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Life is Beautiful – a memoir in pandemic

This lockdown was a journey of many ups and downs, with struggling nights to joyful mornings. Lockdown really has taught us how to fight back with tough times without losing the grip of our emotions.

I joined a corporate family not very long ago. Last year a day after my sister in law got married a tour hometown in Bengal, I’d joined office as Architect-Projects.

The corporate life was very new to me in mostly good ways. The hour-long metro commute and a 15 min walk each way was my very own ‘me-time’ between work and family life. I’d read my favorite books or call up my far-off bestie occasionally or even watch pre-downloaded movies uninterrupted in the metro.

I’ve had my days of Work-from-Home before the lockdown too when I’d felt not very well. This was one of the luxurious perks for me that I cautiously used say not more than may be 7/8 days in the past year.Life was balanced so to say.

Fast forward to 3rd week of March, things started changing so rapidly everywhere, my locality, our office and all over the world; and here we are with over two months of Work-from-Home. I can’t deny I’m a laid-back person some days, yet I didn’t like the sound of it. Something was not quite right about this indefinitely long WFH announcement. I’d already taken charge of all household without any help a week back, with our half-decade long house-help on paid leave.

Suddenly there was no ‘me-time’ at all. The lines between work hours and rest or entertainment hours started to blur out. My husband, also on WFH was in his own silo, putting even extra hours on work. The TV was soon a permanent extended wok screen for him. More than 120 people were relieved from his company to reduce the economic stress. This got us worried even more and then on I didn’t bother asking for much help from him.

We were practically roommates leading separate lives. Somebody still had to cook and clean thrice a day, now with office work or some training. I tended to the plants in my balcony well, with pigeons having laid 3 pairs of eggs so far; but somehow, I couldn’t tend to myself well enough I feel.

I’d watch the eggs hatch and beautiful little pigeon babies growing out of them while they were wreaking havoc in my tiny balcony garden with their droppings. I also watched myself not living up to my fullest, worried with all kinds of things, from worrying sick about my retired parents at my hometown to running out of groceries to the cycle of cooking-cleaning-cooking.

My husband couldn’t get any cake delivered to our place, so we had burgers for my Birthday, my 30th birthday, lost in lockdown.

We had Eid without Sewai, although the Firni turned out great. It was all for us though, as there were no friends or family visits this Eid.

However, there was one event that’s dilutes everything crazy going on so far.

Remember the sister in law who got married in Bengal last year? They live here in Delhi and was full term pregnant by 12th May. The to-be-mom-dad duo had moved in with us at the onset of the lockdown.

A day before she was to be admitted in the private hospital she’d been visiting through her pregnancy,she tested positive for Covid-19. Life came to a stop that fateful day.

The hospital denied her treatment. From AIIMS to Safdarjung to LNJP, no stone was left unturned to get her to the doctors she needed to deliver the precious one.

Being at GE Healthcare, myself, my colleagues and my manager along with some of the very revered people in this corporate family ran from pillar to post to get her medical attention. We had a fortnight long nightmare.

A day before Eid all of us tested negative, while the negative test result of the new mother came the very morning of Eid. We spent a happy, content and relieved festival with little but enough resources.Our little miracle Manha, is cooing in agreement as I type this out.

In retrospection, my problems that I was getting tired of, seem so silly now. Two months have got us all quite some experience and struggle, and support from our loved ones, both within relatives and from work.

To me, Manha is living testimony that life must go on.

She brought in with her celebration and cooperation, dependability on loved ones and tested us for endurance. Life indeed is beautiful.

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The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by shireen


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