radio app that offers services to believers, instituted once there were Covid19 clusters linked to a church.

Yesterday, Singapore had a whopping 287 new COVID-19 cases, bringing our total confirmed to 1910 cases. I am part of a WhatsApp group consisting of local residents who exercise together, and what they say is really scary – looks like people are still gathering in groups to exercise, chat, have food etc. Of course Big Brother has noticed this trend, and is stepping up surveillance – as of today, several more parks are closed, hawker centres are being covered in nets to err.. discourage people from eating there…sheesh folks, please take a cue… there is a ‘problem’ and these measures are being enforced for your own good.

Weather this morning was hot and sunny. No trace of rain all day. It’s a public holiday today, and that might account for the reduced traffic on roads.

Covid19 cases continue to climb across the world. No country seems immune – except maybe North Korea who has claimed they are Covid19-free. Well, what happens in North Korea, stays in North Korea…

We were just watching the news today on cases in Kerala (India) – the opposition party leader is claiming that the Kerala State government is selling citizen data…hmmm, I wonder what the market rate is, maybe Rs500 per kg of data? Of all the ludicrous things to claim @#$@#@#!! If you can’t do anything to support the work being done, then please shut up and sit somewhere in a corner… don’t go around flinging idiotic accusations at a state government that’s doing a damn fine job taking care of its people.

We didn’t bother with the Game today – that was a 2 two-day wonder. Maybe something new for tomorrow.

Girls and Their Right to a Career

Spicy Saturday Pick
Cover of "Daughter"

Spicy Saturday Pick


Post selected as a Spicy Saturday Pick in BlogAdda for 10-Dec-2011

Featured at Symptoms of Disempowerment on 22-Dec-2011.

Featured at Global Voices Online on 17-Dec-2011

Here is my 100th post on Merry Musings – and I wanted to take this time to write of a girl I know, who has been banned from having a career or joining a college course of her wish.

Ananya is a 17-year-old – a bright and wonderful girl. She is now in the 12th form at a Girls’ School. She lives with her Dad, Mom and a little brother.

Just like any girl about to embark into College has some ideas about the course she wants to pursue, Ananya too has some desires. She is extremely talented with her hands – stitching, fabric painting, glass painting, doll making – these are all crafts she excels at – as well as having great grades at school. Her ambition is to become an Interior Designer or Fashion Designer and would like to get into such a College course which will prep her for such a career.

However, her dad has different ideas. In spite of living in the 21st century, his mindset is still stuck in the 1900s. He thinks that girls are only good for being married off. His intentions about his daughter’s studies – to get her into the college next-door and enrol her in a useless course which will definitely not aid her in any way to get a job or become financially independent. And as soon as the course is complete, to get her married off! Convenient, isn’t it?

She is desperate – her Mom is sympathetic, but has no voice where her husband says that his Will is the Law in that house. Her dad is acting like a tyrant – even tries to get rid of her skin products like cleanser and moisturiser – just to make sure that his daughter does not fall into any traps and shame the family name by eloping or getting married outside the community. In fact that seems to be his only concern over his daughter.

Several have tried to change his mind, including his eldest sister who said, “A girl should be equipped to take a job if necessary. If not, she will be a slave in her husband’s home.” But all to no avail. So far, no one has managed to change his mind. Ananya dreads the day she completes her final exams in 12th grade. Then the countdown begins to the day of her marriage – along with the death of a talented girls desires and ambitions.

What do you think of a father who is only concerned about getting his daughter married off? Has he thought of how she will react if her husband turns out be as oppressive as her dad is?Or what if she is married and her husband dies – what will her Dad do then? Or if she is married to a guy who seemed to be perfect but turned out to be a nightmare? I know girls who have been in both situations and the only thing that saved them was that they had a job.

She is a rather modern girl, with a mind of her own. However, her wings are being clipped right now, to make sure that she has no chances of maligning the family name. I imagine it is a case of ‘Prevention is better than Cure.” I wonder why he bothered to teach her or even goad her on to get good grades in school. If he only wanted her to be stuck in a strange family’s kitchen, then he should just have let her stay at her mother’s side and learned the “domestic arts”.

Today she is crying and her pleas for help are falling on sympathetic ears who are helpless to change her dad’s mind. I can imagine what will slowly happen to this girl – either she will just succumb to her Dad’s pressure and agree to get married at the earliest possible opportunity, burying all her fond hopes of a career. Or when she starts college (at least that is definite – dad certainly wants his daughter to have a degree in hand, else her value in the marriage market will fall), she will have friends who will be sympathetic to her problems and offer advice, which in all probability may be the wrong ones, and may take some wrong turns in life. Or she may break free from the golden cage and follow her heart’s desire.

Fathers such as these are extremely myopic. They are only concerned about their duty to their daughters, namely to get them married off, and then it is all out of focus for them. They don’t even take view of the fact that their darling daughter will be the one to suffer because of their archaic thinking.

Dear readers, what do you think Ananya can do other than to submit to the will of the father?