“Last 24th this time, I remember being told that I didn’t have to go to school, now that we have what’s called the ‘Coronavirus’ spreading in India. Without knowing what it actually meant, things did seem fun with a sudden week of holidays in between my annual exams. But little did I realize then this abrupt pause wouldn’t let schools reopen even a whole academic year later. Of course, I do study online through my mother’s phone, now-a-days, but within a few weeks into this new system, I started missing the actual joy of walking into campus and learning with my friends. Time goes very slow and I find myself bored for pretty much, most parts of the day.
Nevertheless, when I see the people around me, I feel this is nothing compared to the wrath that the virus has had on so many elders. My father for example, worked as a housekeeping assistant in the morning and ran our stall in the evening, where he sold raw mangoes. But with the announcements of quarantine, the beach was immediately cleared and so were all our fellow vendor-friends there. Then, again, he did look at it as a relaxing break initially before coming to terms with reality when he temporarily lost both his income streams. He told us that his company closed without any notice and that even our shop also couldn’t be opened until there was some positive news. And seeing him and my mother in that state definitely made me unhappy as well.
Besides this, I also remember that it was the charity of so many NGOs with food and other basic supplies that helped us sustain for many months. Today, after seeing all this happen to his family, my dad keeps telling me to never be dependent on anyone, even if it’s the government, stating that they had given families like us just 1000 Rs to sustain the pandemic. He’s also become more actively involved in dropping me to my tutions even when he has work and keeps telling me to study well. And hearing him say all this plus witnessing the state of our shop, all I pray for is that the government doesn’t impose a lockdown once again. I would want to see my father happy for a change.”