I wake up without an alarm at 7:30am to a beautiful April morning with pleasant weather. April has always been one of my favourite months in New Zealand. April is about pristine blue skies, wearing shades of red, clicking pictures at The Domain, bidding farewell to beaches, resuming the use of my thermos coffee mug after months, listening to Sid Sriram’s songs on loop, and the list goes on.
However, the first few days of the month are mired in gloom – a prescient warning from the last week of March. The tension brewing between my partner and I reaches a crescendo and almost makes me lose my voice. Cruel words are thrown around carelessly – no, I will not elaborate – but the damage is done. I tell him I need space. We don’t speak for over a day which is a lot given we converse everyday without fail. This simple act of self-preservation is enough to elicit an apology and the self-accountability he owes me. We continue to tread on unstable ground over subsequent weeks, but he seems to realize that I won’t put up with him lashing out at me.
Meanwhile, H and I say goodbye to daylight savings which automatically translates to waking up “early” and decent mealtimes. It means familiar sunsets at 6pm that I am accustomed to. But April weather keeps us bamboozled by oscillating between migraine-inducing hot afternoons to breezy evenings. We also begin to experiment with HelloFresh: a service that delivers a set of meal-kits spanning a week at our doorstep. Not only are their recipes refreshingly different, but also delicious enough to have us temporarily suspend our takeaway habits.
As for consuming content, my sister and I watch a film adaptation of Sachin Kundelkar’s Cobalt Blue on Netflix, which disappoints us deeply given its one of our favourite books. Soon after, I end up returning a borrowed copy of The Sapiens (by Yuval Noah Harari) to the library after having struggled to keep a reading schedule. I purchase a Kindle version with hopes that I’ll eventually catch up.
Teaching gains momentum; I diligently make up for lost research hours by working over the weekend. As I skim through the material provided for the quantitative biology labs, I find myself getting genuinely fascinated with the subject. Moreover, I begin proof-reading another manuscript from the research group I was previously a part of only to get frustrated with typos and a general lack of referencing. Overall, I realize that I thrive when my schedule is packed, despite bad weather and period cramps.
Easter arrives and brings with it a much deserved respite from work. H and I take a ferry to Waiheke Island where we beach hop. Unfortunately we end up not indulging in the one thing the island is renowned for – wine. Most vineyards are either completely booked or closed due to staff shortage. Nonetheless, we have a great day and click tons of pics. To top this, we successfully manage to tick some items off our Easter itinerary – a fun photo-shoot at The Domain and a live in-home recording session.
Two days later I wake up with an alarming tickle in my throat. And that’s when our April mood transitions into something that we least expect. The tickle snowballs into a dry cough, spells of mild fever, exhaustion and body ache over the next day. I suspect it’s The Dreaded C but the RAT kit says otherwise. Needless to say, H’s health takes a downturn along with mine. I jot down my symptoms to keep track of my health and promptly inform Healthline. Following another night of disturbed sleep with chills and high fever, I finally test positive for Covid with H following me hot on the heels.
We are thankful for each other’s company and for friends who deliver groceries and medicines at our doorstep. We gradually recover over the next eight to ten days. There are two noticeable side-effects of the virus, one being repulsion to coffee – which turns out to be temporary, thankfully – and an aversion to Instagram. Over the course of my illness, I consume a lot of garbage content on the interwebz that is for the most part, pointless Bollywood gossip from one of my favourite subreddits. One of my guilty pleasures involves following up on Indian celeb gossip. I watch Tanmay Bhat’s silly vlogs and reaction videos on YouTube. I binge on old episodes from Koffee with Karan to distract myself. H and I binge on a zombie apocalypse centered K-drama – All Of Us Are Dead. Memes keep me going through my sickness and I’m ever so grateful to them for lightening up my otherwise bleak days.
On the day our isolation period is over – which almost coincides with the end of this eventful month – we wake up to exciting news: SPCA has an adult cat up for fostering. The pleasant timing of the opportunity makes us take up their offer to bring home a gorgeous black beauty named Hannah. We are besotted by her. She’s everything you would want your cat to be – cuddly, sweet and absolutely adorable!
And so the good C brings April to a close.