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Pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives and continues to do so. But what breaks us, can probably makes us stronger too!
“The situation here is bad. Very bad. I don’t think we would be able to travel,” says my mother over the phone.
“It’s ok, Ma. Nothing matters more than your safety.”
“Yes,” she sighs. “I wonder sometimes, if we’ll be able to meet at all…..”
My heart skips a beat. All through my life, I have witnessed my mother staying strong and optimistic, braving all the blows life threw at her. Now hearing this, a feeling of dread settle into my stomach. This is probably the third or fourth time in the last few months, since my parent’s plan to travel to their native city got cancelled. All thanks to the pandemic!
“Ma, please don’t think like that,” I implore, forcing cheer into my voice. “Everything will be alright, you see. Just have some patience.”
I speak to my mother the same way she did when I was small. Has Ma grown very old or I’ve grown mighty big that today we see ourselves in the opposite roles?
“Look at the screen!” I whisper urgently, trying to shift my daughter’s gaze from the sky outside the window to the animated face on the screen of my phone. Instantly, her face scrunches up in protest and an emphatic ‘No!’ escapes her tight lips.
“Pleeease beta!” I try cajoling her. “See, your friends are all there.”
That catches her attention, though only for a short while. Ultimately I sigh and give up. After a year of online studies, I now find her attention wavering too often. Making her sit and study has become a task in itself. As the teacher continues with her class, I sit pondering when things will go back to normal or if ever it will!
“Ma! I want to go to school.”
My 3 year old, who has just started school albeit online, looks at me with pleading eyes. Swallowing the lump in my throat, I answer, “Of course, you will. But not now.”
“Why not?” He asks, cocking his head to one side.
“Well, you know there is a bad guy called coronavirus roaming everywhere. If we go outside, he might catch us. So, once he goes away, you can go to school and wherever you like.”
After thinking about this for a while, he asks me the one question I don’t have an answer to.
“When will coronavirus go away Ma?”
I stare at his innocent face while my heart breaks into a million pieces. At an age, where children are supposed to play outside in scorching sun, jump in muddy puddles, or climb trees and ride bicycles, celebrate birthdays and other functions with their friends; our kids are locked up inside their homes. However, what saddens me the most is that my son, young as he is, doesn’t even realise what he is losing out on.
The best phase of a man’s life – the golden days of childhood !
“I have a meeting…will have my lunch later.”
“You select the movie. I’ll just make a call and join you in a minute.”
“You go sleep. I’ll try to finish by 12.”
I stare at my husband’s exhausted face and quietly leave the room. I would be lying if I said that all of this doesn’t irritate me or test my patience. In the early days of the pandemic, it surely did. But no more. Now, when I look at him, I see an exhausted face and an over stressed mind which is brimming with responsibilities and anxiety. This ‘work from home’ culture is not only draining his energy but also playing havoc with his health. Earlier when he went to office, atleast there was a fixed time of going and coming, of working days and holidays. Now those lines have merged. I live in fear knowing that the cup is likely to spill any moment now.
As I sit thinking about our present situation, my eyes wander to the window. A huge red moon stares back at me while dozens of stars form a large blanket of illuminating fireflies. Looking at the globule, I wonder how long the moon and the stars have been in existence. What all they have witnessed since time immemorial – rising and falling of dynasties, world wars, epidemic, famines, droughts, earthquakes, floods and many more things which I myself am not aware of. I imagine those scores of men, women and children who have survived these calamities and lived to tell the tale.
Tonight the same moon stands witnessing another pandemic wreaking havoc across the world. Yet it shines in gull glory revealing the eternal truth of life – that life goes on! No matter what, life will go on.
Suddenly, a strange calm descends upon me. I know that we are not OK but deep down I believe that we are stronger than what we give ourselves credit for. The only thing we need in these dire times is a little bit of faith mixed with hope, a little bit of positivity dipped in logic.
And voila! You have what you need to heal. Not only yourself but others too!
Sending peace, positivity, faith and hope to all those who are reading this blog! Because I know that in sending you these, I too will get some back.
Image courtesy : Line Trochez on Unsplash
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
My childhood fascination for a life in the Himalayas led to an internship with a central Himalayan NGO instead of a much prized corporate assignment. But when they offered me a full-time job, I refused. I was overcome by fear and a lack of confidence.
My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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