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Covid Kathaigal

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by umaakumar, Sep 8, 2021.

  1. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    PART 1

    THE ALCOHOL MALADY.


    It was March 2020 when the first cases of the covid 19 were reported in Kerala. The state made famous for containing the Nipah Virus.

    By end of March everyone were taken by surprise and fear as the UNO declared it as a pandemic and many countries were shutting down to contain the spread. India was not behind. By end of March the country went into complete lockdown. This is something no one has experienced before. Though each and every one of us was scared, we wanted to be careful.

    People all over resorted to panic buying. The world had a shortage of Toilet paper, while in India we laughed at it.

    In Kerala the most missed commodity in many household was alcohol.

    Well now I have a neighbour, a not so old couple. The man is a retired police officer who is about 73 years old and his wife who is 63 years old. They have 3 children living in this same place, Palakkad. So there is a constant visit from children and grandchildren in their house. It is a laughter filled house.

    A month of lockdown went smoothly and then came the fidgeting for alcohol. My neighbour, who we thought was a very quiet person, started making discreet enquiries as to where he can get a bottle. He was even willing to buy in pegs and willing to pay any price. He went around the neighbourhood and thus began the search for the bottle by all the alcohol consuming people. Somehow an auto guy was found who had enormous stock. What more, my neighbour stuck a deal with him, where this auto man would come and stand at the road corner and supply for everyone in the locality. It was a very convenient arrangement for everyone. When we saw a group of men walking together in one direction then we know the auto has arrived, much to the dismay of the wives.

    Now my neighbour, like I said the very quiet person, took to drinking like a fish. He would be as high as the sky at 11 Am and scream like someone is beating him. The first few times we would run to see what happened to see his wife very embarrassed and nodding her head indicating nothing is wrong. Then he would swagger around and talk to everyone. This was a big time pass for all who had nothing to do.

    This went on and on for a couple of months and one fine day all the alcohol consuming men went to meet the auto with their fat purses. The auto came at the allotted time. The auto man got down with a big grin to start his business, suddenly he fell and died. It was a heart attack.

    So sadly, the men returned and everybody sobered down feeling sad that their supply had ended.

    But 2 months later the lockdown ended and shops opened and it was business galore. Our man was overjoyed and drank and screamed in pleasure.

    But then now again here we are the second wave has hit. No alcohol available and the man again, as sorrowful as ever, and what more we are all missing some entertainment, in our boring lives.
     
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  2. sln

    sln Platinum IL'ite

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    The excitement of the enormous amount of money the auto fellow was making should have led to the heart attack. Alcohol produces either violent or hilarious scenes. Nobody could could entertain with the alcoholic scene like Dharmendra.Remember the suicide scene in Sholay.
    An interesting beginning.SLN
     
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  3. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    VENDETTA = Part 2

    The Bhat family lived in a 3 bedroom apartment. The family consisted of Mr. & Mrs. Bhat, their Son Balu, their Daughter in law Brinda and their 2 grandsons. Balu and Brinda held high posts in good companies.

    Mrs. Bhat doted on her son very much. Though he was nearing 45, she treated him like a 5 year old. She always competed with Brinda and was always fussing over him. Sometimes she would even give her choice of shirt he could wear to office.

    If Balu said the food was tasty, she would take credit, even if it was Brinda who cooked. Though at times it really irritated Brinda, she did not make much of it. Balu knew to balance his mother and wife. In spite of it there were occasional tiffs between the 2 women.

    Corona lock down did not make the situation any better, as the children were at home and Balu and Brinda had to occupy 2 bedrooms to work. Children were always running around and making a lot of noise. No maid, Mrs. Bhat had to do more chores as Brinda was working and would come out whenever she was free and do a little bit and get back.

    Many a times Mrs. Bhat thought, how nice to go back to old times. Just Balu and my dear husband. She did not mind the grandchildren, so other times she thought, how nice to just stay with Balu and grandchildren, without the interference of Brinda. All she wanted was to possess her Son.

    Then one fine day, Mrs. Bhat got a mild cold. Brinda told her to go to her bedroom and quarantine. There was a big commotion. Mrs. Bhat said “Do you think I am diseased, this is just an ordinary cold, don’t make a big fuss”. But Brinda said “Let us get a lab test done, if it is negative, then nothing to worry. We have so many people in the house, what if you spread it to everyone.” After all the shouting and arguments, Mrs. Bhat was confined to her bedroom. Mr. Bhat moved to the children’s bedroom. After the lab report it was confirmed, Mrs. Bhat had the virus. She was very disappointed. Most of the times her bedroom remained closed. Brinda would wear a PPE suit and serve her food. Mrs. Bhat kept grumbling to all her relatives that the food was not tasty. She also had many complaints that her modern daughter in law ordered food in Swiggy. She said “Brinda is not bothered about the health of the family, she orders or makes pasta, noodles or sandwich. My poor Balu shuts his mouth and eats everything.” She longed to be out of the room. It was day 10 and it was too much for her. They say that the idle mans brain is the devils workshop and it was so true that Mrs. Bhat was idle and was always scheming.

