I see lots and lots of children going to school today, but there's little joy on their faces; instead looks of stress and tension cloud their otherwise smiling young visages. "What's happening?" I ask a youngster walking along with his mother.

She was late, and from outside the hall she heard the sound of noisy revelry flowing. She entered, and  heard everyone gasp, “Kamala, is it you?” came the lone voice of Premila, sounding much older but still familiar, after all Premila and she had sat next to each other for well nigh five years as best friends, till in the last year, their teacher fed up with their constant jabbering, and sometimes whispering had separated them. But it didn’t look like Premila, it was an old woman, and suddenly she knew it was her old friend, now aged.

It was on one of these Zoom calls that this pretty friend asked, “What’s with the beard Bob?”

“I’ve always had a beard!” I replied quickly.

“True, but you’re suddenly growing it longer!”

It beats me, we haven’t beaten Covid yet. Everybody but everybody has a remedy for it, and most of them who have found one, call me up to suggest how they’re beating the virus, “Have a hot water bath every two hours!” says a friend.

While thinking of my late mother I remembered a conversation I’d had with her: ‘Bob d’you remember the times Dad carried you, when you walked with him on the hills?”

“Yes, ma,” I’d said.