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The Pandemic has created havoc by not only taking human life but also by snatching the only source of income of many like Naina…
Unable to take the stress, Naina seemed perplexed and disturbed. Despite texting her old clients, she was hardly getting any response. If things continued the same way, then in a few days time she will have to bid bye to her only hope.
Naina had never envisaged a situation like this; In January 2020, “Beauty Secrets” completed a year and she was at the top of the world. She had got herself and her Assistant Mehek a saree too. But with the onset of the Pandemic, all her dreams were about to bite the dust.
Naina and Sameer had shifted to Pune owing to Sameer’s job. Sameer was working as a clerk in a cooperative bank and hence it was becoming increasingly difficult for the family of three to have a decent living. Naina, a graduate had always shown an inclination towards job but refrained from pursuing any, as Sameer wanted her to look after their two-year-old. Naina didn’t want to upset her husband and continued happily with her life without any regrets.
But no sooner the ever-increasing expenses began giving her sleepless nights. Sameer’s salary was a meagre 30000, which would be over in twenty days. His credit card would come to their rescue for the residual period and the subsequent month when it would be time to pay off the card dues, Naina would be teary-eyed as she would be hardly left with any money. The vicious circle continued every month.
Naina had become sick and tired of this. She wanted to earn, urged to contribute towards her household income but to no avail. She got a ray of hope when Shilpa, her childhood friend suggested her to hone the skills of eyebrow threading. Naina had never thought in that direction, but Shilpa’s words motivated her to a great extent…
“Shilpa is right! There won’t be any investment. Once I learn it properly, I can give service to the ladies in the neighbouring area and make some money” Her eyes twinkled with hope.
Her only fear was getting Sameer’s consent. She thought of learning the skill first, before putting a grievance in front of her husband. She explored some online tutorials but soon realized the need for practical training. After a thorough search, she zeroed down on “ Beauty tips “ a salon close to her home, which was imparting one-month practical training to the enthusiastic few at a reasonable rate.
“This is it!” Naina was firm and it showed on her face.
She was excited as well as nervous at the same time. Excited at the thought of learning a new skill and nervous as for the very first time, she was hiding something pivotal from her husband.
After Sameer would leave for office, Naina and Aayush would go to the beauty salon, where Naina’s practical training continued for two hours. Naina would carry Aayush’s toys, and colouring books with her to keep him occupied and the young one loved this outing of his to the hilt.
“ You do it like a pro, Naina…” Sangita Di’s words were music to Naina’s ears.
As soon as she completed her course, she gathered courage and spoke about her desire to Sameer. To her utter surprise Sameer didn’t object much, rather suggested,
“Instead of having clients at home, why don’t you open your own small parlour? Maybe I can talk to my bank for a loan”
Naina had never expected this to be coming her way. She just couldn’t hold herself back and rushed to give Samer a tight hug. She couldn’t have been happier. Finally, after initial formality, Naina and Sameer managed to get a loan of Rs. 10 lakhs for setting their own parlour. They took a small shop near their house on rental basis and that’s where “Beauty secrets” emerged.
Naina had toiled hard for increasing the awareness and branding of the salon. She had an assistant for haircuts and she herself did rest of the services like threading, waxing and facial. Though initially, she wasn’t able to make many gains, gradually her profit surged and that satisfied her to the core.
But Alas! Since the onset of this pandemic, her dreams have died down. When she closed her shop in March 3rd week, she had never in her wildest dreams had envisaged that the wait will be so long. Every day she would sleep praying for things to get better, but to no avail. Though her loan EMI was eased for the time being, still she felt the heat of it every second. Sameer had strict instructions that health should be prioritized and hence she didn’t have the courage to speak to her beloved on this…
“Sameer is right with his words. But what do I do now?” Her face was pale with concern.
She was elated when reopening orders were passed by the Government. Adhering to safety guidelines, she opened her small salon to the public, without hardly realizing what lay ahead. It’s been seven days, and she hasn’t got a single customer. The place which used to be thronged by ladies now wore a deserted look. Despite texting her old clients, she is hardly getting a callback. Utterly disturbed, Naina has no other option left than staring at the parlour door with blank eyes and a white face.
The Pandemic has created havoc by not only taking human life but also by snatching the only source of income of many like Naina. It requires a lot of planning and effort to start a small venture. After putting in so much hard work, you just can’t watch your place, in a desolate state. Hope, things fall in place and their lost smile is restored.
Naina’s story is the second in the series “Pandemic blues” and rest are to follow soon.
Picture Credits – Pexels
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A former Banking and SAP professional, I love scribbling my thoughts. Mother to two boys,
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