Coronavirus lockdown: How social media, hobbies are helping to lift the moods

Alisha Shinde
Saturday, 4 April 2020

During quarantine, ongoing challenges and trends on social media have engaged and entertained people and have helped to spread positivity around.

Not stepping out of the home has led to more hours on social media. Keeping in touch with friends and family and the world around, sharing homemade recipes, posting throwback travel pictures and getting updates on COVID-19 – social media has come to our rescue more than ever and is helping us cope with the quarantine.

People are also rising to the occasion and taking up challenges and following viral trends on social media to spread positivity around, and kill boredom. Among the ongoing ones, the Saree challenge and the Dalgona Coffee trend have caught people’s fancy. 

A LITTLE TWIST
“I have actually been making this coffee often with the same technique, but I didn’t know the fancy name that came with it. I made it because its recipe is a tad different from mine, in the sense that it’s sweeter. I added a twist to it. I have some mint coffee and caramel syrup at home, so I added the mint coffee, milk as per the original recipe, and I topped it up with caramel syrup. 

“The fun part is the little exercise that comes with it, which is quite an experience and since it’s already become famous I would recommend everyone to do this little activity at home. However, I would recommend my version, and you can also play around with other ingredients.”
— Saba Poonawala, makeup and hair artist, Pune

ADD BROWNIES?
“The other day, while scrolling on social media, I was bombarded with pictures of #dalgonacoffee. When I got to know what it was, ‘pheti hui coffee’ what most of us called it as a kid, I wanted to try it too. Just for the trend. But when I tried it for the first time, it didn’t turn out to be as expected. I failed at it. The method though easy, the taste depends on how well you can blend the ingredients and in the right proportion. When I tried it for the second time, it came out perfectly well. I made it using the original method, but I would love to improvise on it by adding brownies to it as a topping, though not really sure of how it would taste.”
— Avneet Bagga, Pune

ENJOY THE TREND
“Home quarantine has led everyone to be social-media savvy, and I have been a big hand-beaten coffee fan. In India, people have been having this for long, but nobody knew that this would be a trend someday. For example, hand-beaten coffee is available at Prakash Coffee House, Ambala, which is a famous spot! I too have been having this coffee since childhood, but still, I decided to follow this trend. It was fun to try this as I mixed caramel just to add a bit of flavour and I have also added vanilla essence and one scoop of vanilla ice-cream to the milk. If caramel is not available in your kitchen, then you can add caramelised sugar to it, by just melting sugar in the pan.”
— Abhishek Bhasin, Delhi, and his Instagram handle is @dilli_ka_foodie

SAREE CHALLENGE
By now, you must have been tagged by friends and family to participate in the saree challenge, wherein you post a solo picture of yourself wearing a saree. Then you tag more women encouraging them to do so. While all women look beautiful in the traditional garment, the underlying meaning of the challenge is to appreciate the good things in life and to add beauty to it.

A MOOD LIFTER
“I accepted the saree challenge for two reasons — 1. because it feels good when someone compliments you, and 2. because wearing a saree is now limited to a few occasions. When I was tagged in the challenge, the first thing I did was to hunt for an individual picture of me in a saree, and successfully finding one was like completing a difficult task. I realised that if you are determined to do something, you can achieve it. It is not difficult to appreciate the smaller things in life even if you are amidst a lockdown which is for the greater good — you don’t always have to step out to find something good in life, so stay indoors and appreciate the people in your life.”
— Manasi Dabir Bhide, Pune

A THOUGHTFUL GESTURE
“Since it’s out on social media, women all over are getting likes and reactions from people. What I realised is that when I took the challenge and tagged other women, I thought about so many of them, which is something that people don’t usually do since everyone is busy with their own lives. One tag led to following up on their wellbeing and checking on so many people which was the best part. In times like this, it is crucial to not only appreciate people but also remind them that we are thinking about them. I feel all the women out there should take the challenge and feel good about themselves. In the current situation, we all need to stay positive and happy.”
— Bhakti Kenjale, Pune

SPREAD HAPPINESS
"Well, in these dark times we need more and more positivity around us. The Saree challenge aims to spread joy among women and is also a fun exercise during this lockdown. It became a mood lifter for me and many other women out there who were gloomy and worried at home. The Saree challenge, albeit for some time, allows us to relieve our stress. For me, the underlying reason to take up the challenge was to look at the positive side of life because once we follow the lockdown seriously and get out of the crisis, all of us are going to return to happy times. The picture, which I posted, reflects happiness, freedom, which we are yearning for nowadays. More women should take up this challenge because in some way it instils positivity in us. It also helps us build a connection and bond with others."
— Aditi Paul, Kolkata

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