"Hi! This is my story. A roller coaster ride I went through the year 2020. To start with my introduction, I am Sameera. Often called Sam by near and dear ones. I am married and have a lovely kid. Like every other married woman, I yearned to spend time with my husband which seemed next to impossible as he is hell busy. If asked to take leave. His reply would be a 'cannot'. So I stopped questioning him. I often remember him saying 'Don't Expect! Expectations lead to disappointment.' But I still don't know why I expect from him a lot like spending time with him, to cuddle him, hug and kiss him daily" wrote Sameera in her blog. Suddenly, she heard that the mobile was ringing. "Hi, Sam! Are you ready to celebrate the coming new year with excitement and a lot of hope? They are trying to find the vaccine for Covid-19 so let us plan a live video streaming. What Say? Let us party in our homes with our families. Shall I take it as a yes from you for this party?" asked Sanchitha excitingly. "Let us see. I will confirm by next weekend, I stopped planning," said Sameera and paused for a moment. She continued "Don't count on me! I may or may not join the virtual session. It depends on my dad's monthly prayers." dejectedly. "What happened Sam? You are sounding dull. I know you are feeling bad for your father. Good to hear that you are trying to overcome the grief. Why don't you speak out with us? Stop concealing all the feelings in your heart. It's been a long time since we poured our feelings out. Come! We are counting on you. We will expect you. Okay, I want you to join. Who knows when we get such an opportunity! Think about it. Bye." said Sanchitha in a low voice. Sameera had put her phone beside the laptop and continued writing the blog "To start with happenings of this year 2020, January month brought a pleasant feel hoping to make a fresh start by spreading my wings in the career side. I started exploring feasible options. There was good news that my sister delivered a baby boy. We were overjoyed and celebrated like an occasion. We spent time with the little one embracing his little hands and tiny feet. Lifting him in my hands made me remember my little one. My baby was as beautiful as he is now. She used to cover her face with her tiny hand all the time. Suddenly, I saw my sister's son stretching his hands and feet. 'Oh! So cute!' was my feeling. I loosened my knuckles in an attempt to ward off any evil eyes that gazed at him. My family laughed at the superstitious act I did. Then that month started ahead paving a new path for me. I started learning new skills like silk thread bangles making, pencil sketching. I made my daughter learn the same. March month came with the pandemic outbreak shock. " Coronavirus" made the headlines of every newspaper throughout the world. I was not a daily newsreader. After the pandemic outbroke, I started following the news updates regularly. The announcement by PM Modiji was a phenomenal one. "Lockdown!" came in as a shock. Schools were closed and my husband's office was shut. Then started my cribbing time. Earlier, there was a maid who helped me in household chores while I managed my new job and my 5-year-old daughter. We could manage with groceries ordering online and so on. Later stringent rules were set in. Now, we stopped the maid from entering our home to minimize the risk taken. The ground reality about the pandemic situation was an eye-opener. We followed the hygienic rules laid by the government. Of course, how can we forget them? It was made a caller alert. "To prevent novel coronavirus" stated the caller tune whenever I called someone that still lingers in my subconscious mind to date. Going out seemed a risk factor. Staying indoors was considered the only way to contain the situation. May month brought sad news which almost made me slip into depression. I lost my father. I could not go to meet him in his last days due to covid prevailing everywhere. That guilt remained buried deep inside my heart. But I am at least lucky to see his final rites and pay him tribute as he was not a victim of covid 19. Daily news showed the pros and cons of lockdown. For the first time, I felt the whole world was at stake physically, mentally, and financially. We progressed a lot that got corrupted by a virus that cannot be recovered for at least a few years. There was chaos all around the world. I kept living in my world i.e., my home, where I was preoccupied all the time by my dad's thoughts. I forgot to smile for a while. I only knew to keep quiet suppressing my sorrow and inner cries for my dad. After 15 days, my husband consoled me and said "If he will see you in this state, he cannot take it. Bade him goodbye so that he can leave this physical world peacefully. He might suffer seeing your plight now. The only thing you can do for your dad is to stay happy and take good care of your mother. Bring her home and see your dad in her." That day I cried out wholeheartedly. I shared my feelings and lightened my heart. Months passed. One fine day, I decided to stop cursing the destiny and unfavorable pandemic situation which is taking several people's life. I took it in a positive way trying to make it favorable to build my remaining family relations stronger. Spent time with my husband for which I waited so long. I saw my daughter finding a friend in me with whom she can share her daily happenings. I learned more about her by being with her throughout the day. Though my dad's incidents came to my mind at times, I started gathering my lost confidence and accepted the things. I started Expecting the unexpected. I stopped planning for the long term and started living in the current situation. We started surviving the situation post the uplift of lockdown 1.0,2.0,3.0 and 4.0. Online classes came into full swing which was nothing less than circus feats to me. Managing the cooking at one end, house cleaning, and helping my daughter's online classes at the other end were the whole day's efforts. Work from home ruled the technology-driven world. At the start, my husband could spend ample time with us. But, in the mid-year when people started adopting this lifestyle, his work started with his time devoted to it. I accepted his situation with a positive thought "At least he is having a job." by comparing the other's situation. Earlier carrying a bag while going outside was mandatory at my home. Now carrying a sanitizer and wearing a mask became a statutory warning I can never imagine forgetting. Earlier washing vegetables and fruits with salt water would do but now quarantine methods like keeping them one day untouched and then using them set in. Businesses started considering this as an opportunity to launch new products to support or make us depend on their products. Earlier hugging each other was the trend followed but now folding hands and saying "Namaste!" became social responsibility. Earlier ordering outside food from restaurants when I was unwell was a common thing but now my husband cooks for us when I am unwell or feeling low which made me feel special. On the positive side, we were becoming healthy. Earlier we celebrated birthdays as an event by going out and spending money on cakes and dinners. Now, we celebrate staying indoors by preparing the cake and special favorite dishes at home. Youtube recipes came in handy while trying new ones. We had fun making crafts and taking care of our home. My father saw my daughter's birthday through a video call(those were his last days!). I prepared cake from bread slices and bournvita and hot milk. It tasted yummy leaving no piece left behind for another serve. We used to wait in our balconies to see some familiar person in our apartment coming out so that we could have a distant conversation. Post-September, I geared up myself to make a fresh start rather than cribbing over spilled milk. I planned my timetable where I tried to accommodate my daily routine and my hobbies parallelly. Slowly, my daughter got adapted to staying at home. I shared world information and imparted general knowledge through online resources to her. Technology came in handy which helped her learn interactively. I practiced yoga which once I used to consider not my cup of tea. Post a month, positive thoughts flowed in me changing my perceptions towards people and the current situation. I started seeing the world in a new dimension. The factors like a job, family, financial pressures, commitments, etc affected our life drastically. They are with us now in an updated version of our life. It is up to us how we accept them and proceed. I took it positively. My husband is at home. I am happy that he is safe and I can see him 24/7. My kid is at home at times pestering me to give her all attention which I love most of the time. My Elders like my grandmother also grew tech-savvy trying to bond and maintain relations virtually which taught me there is no age for learning. This pandemic effect remains intact in the pages of history as an unforgettable era leaving the scars permanently. Though physically we are not connected, virtually we are connected directly or indirectly. One of the proof is you all reading my blog and feeling connected with me " wrote Sameera and took a deep breath. "Mamma! Are we going to spend our lives indoors?" asked Sameera's daughter. "No dear! This is just a phase of our life. Don't let your hopes get shattered." said Sameera comforting her. The New beginning... Thank you for reading this..! May this mid-year be a pandemic-free and stress-free year..!
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