It has been more than seven days, I have started working from home. If you ask me, how I am feeling ? I feel like a criminal, why?
In the last seven days, I have understood the pressure my spouse has to go through everyday !! She has been managing kids, cooking (without maids), cleaning and everything else, which I never realised earlier, while enjoying our office, and sipping coffee or tea with our office colleagues. Trust me seeing the outer world is very important and working for an organisation is a boon for anybody (at-least you get paid for your work).
On the very first day, I made a commitment to her, that I will help her in managing the home without house-help during the lockdown. i assured her, that she need not to worry about, how we will manage in the changed circumstance evolved due to corona virus. Seeing me taking the responsibility, my kids also tighten up their belt and happily took over the responsibility for some of the activities (what ever they could support at their age). I kept supporting my wife while cleaning the dishes for first three days and In the mean time my office pressure started building up, as I had to clean the mail box & must answer the emails sent by associates. I was virtually doing the cleaning activity everywhere. My wife got excited seeing my commitment and now she wanted to promote me to the next level. So, After promotion (which was not demanded by me anytime during these three days) I had to help her by cooking breads on and off. I know, you must be thinking –“Is promotion good or bad?“. All through our career, We all keep crying, “Sir, Promotion kab milegi?” (When will I get promoted?) as, I have been doing so much for this office. The Bosses are smart and they have this great sense, on hearing these words, they appreciate you for your good work (while smiling sarcastically, and thinking in their head, OH, Okay, as he is ready for promotion, I need to think of some work to load him, so that he himself comes to me and request, “Sir, Apun ko promotion nai mangta hai!!” (I don’t want any promotion). Now, the same was happening to me at home, I was trying to maintain the satisfactory work only and not trying to be an exceptional employee, so that my wife should not consider me for some additional responsibility (as I do not want any further promotion, for which neither I will not get any salary hike nor the respectable position) .” Thank God, I knew this tried and tested tactic by many in the industry already.
On day 4, I was not excited at all, as I have reached the peak of frustration while doing the dish cleaning, cooking breads (including paranthas sometime also) and remaining active during office hours too !!. As the pressure to maintain the working standard was nearly killing me. So, on another fine day my wife screamed on me, about my sense of cleaning the dishes. Suddenly, I went into flashback and I could recall, how I used to kept complaining about our house-help, that she is not cleaning the dishes properly and many a times,I had to tell our house-help like “Didi, theek se saaf karo na, sara sabun to plates par hi rah jata hai” (Sister, Please clean it properly, as Plates remain uncleaned”). I silently said Sorry to god and parallel, I requested to almighty, that I will never complain in my life about these small things, as I learnt new lesson that everyone has got feeling and their own things which they have to manage. I am sorry, god !!
Until 4 days, I was holding my self back and telling to mind ” All is well”, but on day 5, while I was roaming in my balcony like a freak. Suddenly, my neighbour asked me from his balcony (while maintaining the social distancing)- “Hey, Ajay how are you?”, I silently smiled and he also smiled back, I was knowing reason for my smile, but after seeing Mr. Sharma smiling in the same way, I got the reason behind his smile too (yeh bhi saala same situation se gujar raha hai)”. Be both returned to room, saying oh, office se call hai, baad mein baat karte hain… (I have a call from office, lets talk later sometime..), We smiled again and left.
On returning to my drawing room, I saw my daughter crying heavily and complaining that “Mumma- meri baat nai sun rahi?”. By this time, I have started building up the guilt, that I does nothing compared to the work my wife does for us on regular/normal days.
I will build my story over the next few days, and try to capture, what did I learn from my times during the #21dayslockdown (#StayHome) period. So keep reading and keep enjoying.
Hope, You have enjoyed this short story, if you liked the story, Please comment and share further for mutual laugh in this time when negativity of corona virus has engrossed us.