Weekend Coffee : ART & Conversation


I’m glad you visited. While I am taking part in the Weekend coffee share by Eclectic Ali I’m not doing it every week. Being an introvert I can handle entertaining or being entertained, once in a fortnight at the most. That’s my answer for not inviting you over last week. Anyways, since it was raining cats and dogs here; you couldn’t have come over. You should have seen the way the wind blew, the force with which the rain fell all day and all night without taking a breather, rattling the windows and the doors. I couldn’t imagine what it must be like for those who stayed in low-lying areas or those who stayed near the sea. Wait! I have a video of how bad it was in places near the sea. Watch it and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, the sun is out and shining again and despite the wet weather for 4 days all my laundry is done. I’m hoping I can go for a walk tomorrow morning and get some of the Vitamin D my bones so badly need. We’ve been stuck indoors thanks to the showers but I am not complaininh for I love the sound of the rain and the way the house gets all dark. Some would call it gloomy but it reminds me of holidays as a child at my grandmother’s home. Most importantly when it rains the dust settles down which means lesser cleaning for me!

How has the weather been at your end?


Oops! I’ve been talking and I forgot to offer you something to eat and drink. I’m sorry. Would you like coffee or tea? My older one makes excellent ginger tea. She’s become quite the expert during the lockdown, fortunately for me. There’s black tea too if you do not like milk in your tea. I got some amazing tea from Sikkim which is in the North of India. Would you like to try it?

And now for some bites, would you like some chocolate cookies. They are fresh from the oven. My younger one ( remember I told you last time?) is on a baking spree.

If you prefer savory instead then here; we bought this from a famous store close by. They are known for their savory. Don’t be frightened. We’ve had them too. The restaurant maintains high safety standards. The restaurants are finally serving. Even small ones have opened up in Lockdown 3.0


By the way is domestic help allowed in your society? While the government’s passed a law stating that they cannot be banned from the society, our society refuses to let part-time help in. It’s created bad blood between the ‘Haves and Have Nots.’ By ‘Haves’ I mean the ones who have permanent full-time domestic help staying with them and ‘Have Nots’ implies the ones who have part-time help. The ‘Haves’ who form the Managing committee say that part-time helpers should not be allowed because it is risky. The ‘Have Nots’ feel its not fair to them as the Government has eased the lockdown and other societies have started allowing part-time help in.

The argument by the ‘Haves’ is that part-time maids pose a threat as they could be potential carriers of the virus (moving in and out of the building and living in areas that may be containment zones) and that since they are ‘uneducated’ they do not understand the seriousness of the situation. The ‘Have Nots’ argue that the maids are as prone to the virus as anybody else who steps out of the house ( which includes the residents) and the discipline of wearing a mask has more to do with the attitude of the person than the education.

I kind of agree with the ‘Have Nots.’ Not because I am one of them but based on my experience during these times, it’s more the educated, rich who seem to be the ones spreading the virus because they are the ones who travel around and come im contact with more people. The poor contract it from them while working at their homes.

When the corona virus made its dreaded entry into Mumbai, the ‘Haves’ spoke about how dreadful it would be if it entered the slums where the ‘Have Nots’ stay. ‘The slums are a landmine waiting to explode,’ they said. With 3.6 lakh ( 360,000) people living per sq.km in Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum spread over 613 hectares, their fear wasn’t misplaced. Yet Dharavi / and other places where the ‘Have Nots,’ reside proved every person wrong leaving the ‘Haves’ scratching their heads. They definitely could take a leaf out of Dharavi’s book and learn a lesson or two. Check the newspaper article below.

The first positive case of COVID-19 in the locality was recorded on April 1, 2020. By the end of April, there were as many as 491 positive cases with a doubling period of 18 days. In May, the area saw 1,216 cases with over 56 deaths. In June, however, Dharavi reported zero deaths to the pandemic. The case doubling time improved to 43 days in May and 78 days in June.

The Hindu

What do you think about the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ in your country?

Would you like some more coffee or tea?

When I stepped out for my morning walk on the 1st of August after the lockdown was eased I assumed that everybody would be wearing a mask because of the fine that the government said it would impose on those who didn’t wear one ( not that I believed there was anyway the fine could be imposed here. Its tough to monitor it here). However while many did wear one, there were others who did not have a mask on. Those who weren’t wearing one did not belong to any specific demographic group – young or old.

