What I thought was merely a week long trip turned out to be the worst period of my life. I left my son with my in-laws in March and haven’t seen him since.
Around Holi, my husband, I and my child Vihaan, planned to visit Rajasthan, which was home, for a few days. The trip was going to be amazing. Meeting friends and family after a quarter of a year is always filled with fun, food, emotional bonding and happiness.
Vihaan had turned four in December and my mother-in-law insisted we leave Vihaan with them. We were going back for a puja in a few days, anyway. Since we have a joint family, there were a lot of children and loving elders to look after him.
Vihaan’s school had called off all classes due to the increasing COVID-19 cases in Mumbai. This just helped us strengthen our decision to leave him and there and we flew back to Mumbai.
In the four years of his life, this was the first time he wasn’t with us. My husband was busy with his pending office work and I, too, had my lectures and exam arrangements to make.
But everything in the house reminded me of him. His toys were everywhere, there was his cycle and his photos too! Though we video called five times a day, the rest of the time was just too difficult to handle. A child fills that space in the house that we never thought was vacant. I was literally counting days when we went back and brought him home with us.
Just two more days now. It was great to see the calendar. I booked my tickets. And my husband decided to stay back for some official work. Meanwhile, I packed my bags and put happiness in my pocket.
The eve before my departure, a news anchor read out loud about the ‘horrifying case in Bhilwara, Rajasthan.’ That was our native place! A doctor who had returned from Spain tested positive for coronavirus and had been attending to patients for several days.
This petrifying and hair-raising news turned everything upside down. Nearly 6000 people had visited the hospital and that doctor in the duration. The government sealed all district and state borders. No commuting was allowed. And a team of doctors and medical aides was formed to check each and every person in the vicinity of the hospital.
Medical tests were done in every part of the town and no one was allowed to step out at any cost. There was a three-layer curfew in place and police in every corner of the town. I was in tears when I saw the news. We called called home and asked them to look after each other.
Though my in-laws would look after Vihaan better than I could, I couldn’t help but cry impatiently. My tears were not so much for not being able to meet him but for the uncertainty of the length of the ban. For how many days or months!
Janta curfew was announced on the March 22nd and then from March 31st, the there was no commuting in Rajasthan, thanks to the thoughtless doctor. And then began the 21 day lockdown which, by now, has been extended twice!
It’s been more than a month since I saw my child and I miss him so much. Everyone is busy playing and engaging with their kids in one way or another. And a working mum like me finds the lack of opportunity in this situation extremely heart-wrenching.
I miss filling his tummy with relishing meals, to be with him 24*7, to craft and play with him. And I miss cuddling with him and hugging him, I miss his giggle and laughing with him. I miss living with my child!
But it is okay. Some times we need to sit back and be patient. Just patient. We need accept that it is what it is. At least, he is with our family and getting to know the better. Adjusting and being a part of the family a little more.
Let this happen. And let us accept it. Let me learn to overcome my fears. And let me make myself a little more firm and rigid and just a little more mouldable.
The lockdown has taught me to stretch myself beyond my boundaries. To overcome self-made proclamations about myself. I hope I come out of this stronger than ever. And I hope I am better prepared for another similar situation.
But from the soul, I hope, that the pandemic vanishes off soon. May we all be happy and healthy again. I hope we all get to laugh together again. And may I get to meet my kid soon again.
P.S. This is all that I am going through every minute but we at least we are inside. My applause and salute to all moms who all are undergoing this uncertain interspace from their kids just for the sake of everyone’s safety and well-being . We owe this life to you.
Picture credits: Pexels
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