“To small-scale entrepreneurs, the pandemic was anything but kind. And while some were lucky enough to flee back to their native villages, the rest of us had to drain every last penny from our savings in order to survive the lockdowns.
Now as a vendor of banana leaves, what got me into this unfortunate reality were my daily wages coming to a sudden halt! Besides this, marriages and other traditional rituals, from where another bulk of my demand pools in also got stopped, thus ensuring that all the other businesses dependent on the occasion went downhill simultaneously!
And within this chaos, the first four months were the worst! I saw my mother pledging even the last remains of our family jewellery in order to pay off the rent. Her move was shattering and I felt ashamed of being that helpless as the man of the house.
So since then the only thing on my mind is a longing wish to never experience the dire scenario ever again. But with rumours of another lockdown in place, I can’t help but feel anxious. Things have just started seeming bright and another pause at this time would be detrimental- to the extent that I’m not sure if my family can sustain! So I desperately hope time takes a positive turn and gives everyone the opportunity to build back their lives!”