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Gone Viral

Chandralekha Prakash | June 24, 2021
Gone Viral

The year was 2020. And things were not looking good. There was a palpable tension in the air; the fear of something unfamiliar and relatively unknown! A virus seemed to have descended on the world and was causing panic all over. It was, as one would surmise, a scene straight out of a Hollywood movie. Only, this was no movie. This was very real and incredibly horrifying.

The coronavirus was spreading like wildfire and no cure had been found. Governments worldwide were at a loss as to how to handle a pandemic on such a massive scale. In sheer desperation, country after country began declaring complete lockdowns. Break the chain was the declared motto – minimise contact between people and reduce the spread of the virus.

But then we digress. A detailed description of the roaring pandemic was not at all my intent. God knows there is enough, and more of it, already documented in print as well as in visual media than can be sanely handled. So let us talk about lockdowns and its impact instead.

The lockdown

The Indian government declared a lockdown sometime in the hot sultry month of March last year. From companies, offices, colleges and schools to theatres, museums, hotels and resorts — everything except the bare essentials closed for over a month. One of the major impacts of the lockdown was the work from home culture that has taken the country by storm over the past year and half. Most employees, all young and raring to go, headed home armed with their laptops and high-speed internet connections. This was now all they needed to stay connected with their offices or clients.

To most of them, having left home possibly right after school, they grabbed the chance to get back to their roots. Happy and safe, sheltered from all the chaos caused by the virus, they were glad to be back where they belonged and all while their earnings continued. Working from home seemed to give them that much more time to catch up on a lot of other things too.

As the months sped by, many were rediscovering old hobbies or getting into new ones. From reading to cooking, and to learning to play musical instruments, they were on a voyage of self-discovery. Dozens of singers and dancers sprang up on the internet in no time. With the government enforcing restrictions to curtail and minimise people from interacting, homes became a beehive of activities. Work from home had become the new super cool mantra.

The era of family bonding

Family time began trending on social media with everyone dancing and singing together, playing games and watching movies. Cooking was in big time anyway, thanks to the ever-popular Master Chef series. Family members from far and wide connected over Zoom meetings and children were introduced to uncles and aunts they had never before seen or met. Everyone seemed to have a YouTube channel where they regularly uploaded dance videos, crooned some delightful melodies, shared recipes, gardening tips and even short films.

One cannot but respect and admire the sheer talent that has been on display over the past year. Several few fiascos evoked laughter too! Like, share and subscribe was the new jingle it seemed.

Nothing lasts forever

Although the lockdown was called off after two months or so, we are now well into 2021 facing the brunt of the second wave and yet another lockdown. Amid all this, the work from home brigade is yearning to get back to their plush offices. The initial excitement of a family reunion has since faded and home seems to have lost its sheen. As for families, they want some space now. It has become rather depressing to see the same faces day after day for over a year now.

The internet is flooded with memes and trolls of husbands and wives getting on each other’s nerves. The elders in the house are now exasperated by the bored and unruly children who keep crashing in on Zoom meetings, not to mention annoying pets. And while the humour was initially appreciated, frustrations have begun to pile up. Everyone has had enough of bonding over singing and dancing, or so it seems. The videos on social media and YouTube continue unabashedly but the requests to like, share and subscribe don’t have much takers now.

The home maker

In all this brouhaha over family bonding and work from home blessings and banes, one forgets the unsung heroes in every home. For the home maker, work from home is the rather old-fashioned, uncool trend that patriarchy has bestowed upon her kind from centuries ago. She has been running the home and family like a well-oiled machine that never stops. From morning till night, day after day, her work at home never ends. She is on call 24/7, the whole year through and the year after that and forever. And of course, there’s no retirement either.

Yes, the lockdown brought the entire country to a standstill and caused tremendous hardships to people in terms of financial losses, emotional distress, and some very personal tragedies too. But life moved on. And that is because even in these tough times, in their homes, everything functioned just as it has since antiquity. While every member of the family managed to put aside their assigned duties, office work, businesses or studies to take a break from the monotony of it all, the work at home never stopped. Could not stop if one had to survive!

We all need food, clean surroundings and fresh clothes. And so, the home maker continues her routine, without a break. Funnily enough, this is the one job that is most undervalued. Considered rather menial, inconsequential and far from cool, the home maker struggles to cope with it all.

It was a rather harsh eye opener for many, witnessing first hand, how strenuous and tiresome maintaining the home was. One hopes that the past year and a half would have taught us all to respect and appreciate the sheer hard work and care that goes into managing the homes we all take for granted.

Hope for the best

The earth, they said, needed this time to heal. That God almighty was just ensuring that the destructive human race slowed down to let nature breathe in peace. It didn’t take too long for the feel-good stories to do the rounds of the internet. Much was said of mother earth becoming greener, the sky seemingly bluer, of rare animals and migratory birds being sighted. and of rivers flowing cleaner. Some even declared the gaping hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic had closed due to reduced pollution. While it was true that the hole had closed, scientists clarified it had nothing to do with the pandemic and lockdowns. The ozone layer healing was apparently driven by an unusually strong and long-lived polar vortex.

One hopes that the worst is over and things get back to some semblance of normalcy soon. The vaccination drive, which was the sole light at the end of the tunnel, appeared to flicker for a while, but now it seems to be getting back on track.

