Sometimes we can’t do much about a situation but just can choose how we want to live through it, perhaps half of the battle is already won if we believe in our inner strength.
Sometimes life puts you in a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially ones that are equally tough. My circumstances were quite alike when I had to make a final decision for travelling all by myself with a 20 months old toddler to Singapore from India during these extraordinary days of Covid -19.
I had two options in front of me either I decide to travel to Singapore in these unusual days or stay back in India and wait for this whole corona situation to be in control. For the
second option even, the biggest virologist doesn’t have an answer so I was too less qualified to judge that. Alternate thoughts dominating my mind were the fear of
travelling alone and putting my child in a risky situation in these unusual times and immediately a second thought that if I don’t go now then when? I was very much aware of the imported cases coming up in Singapore and most got infected during travelling.
Me and my baby had been away from my husband since February. We waited for quite a long time for this one flight from Delhi to Singapore and tried every possible way to get
that flight. Fought every day for securing approval from Singapore government for entry.
Moreover, I thought what right I had to keep a baby away from his father when there was a chance to reunite. Other concern was to convince my family to support me, as a mother I could easily relate the fear my mother was going through and people who were close to me, but I had to take the chance otherwise the whole hassle of getting approval and flights had to repeat. Somewhere I was torn between mind and heart, one had risk and other had pain, I didn’t know which one was more logical to be followed. Eventually this whole situation turned out different than expected, I was stressed, worried, angry and that took a toll on my health. My actual worry was travelling with baby during this pandemic, what if he gets infected? This question was killing me inside out. Who will be responsible if anything happens and many more like that.
A day passed and those back and forth thoughts were killing me and I had almost given up, sometimes when we reach the peak of any problem we start seeing the solution by our self, perhaps we have already tasted the worst by believing the worst is coming and eventually I started looking at the positive side , I cherished the quality time I had spent with my family , learnt all motherly responsibilities which I didn’t know much, reduced 10kgs by then. The other side I had someone waiting for us since long. He tried hard to bring us back so there was no reason for me to turndown him. After few hours I was utterly sure with my decision to go back home, now when I was ready to go, my family also stared
helping me, they were worried because I was uncertain about this travel. First and fore most I ensured that I had all the required documents as per the country requirement, next step was compact packing, only stuff which would be required during 14 days of quarantine in hotel in Singapore. Next day around 2pm we left for Chandigarh to my in-law’s place and picked up some stuff and left to Delhi early morning since we had flight on the same day (12th of July ) I remember couple of weeks before I was checking my horoscope for the entire month and 12th of July was specially mentioned as inauspicious and inimical day for me and I was discouraged to travel but like I said I didn’t have a choice.
My Mother and younger Brother dropped me at the airport and fortunately I got help there, by then I was quite relieved that we reached safely and didn’t have much of hassle but
leaving mom is always painful for me, I never liked to say goodbyes at airport, it hurts and specially to my Mother but you actually never leave the person you love because there
immense love and affection stays with you always and forever.
We entered the IGI Airport with two other men who were going to help me through all the airport’s formalities and upgrading seat .As expected everyone was wearing masks,
face shield, PPE suites and the entire airport was smelling of sanitizer, there was only my toddler who refused to wear a mask and suddenly became hyper active and stared throwing his toys all around, l was already worried and his sudden switch to “playing with me time” took my breath away ,we hadn’t reached the security yet and his mood switched to “I am hungry now” he was keeping me on my toes ,I was co ordinating with those men helping us as well as I was picking up his toys from the floor and sanitizing at the same time because he wanted the toys back. I was a total mess by then and could hear my heartbeats but thankfully I am virtuous at multitasking so somehow managed.
After all the formalities one of the official left us after security check and other man escorted us till waiting area for boarding, my boy was little clam by then, I tried again to make him wore his mask however I succeeded but for a short while, now he wanted to come out of his stroller, I took him out and before I could hold him in my arms he run away, my heartbeat was getting faster , what if he would touch anything, I ran after
him and struggled to put him back into the stroller this time to keep him busy I gave him my phone, put some videos on and some snacks. Took a deep breath, fortunately boarding
started since I had upgraded to business class we boarded-in first. Those two and half hours at airport was a nightmare for me, people were staring at me probably thinking how
miserably I failed handling my boy. I remember we sanitized our hands like 50 times, only that was the one thing I was satisfied about. I tried to be calm, but that extraordinary
situation made me more anxious and furious. Sometimes you should leave it in god’s hand and wait, he keeps the record of your hard work and good intension.
As soon we reached our respective seat, I sanitized the seat and the first thing I did was to make him fall asleep. The Take-off was quite smooth , I fully reclined the seat and put him on comfortable bed and thought that I finally did it but that wasn’t over yet, suddenly I got emotional and my eyes got teary, the lady sitting next to me understood my emotions and
sympathised me and nodded, “I can understand what you are going through dear ,stay strong , you will remember this travel with you son for the rest of your life, you are a brave girl”, she said .I nodded and wiped out my tears. I felt like hug her but
of course “Covid” and she was stranger too. I ate lunch as quickly as possible and rearranged my stuff, took out documents required for Singapore and changed my
sim card so that I could easily make calls to my husband once we reach. After 2 hours baby woke up probably because of insane turbulence, it was too much for one day, I offered him
pacifier, he took it. After a while I fed him some cerelac but he didn’t eat much. He kept sleeping throughout the journey, I guess he knew that his mom needs some peace of mind.
People around me were talking, munching snacks provided by airlines ,walking around in PPE suits but I kept seated, my mind was so bewildered, I barely talked to anyone in 6 hours of journey .Sometimes you have so many feelings and frustrations you don’t know what to do first or if you want to do anything at all. We landed around 11:40pm, Singapore time. I walked out first from the airplane with two hand bags and my
baby. I did all the formalities ASAP, since we all had to serve 14 days of quarantine at hotel, they divided us in groups of 18 people, the airport authority and MOM of Singapore had
coordinated each other so wisely therefore we didn’t face any
problem, and everything went smooth. By then it was mid night, we safely reached to our respective hotel’s room. A 500 sq. ft room with zero ventilation was another nightmare. My son was tired and hungry so did I , I called my husband and told him about the name/location of the hotel, fortunately hotel wasn’t very far from our place.
Next morning was bright and my sunshine woke up early. Breakfast was kept on a black round table outside our room, nobody was allowed to enter neither we could go out for next 14 days. We could order food / home cooked food or anything from outside and certainly would be kept outside our door. First two days were quite challenging after that we both had a great time, probably the first and last time we spent together
as only US ..