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I realised my privilege during lockdown when I thought of what my domestic help must be going through with an abusive husband… and other people who must be having a difficult time.
When our country went into pause mode, all of a sudden, even though most of us were anticipating it because we knew there was no other way to keep our country safe, the first thing I did was to buy some necessary groceries. I tried very hard not to hoard because I knew it is not right, but ended up buying some things for the kids in large amounts.
I knew my maid would not come from the next day, so I called her and asked if she knew about the lockdown and when she said yes, I told her to be safe and take care. I also assured her that her salary will be transferred to her account and asked her for details. She said that she doesn’t have an account, and she would come and collect it.
I’m ashamed to admit, though, that at the time I did not think of whether she has stocked up at her home too.
Today, her husband came to collect money. I called her to tell her that I gave the money to her husband and also to tell her I gave some groceries too.
She asked me if the lockdown would extend more. I said it may. I could feel the tremble in her voice and asked if everything was ok. She just said yes, and muttered something, and said she was praying that everything should be ok soon.
After disconnecting the phone, I got into my work thinking about her, when it stuck me why she was sad. Her husband is an abusive man. Her only respite was the time when she came for work.
Lockdown must be hell for her.
That’s when I thought, when we, having everything crib about just staying at home there must be so many for whom staying at home is really difficult.
There may be women who have very bad parents in law, how hard it would be for them to stay at home!
I know an old couple who live in the same society. They come down every day in their wheelchair with the help of their maid, sit in the lawn and watch the kids play. I don’t know how claustrophobic they might be feeling now.
I know of a aunty who lives with her son and daughter in law. She looks very sad. She once told me that she looks forward to the evening when she comes down and talks to other ladies of her age. I don’t know how she must be feeling now.
I know of parents who have autistic kids. It must be so difficult for them to make the child understand why they can’t go out suddenly.
There must be men too who have very unreasonable wives. Imagine staying with them throughout the day.
There might be parents who are worried about kids who live in other places.
There might be people who are worried about their parents who are living all alone.
There may be girls who live in houses where the men are brutes and abuse them physically, these men can be uncles, cousins, extended family.
I pray that we come out of this situation soon. I pray for the wellbeing of all the people who are in situations which make them feel that Corona is better.
This too shall pass, some of us will have so much to tell and some of us will have so much to hide.
Image source: shutterstock
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