Chronicling the Days – Rana Bose

Welcome to a new QWF series ‘Chronicling the Days’, specifically for this strange uneasy time of coronavirus and pandemic, of social distancing and self isolation, of lockdown and quarantine. We’re inviting writers in Quebec in April 2020 to submit a story – up to 500 words – of a single day at this time, because while we’re all living through this time, we know that we’re not all living through it in the same way. To stay connected – to know how we’re getting on. Every story is valid.

If you’re interested in submitting a piece, please see the QWF Writes website for further details.

What’s the story of your days?

This piece is by Rana Bose, writing on April 13, 2020.

Pandem Random Through One Way Glass.

Who is this guy who steps out of a car called Crossfire, wearing a maroon baseball cap, noise cancelling headphones on, and carrying a large Coke bottle everyday at 1 PM?

Who is this frenetic lady, with a woven basket on her back, (like a tea-garden worker in Darjeeling), with an untrained but sweet, black Labrador, who drags her to a health food store everyday, while she screams “stop, stop,” interminably?

What is on the minds of these 32-year old, or maybe 25-year old joggers– who chat, cough and sneeze, un-N95-ed, as they move along in their lululemon tights, against the cytokine storm ahead?

Who is this fedora-ed man, whose beagle, moves slightly faster than him, tirelessly dragging his ears everyday–until they both flop down on the same bench next to a bus stop?

Where did this foursome unmasked family come from, husband with a tuque on, and the woman with a flop-hat, two toddlers who charge around in circles, run into the middle of the street, squealing and squeaking, while the parents giggle and fart—loudly?

Who are these two bearded men, stumbling along in black and plaid, walking exactly 2 metres apart, with cap and mask—of “vulnerable” age, one down the middle of the road, and the other along the pavement?


He is a carpenter, working for cash, in a house across the street and the coke bottle has no rum, he tells someone crudely into his phone. He has a sandwich and a banana, slams the door shut, and goes back to his circular life, and the sawdust explodes on his face as the anti-kick shoulders whip back in.

She lived alone, somewhere way West in a barn, where the Symbionese Liberation Army, once stockholmed Patty, and she now exiles further up north, where plastic back packs are banned and dogs cry for raw meat and carrots, and horses have left the barn.

They are kitchen-less condo owners, who app-food every night– and Oh! they like “vindellooo” so much. They do trend adjusted, smoothening of exponential projection models, but the MF-rs are just clued-ed out about the connections between big data, values, life and tempering of dried chilli and black mustard.

He has been living with Spencer, (of Tracy looks), for the last 15 years, in a subsidized elderly care home, and the bus-stop bench, three blocks away, is their daily Zatopek moment.

This is an honest, non-swearing family from just a bit to the west, headed for a park, where the yellow tape is already on and they don’t know yet, and they will shout, scream and tear-up, when they find out—and still fart. Because they have been betteraving, cabbaging and bereaving every night, till CERB kicks in.

Those two are conversing about Sacco and Vanzetti.

3 thoughts on “Chronicling the Days – Rana Bose

  1. What a wonderful observation of life in our neighbourhood of NDG. Perhaps Rana Bose has always observed in detail but this time gives us the opportunity to look at people as persons from the required distance. Perhaps the distance helps observation. But there will be some who will continue in the after time unaffected by the present.


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