The lemons that were hurled on this occasion were unwantedly too ripe and too juicy for our enzymes to absorb. At a time, when I wanted them dried and drained of all its tanginess, the sourness struck in myriad forms, like one having got stuck up in Kolkata during `The Lockdown’, courtesy the #CoronaVirusPandemic after having flown between two homes from Chandigarh to Kolkata ( you see if one loses two legs and an arm, the other is just as eligible to complain even if it is just two legs that he lost; a greater sorrow should not belittle his pain #MigrantWoes_india). Please don’t judge me here; my heart too goes out for the stranded!
The lockdown ensured that only the house-helps were spared and not the Ladies in the house ( No! we were not at the bar; it is a quintessential Indian household I am talking of), where the unending saga of the trending “BJP” that is, the bartan-jhaadu-poncha (sic) continued brutally and unsparingly as is typical of our households. I wish the “BJP’ were given an acronym extension with a “DK” expanded as dusting-kapda somewhere to fully reflect our domestic state of affairs (no pun intended, truly!). Indeed, we were never carved that way to independently handle our domestic chores, all by ourselves without these helpers.
To make matters worse, we battled a range of illnesses from cough & cold to mild flus and infections. We tried every possible remedy from trending to time-tested ones like hot treatments, immunity boosters, `kadhaas’, yoga to name a few, to curb the situation but it kept going downhill.
We had our aging but normally fit father(-in-law); not currently though, tested for covid-19 for obvious reasons but as luck would have it, the reputed laboratory where he was declared `Negative’ turned out to be unauthorized for the purpose. He probably was on the plus side (just the wrong time to be `Positive’) going by the future turnarounds in this story.
Agony kept on piling in the form of oscillating health conditions but there wasn’t any Aunt Agony to hear our hearts out; this was a period of muted suffering lest the dirt was dished and more trouble invited. More trouble? We had room for that too. Father-in-law slipped in the bathroom, suffered a head injury, got three stitches right behind. Now we had more of anxiety and more of fatigue in our family of 9 (then we were, now we are 8).
Now was the time for the biggest and the sharpest nail in the coffin. Not the final yet! My father-in-law had to be hospitalized. The stay was short but the results came quick. The keeper of our family, a much loved and a kind soul, a respected and an elite member of the society succumbed within three days to a covid-19 afflicted death (the irony being, we discovered the covid-role hours after his demise) He died a death timed so undeserving of a person of his stature; when even ashes are denied to the family of the deceased! The nearest of the kith and kin couldn’t be there, there was no mourning ceremony. We relented to fate, as now, the done couldn’t be undone. But ah! Do the dead complain?!
Could this have gotten worse? Read the next chapter to find out more.
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