There were some from the group of ‘Haves’ who probably were not used to the least amount of discomfort and hence decided not to wear a mask and there were some from the group of ‘Have Nots’ who probably felt that it was some fad of the rich. It was easy to categorize the latter because this group mainly comprised of jobless lads ( they couldn’t be more than 25 in age) who probably did not care about the law in general. The former that is the ‘haves’, comprised of both men and women in the age group of forty and above. It was a scattered graph, really.

I hope you’re not bored. Have I confused you now with this ‘Have and Have Nots’ comparison? I’m sorry. I got carried away. Its just that over the last few days, I’ve been reminded time and again how skewed our perception is and how easily we misjudge those less fortunate than us Do you feel the same?

Anyways, enough of all this, how have you been? Has the lockdown eased in your area? Is everybody wearing a mask? Are there fines for not wearing one?

Would you like some more tea? Did you watch any movies or read any new books that you’d like to talk about? I’ve been reading ‘The Purple Hibiscus’ and of the movies I watched, I found the ‘Last Breath’ particularly interesting. Its a true story made in the form of a documentary about a deep sea diver who was cut off from his umbilical for 35 minutes before being rescued.

Other than that I’ve been dusting and mopping the house and getting rid of cobwebs. Its the season of spiders. No matter what you do they come back. And there’s the fungi that finds its way into anything that’s wood. Yesterday I used vinegar to clean it off. Hopefully,it does not return. Do you know any other way to get rid of it?

Before you leave let me show you my latest painting . It belongs to my lockdown series ‘Places I wish to visit,’ which I began two months ago. Can you identify the place?

When my bestie from college saw this painting, she sent me her photograph. I have to show it to you because it was fun to see her at the same spot that I had painted. Isn’t it uncanny?

Anyways, I am so glad you took the time to visit. It was fun talking to you. You’re a good listener. It would be lovely to have you visit again. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead.

Bye until next time


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12 responses to “Weekend Coffee : ART & Conversation”

  1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    This is a great post, Smitha. We have this situation here with live in domestic help and live out. Both are allowed to work but most people here live in houses and not apartment blocks so it is very much an individual choice. Most people with live out help have chosen not to have them come in. People here are quite scared of this virus and its quite bad here in our townships and among the poor. It’s not picky though, C-19 impacts us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Robbie for visiting 🙂.
      Absolutely thats why this whole set of rules made by the building committee here sounds illogical because it could affect anybody and yet the rules are discriminatory. It’s come to a point where a legal notice had to be served just to drive the point home. I agree it is risky and one must be extra careful before letting anybody in.


      1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

        Absolutely. I am also tired of house work and it is tempting to get my help back. But the infection is peaking here and I keep reminding myself that it isn’t worth the risk.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          I know thats the only thing that holds me back. I’m not sure though how long. I mean just can’t imagine carrying on like this till the end of the year. Honestly though Robbie you’re managing it all extremely well. Take care. Hope the break is giving you a little ‘me’ time.


          1. robbiesinspiration Avatar

            Thank you, Smitha. You take care of yourself too, and your beautiful family.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

            Thank you, Smitha. You take care of yourself too, and your beautiful family.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. almeidadepaulo Avatar

    Wow Smitha, it’s a beautiful paint, I know the place (Lisbon)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Yes😊. Wow! I’m so glad you got it right. Nothing better than having your art identified correctly. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. judeitakali Avatar

    Love the photographs. People here break the masks rule so much. It’s almost Normal, but that’s because there are less than a handful of deaths recorded here.
    The weather is almost perfect here, can’t complain. It drizzles, and shines all in one day. Quite beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thanks Jude for writing back. Where is ‘here’ for you? I’m sorry I do not know where you are based. Sounds like great weather and its wonderful to know that the number of deaths are handful there. Take care and stay safe🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

      HI Jude, you are lucky then. C-19 is really bad here in SA and I’ve heard its quite bad in Zambia too. Stay safe, Jude.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. judeitakali Avatar

        Yeah I watch and read about SA in the news, there’s quite a bit going on there but I guess it’s a transitional time. I’m in Uganda, cases are rising slowly but still in the hundreds and deaths are still in the tens

        Liked by 2 people

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