Everyone would agree with my definition of Year 2020, an year full of diversified emotions. Heard a lot of dissimilar stories of people, some had faced the worst, some were stranded apart from their family and some had learnt a lesson for rest of their life. God has perfect plan for everyone, probably the process may give us hardship, but he always has appropriate reason for that. Before today, I thought that I was in the worst situation during this extraordinary time of pandemic but there are many alike stories which gives you equal pain like your own. A newlywed couple, who got married in November’2019 and shifted to Singapore had never thought that anything in this world could do them apart.
Nov’2019 Chandigarh, chilled but bright Monday morning, she woke up with a delightful dream in her eyes and she was presuming that the day was going to be the best day of her life as she was soon to be someone’s wife. A compact court marriage and lunch after that was already planned by both the families. Their nine years of love and commitments were finally getting tied in a knot for lifetime. This marriage was a surprise for their relatives as extended family was not informed due to some personal reasons, probably waiting for the right time.
After a week, her husband had to join work back in Singapore. She needed to stay back in India as to complete work pass formalities before she could join him and start job hunting as she wanted to be on track ASAP. By the first week of February’2020 she was with him in Singapore. They amused the moments together for couple of months but somewhere in back of the mind her concerns were bothering her, as rest of the family hadn’t been informed about their marriage yet. Like any other girl, she had always wished for a marriage reception where she could get blessings from the entire family and friends. She knew the out-turn, if she would tell her husband about the concerns she had, that she wanted to go back to India to inform her relatives before the actual ceremony. This was equally important for her and that’s what I know the ramifications of being raised in a joint family. Somehow, she managed to speak to him about her intentions. By then the COVID cases started surfacing in Singapore. India was still considered as less in cases but had started taking precautionary measures like 28 days of quarantine at home if arriving from foreign land and first lockdown was about to be implemented soon.
He didn’t argue much on her decision, certainly the nine years of esteemed bond he valued more. Sometimes you don’t need to explain much when the understanding between two people is stronger than anything, but thoughts for being apart again was a nightmare for them and after keeping everything in mind they finally decided to book her flight to India.
20th of March, Friday morning she woke up early to make his favourite breakfast and 10 minutes later she poured bed tea for them, hesitantly sneaked into the room and tried asking him if he was OK with her decision though somewhere she knew, he is not comfortable sending her to India because earlier they intended to go together for their reception ceremony, since he was stuck with work and couldn’t come with her made him feel more helpless, his worry was quite genuine but as I always say nothing is coincidence, everything happens for a reason.
All set to go, he asked, she nodded with a forced smile.
He booked a cab for her to the airport, picked up her luggage and stepped out first to the lift lobby. So many thoughts were crossing his mind, but he just said, “Do we really need this? She kept mum, but her silence explained all. They hugged each other with broken hearts, sometimes the decision are the hardest, especially when there is a conflict between your heart and mind, the choice of where you should be and where you want to be are the most befuddled state of mind and she left with teary eyes.
She knew this journey back home will not be as effortless like before, she was taking every possible precaution as she could. After arrival at Amritsar airport she got her thermal scanning done, the whole formalities took 3 hours to got herself out from the airport. She called her father as he was waiting at the parking area. She greeted her father and waved her brother keeping in mind the safe distancing and precautions that she must follow. Their journey to Kangra, Himachal Pradesh was quite a long one from Amritsar, half of the time she kept sleeping, rest of time she was juggling with her thoughts. She had no clue, what was coming next and neither her father nor her brother told her anything. Probably they were also not expecting anything unpleasant. They reached Kangra around evening and first thing she decided is to visit nearby hospital to inform them about her arrival and if any swab test is required. Doctor denied for test until she showed any symptoms but asked her to home quarantine herself, by then Himachal didn’t have institutional quarantine. Her father concurrently informed at local police station about her arrival. After all that formalities, they proceeded towards their home without knowing about the situation created by the relative on her arrival. Her mother and sisters were already facing worst, since she took her flight to India. She was born and brought up in a joint family but never knew the Covid would blemish the relationships overnight. As soon she entered the house her relatives concealed themselves in their respective rooms, however she had already locked herself in her room and barely anyone had seen her, those relatives she admired through out her life had no sympathy for her and for her family. No relative talked to them not even a phone call , they were not even supplied with the basic daily items, none of the family member were expecting anything from them but humanity. They were short of food and basic grocery supplies but no one stood up for their help, After few days some neighbours noticed that her family didn’t show up since long and they called to confirm their concerns and came forward to help.
All of us understand the seriousness of this pandemic but there is thin line between precautions and panic, when you are panicking you loose your senses. You forget the real deal and unintentionally do things which are not expected. Her relatives did the same and the behaviour projected by them started causing unrest and anxiety for herself and her family. Every expression reaction made her feel like an untouchable in her own house.In this exceptional time we should support and be each others strength rather than creating a physiological unrest in the society. I am sure together we will come out from these difficult times being stronger than before, but we should ensure that in this tryst we don’t loose our loved ones.