Lockdown Routines: For Odia Writer Dash Benhur, It’s Like A Double Lockdown

In Our Special Series, Sahitya Akademi Award Winner Tells OB He's Alone At Home & Forced To Do Household Chores For The First Time

The fact that the novel coronavirus has brought the world to its knees, rendering even the most developed nations powerless, has pained Jitendra Narayan Dash, who writes under the pseudonym Dash Benhur.

With the country under lockdown, Dash is rediscovering himself.

“The situation is pathetic, but for me, it is a novel internship. I am now discovering myself on a different plain altogether,” says the Odia Sahitya Akademi award winner.

He is all alone at home now. “My wife is in Cambridge, USA, with my son’s family. The domestic help has long been absent, from even before the lockdown started. The immediate neighbours are not there in their rented houses. I am left to myself and feel like being under a double lockdown,” observes Dash.

As he wonders what will happen locally, nationally and globally post Covid-19, Dash feels the world will change for ever on a myriad of fronts.

“Individually, though, I now feel quite empowered. I had never ever cooked food, washed utensils, watered the entire terrace garden with 85 potted plants, swept the whole house or washed clothes. Presently I’m doing all that with special interest,” reveals Dash.

There were a few failures in the beginning, but he has overcame obstacles and declares himself as ‘successful’ in the home front.

“Further, I never had so much time to myself. Now I think more, read a lot and write a few pieces whenever I feel like it. I have also started a few innovative postings for children on my Facebook wall regularly to entertain them in this locked-down situation. It has also given me a rare chance to finalise a few unfinished manuscripts left neglected for years,” Dash informs.

While coping with the unprecedented situation, Dash has learnt the art of respecting loneliness.

“But one thing I am not able to cope with is the failing of human beings all over the world,” he admits.

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