Presently, I am enjoying my isolation peacefully here in a small abandoned room next to my staff block. Every morning, I enjoy the pleasure of seeing the whole valley below with its hue and colour, especially when the valley gets draped gradually by our ever generous sun. Mere sending my eyes into this picturesque landscape dissolves all the sadness and worries like a soothing balm for my aching heart. Well romantic poets like Wordsworth and frost were right when they said “Nature brings unconditional happiness!”. The evening illuminates the entire valley when the houses light their bulbs one by one. Evening is also the time when the children from my block come out of their houses and produce enough commotion until they think they get enough of their daily dose of entertainment and physical exercise. In between these two moments, is long lonely day time. Entire day, I keep myself busy doing so many things like praying, reading, editing, networking, eating, drinking, listening, sleeping and what’s not! Positive messages of encouragement come from loved ones and colleagues; my daughters keep serving me healthy food. But I must stay indoors and aloof. And then, like every beginning has its end, just like any other typical rural country side, this entire valley gets wrapped up in deathly silence except for the regular barking of the dogs and the sound of few lorries plying. And that is when I lay my head on my pillow and started journeying into a yet another world burying alive all the events of the day. This monotonous routine is what I have to follow for the next seven days as a mandatory Covid-19 protocol especially when you come from so-called red zone areas like Delhi.
Past few months were quite busy months for me and my family. We all (my small family) had to travel to Delhi on alternate basis and each time, as usual we had to undergo mandatory one-week quarantine at house of peace and dialogue. My mother, who is aged 88 had to undergo surgery. And my elder sister was there by her side 24/7. In fact, they had been staying like man and shadow all these years. Everything was good until my mother’s sole caretaker, my sister became weak and got sick probably because of too much responsibilities. That was when I had to take an emergency leave from my school and landed in Delhi for their timely rescue. My prompt decision was right. Acha, my sister was on the brink of her desperation. Believe it or not, it was my first time I ever broke down within seeing my sister, who used to be lively and jolly, looking weak n lost; the hostel looking like a deserted warehouse because of the renovation going on and on top of that my mother lying in her bed looking even weaker and more pathetic than sister. In spite of her poor constitution, having seen me arrived, she mustered lots of courage to get up to welcome me. I hugged her but it was like I was hugging not my mother but a skeletal. The environment at home was cold and dismal. I pretended to be strong and unperturbed but deep within, I was crying like a small child. That moment I realized and thanked God that I came on the right time. I made up my mind to get them back on the track as fast as I could. And the countdown began.
In the midst of all these Covid-19 cases soaring high especially in Delhi and the forever extending lockdown, the life was quite tough but not as tough as to break me down physically and emotionally. I asked myself, if I broke down then who would take care of my mother and sister. I always tried to be strong and prayed to almighty for the strength and power. There were colleagues of my sister who had been with us through thick and thin and for whom our family is forever grateful. Choephel la, a family friend and a colleague of my sister came into our life like a Christian soul. Without his support, things would have turned bad. Prayers, support and love coming from our family also gave me strength to my already energy deprived body. Another first time in my life had I realized that I could do so many work! Yes, I did everything I could to help my mom and sister regain their health.I became a cook, Dhobi, janitor, son, husband, father, brother and all these roles I was able to discharge satisfactorily. In this way, I had stayed in Delhi for little more than 2 weeks like a novice soldier undergoing a strict life training. A body conscious would have rejoiced having shed few weights! That didn’t bring any joy. What brought me joy was the sight of my loved ones convalescing and regaining the glow on their faces. Acha(sister) tested negative finally on 20th May which meant she could once again take care of our mother. And when I reached a point where I could say “Yes, they are OK”, I decided to return to my school where I had other engagements as well. Both my sister and Amala consented and I am back here nursing my hot cup of green tea and scribbling my feelings here randomly. Contrarily our parting became happier than our meeting.
I realise that it is important to accept when the life unfolds. You should accept graciously the misfortunes like the way you accept the blessings. Nothing is permanent, time heals everything. So, have patience and be positive during your negative time. I did that too and let my mom and sis follow too. And that has made all the difference.