We need our businesses flourishing, our markets bustling with activity, our phones ringing endlessly, the roads swarming with vehicles and parking lots frustratingly full. We need our trains, buses, taxis and rickshaws all running continuously. We need the cheerful vendors, the small eateries, the brightly lit malls crowded with families, watching movies, playing games, and the ability of eating out. Most of all, we need our schools and colleges functioning normally to secure the country’s future . And while we press the restart button, let us hope the earth continues to heal, nature breathes serenely, the animals play truant, and the rarest of birds continue to arrive from far off lands. Let us also hope for the rivers to reflect the dazzling blue sky.


Chandralekha Prakash

Chandralekha is based in ‘God’s own country’ – the southern Indian state of Kerala. Writing helps her express her immense love for nature, poetry being her favourite form of expression. An amateur photographer and an artist, she also loves dabbling in Indian classical music and dance.

 

Chandralekha is a voracious reader and dreams of publishing her own novel and a compilation of her poems someday. An out and out nature lover, she believes that if you enjoy the little things in life, you will fall in love with life itself.

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Suresh kumar P
Suresh kumar P
2 months ago

Nice …Well said

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Suresh kumar P
2 months ago

Thank you 😊

Reena Shyam Kumar
Reena Shyam Kumar
2 months ago

Wow! You will reach great heights, lekhs.

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Reena Shyam Kumar
2 months ago

Thank you dear reens 😍😍

Nagendra Pai
Nagendra Pai
2 months ago

Excellent Article. One can well relate with his or her experience as Chandralekha portraits. Well done 🙂

Let normalcy come fast……

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Nagendra Pai
2 months ago

Thank you Nagesh 🙏😍

Arpitha
Arpitha
2 months ago

Kudos!!!!!!!
You spoke on what was there on every body s mind …especially the plight of homemakers….the unsung heroes and heroines….all the best and prayers. 👏👏👏

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Arpitha
2 months ago

Thank you so much 🥰🤗🤗

Vaishakh
Vaishakh
2 months ago

Beautiful 😀

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Vaishakh
2 months ago

😘😘😘😘

N. Gopakumar
N. Gopakumar
2 months ago

Frankly I donned the critic’s glove…but Mashallah, what language yaar…you have an absolute control nah power over it. It is exactly what the whole year of the covid was…and yeah I see how the home maker is the unsung hero here. I have always enjoyed reading your articles, your poem has that punch and you have retained that in this prose

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  N. Gopakumar
2 months ago

Thank you so much gopu…as always my head is in the clouds after reading your comment!😃

Sreeja Gopakumar
Sreeja Gopakumar
2 months ago

Well written chechi.i Liked the home maker part the most!!

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Sreeja Gopakumar
2 months ago

Thank you sreeja… 😃😍😍🤗

Prem kumar
Prem kumar
2 months ago

The year has been summed up so beautifully. Words cascade from. Lekha’s laptop without a stutter. Very well described Lekha. Continue the good work, and remember that lockdown has also forced (at least some) husbands to learn to appreciate the efforts of the woman of the house, and learn some home making skills 😉

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Prem kumar
2 months ago

Thank you so much prem etta… appreciate your taking the time to read it too…and yes i agree…a lot of men have been helping and appreciating their women and homes more than ever now. Which is wonderful indeed!😃

Aditya
Aditya
2 months ago

Wonderful as always Cheema, I hope to be able to read more such articles from you ❤️❤️

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Aditya
2 months ago

Thanks adi…for sure you can read more and more 😜😂😍😍

Nisha rajkumar
Nisha rajkumar
2 months ago

Lekha…well written.. I dont know how to express my happiness ….loved reading this….keep going..
Do write more…yes am.enjoying my life too.
Thank u
.

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Nisha rajkumar
2 months ago

Thank you nisha…such a heart warming reaction…I’m so glad you liked it 😍😍🤗🤗

Dali varghese
Dali varghese
2 months ago

Amazing..loved the way u described all things frm 2020 to the present….every details explained sooo well….Gud job..

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Dali varghese
2 months ago

Thank you dear Dals… Love the way you always appreciate and encourage 😘😘😃😃

Arpitha
Arpitha
2 months ago

Kudos!!!!!
Reality put in words….
Enjoy the days as you are blossoming well in this lockdown period. May all your dreams come true. 👍❤

Faisal Fayis
Faisal Fayis
2 months ago

Awesome.. Excellent piece of work. Well written.👏👏 Great usage of vocabulary. Narrated like a story writer. Enjoyed every bit of it … Noted your great usage of words.. Positive ending…

Best wishes for your dreams of publishing own book someday.

Stay blessed. Keep writing.👍

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Faisal Fayis
2 months ago

Thank you so much…glad you enjoyed it… thanks for all your wishes too…🙏👍👍😊

Last edited 2 months ago by Chandralekha Prakash
Vivek
Vivek
2 months ago

So true !! Kudos to the ever dependable home maker !! It’s been a tough year and a half and one can only look at the future withHOPE !
Like the proverbial wise man said “ This too shall pass “

Chandralekha Prakash
Chandralekha Prakash
Reply to  Vivek
2 months ago

Yes this storm too will pass…life will go on… thank you for the feedback 👍😊

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