“For a lot of us small business owners, the 2020 pandemic has been the worst disaster that’s ever come about. Especially with the complete lockdowns imposed for months together, it felt like a true test of survival.
I own a small cloth pressing shop at a rather popular joint in the city. Before the Coronavirus, a typical day would start at eight in the morning, heating up coals and extend until midnight. You see, people might have their electric irons at home, but nothing can come close to the finish that a metallic iron press can give you. Not to mention, our entire bread and butter is dependent on smoothening out creases. So there’s bound to be an additional layer of perfection from the hours we dedicate.
But the virus ensured that both students and working professionals stay indoors, thereby straining our employment opportunities further. There were many days, I witnessed my wife pledging her remaining jewelry to help us settle our pending rent. Even in my case, when the orders had fallen to zero, I shut my shop and started working at a friend’s place along with my staff, to earn our daily wages.
Thankfully though, there were a few kind customers who supported us, on their own will, both monetarily and in kind. They called me up to check on how the family situation was and provide additional support if need be. And, even as the rains dominated this Diwali in Chennai, they gave me piles of clothes to press, aiding the festive diyas in my house to glow a bit brighter. I am forever grateful to them, for they restore my faith in humanity. Hopefully, the word that the pandemic cases will decrease nearing January actually comes true and puts back people in work. Until then I will take life by the day, believing in the proverb ‘tough times never last but tough people most definitely do!”
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