“Life is a race and we were running behind our aims and our goals. All of a sudden a deadly virus arrived and life came to a complete standstill,” says Arun D’Souza, an avid adventure buff in Oman, who has traversed the length and breadth of the sultanate and inspired scores of others to take up outdoor activities, from trekking to rock climbing, over the years. During the lockdown, however, D’Souza laments that he could not do what he loves most, but discloses that he got transformed into a self-styled chef. Here’s what he has to say:
The lockdown was imposed to control the virus spread. I being a hardcore adventure personality had to all of a sudden stop all my adventure activities. That meant, no weekly treks, no desert adventures, no off-road drives or camping, no cycling, no rock climbing, etc, to maintain social distancing.
As weeks passed by, there was no sign of the virus being controlled, to keep myself occupied, I started walking daily for 5km early in the morning and 3km in the evening. The mornings also kept me busy with my office work.
I love plants, and so everyday in the evening, I started watering the plants of the building garden as the gardener wasn’t coming due to the lockdown.
I also revisited and refreshed memories of the past nine years of my adventure activities in Oman. Few adventures videos of my desert drive, which I participated in the 1st quarter of 2020, were also complied, edited and posted on YouTube.
I can now also call myself a wonderful chef. I helped my wife in the kitchen – it was her dream come true to see me cooking and helping her in the kitchen, besides in other household chores. This has never happened for the past many, many years.
I learnt to prepare many dishes. To name a few, I made mutton biryani, grilled chicken, cicken pizza, hummus, a variety of breads, veg noodles and veg Manchurian, and butter chicken with garlic naan. Few pictures of my yummy and delicious cooking also went around town, and I now feel I can venture into the restaurant business, too.
As we all know, due to our busy schedule, we hardly get time to spend with our family. However, due to this lockdown, I’ve spent quality time at home. We say family prayers everyday and enjoy sumptuous dinners together.
On one hand, I definitely would like to erase the year 2020 from my life but, on the other, I will also cherish the lockdown moments for the rest of my life.
We pray to God Almighty to keep us all safe and to end the spread of this virus soon!