    The next day morning, she got up before Brinda and pulled a chair into the kitchen, did not switch on the light and waited. The minute Brinda came in she grabbed her and gave her many kisses. Brinda was shocked and screamed. Every one rushed to the kitchen and Brinda ran to the sink and washed her face with soap and dettol. Balu scolded his Mom and Mrs. Bhat with a sheepish smile said “Someone told me it is Daughters in Law day today, and I wanted to wish her.” Then she went into her room. Four days after that Mrs. Bhat was tested negative. Her room was sanitised and she came out of Quarantine.

    Now the wait began, every morning she would look at Brinda for any signs of Cold. For a few days nothing happened. She thought probably Brinda was lucky and did not get the virus. Few days later Brinda had fever and went into self quarantine. Mrs. Bhat was filled with happiness. Now her dream of having her son and grandsons to herself had come true. She called Balu and said, I have just recovered from my sickness; I cannot take care of a sick women. She cannot stay here. Imagine an old lady like me cooking for all of you and doing all the cleaning, it is too much work for me. She made so much of drama that Balu said “OK, I will go and leave her with her mother”. He went out and by then Brinda was all packed to go. Balu and the children wore PPE suits and off they went.

    Mrs. Bhat gave a thousand instructions to her son, “Don’t eat outside, don’t linger in their house, drop her and come back immediately. I will cook good dinner for you and the children etc etc.....”

    It was past 8 PM, no calls from Balu, no reply to Mrs. Bhats messages. Mrs. Bhat was really worried. Brinda’s parents lived 3 hours drive away. By now Balu should have got back.

    Then at 9 PM, Balu called. He said “Ma, I and children have decided to stay back here till Brinda is alright; you see this is a big house and lots of place for children to play. What more Brinda’s sister and her children are coming tomorrow, so the children will have fun”.


    Mrs. Bhats face became so disappointed. Soooo much for my planning, she thought. [​IMG][​IMG]







    3
     
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  4. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    BINGO


    Mrs. & Mr. Chaturvedi lived a quite retired life. He had retired from a bank. Mrs. Chaturvedi was a higher secondary pass. She could not study further as she was forced into marriage. They had 2 sons, both settled in USA.

    I need not explain the life of the retired couple. Both were in good health and had their routines. They had some common friends whom they met frequently. Mrs. Chaturvedi had a circle of her own friends and kept busy with some philanthropic work. She belonged to a ladies group which met monthly once and generally gossiped and played Bingo. Mrs. Chaturvedi received some money from her children to spend on herself. Apart from this Whatsapp kept them busy with sending and receiving messages. Their most cherished times were when their children called and they spoke to their grandchildren. They had planned to travel to USA in March 2020 and covid struck like a thunderbolt and they had to cancel their tickets.

    Lockdown changed their lives. No morning walks, so they got up late. They had late breakfast. No maids, Mr. Chatruvedi helped in all the household chores. Since they had no time pass, they both sat in the balcony in the evening and looked at their neighbours. Mr. Chaturvedi went out to buy milk and all other items were ordered online. The vegetable cart came to the apartment gate every morning and again Mr. Chaturvedi went to buy what was required.

    Like every house there were mild irritations between the 2 of them. Mrs. Chaturvedi sat glued to her phone most of the times and Mr. Chaturvedi was always sitting on his easy chair watching Youtube. One day Mrs. Chaturvedi announced that she was going to join online dance class. This was especially for senior citizens. Mr. Chaturvedi was shocked, he said “we are in the third floor, imagine what the people below will feel if you jump, no you cannot do this”. There stopped her dance class. Then a few days later she joined a meditation class, but dropped out after 2 days as she was not able to do it. She participated in online sloka classes and this kept her busy for about half an hour a day. She was missing her friends and feeling suffocated sitting at home.

    Then some of her friends told her they are going to play Bingo online. They asked Mrs. Chaturvedi to join in. She immediately joined the group on whatsapp. She sent Mr. Chaturvedi to buy a notebook with squares in it, so that she can write the ticket. But the stationery shop was not open and Mr. Chaturvedi could not buy it. She searched and found a notebook and asked him to draw the squares for her. Though Mr. Chaturvedi did not like the idea, he did not want to disappoint her. He sat for more than an hour drawing the squares.

    So the game started. This was an everyday affair. Once Mr. Chaturvedi got the message, she would tell her husband, “today Rs. 500/- cost of 5 tickets”. She did not know to do online transfer, so he would transfer the money. She would keep asking him till he confirms he had done it. Tiffin and tea time was 5.30 PM in their house. But then this was the game time too. So Mrs. Chaturvedi would keep the tea in the flask. Tiffin would be Maggie noodles, sandwich, poha etc. This was because Mr. Chaturvedi would not eat earlier; he wanted his tiffin at 5.30 only.

    If he wanted to ask her anything during the game, she would glare at him. Sometimes when she got a line completed, she would jump up and scream “I won, I won”. Mr. Chaturvedi would get a shock. Sometimes she would murmur loudly “let the next number be 30, 30.....thirtyyyyyyyy my kitchen is dirty”. Mr. Chaturvedi would run to check the kitchen. Sometimes she would exclaim “ 70 Oh 70, 70, seventyyyyyy old men are nasty” Mr. Chaturvedi would think she is indirectly talking about him.

    This was a totally irritating experience for Mr. Chaturvedi. A game is sometimes won and sometimes lost. Now because of Online transfer Mr. Chaturvedi knew exactly how much money she was spending. Before this he never had any account of what she was spending and she never discussed anything with him. He was irritated that she was spending so much money on a game. Moreover this game was spoiling his evening tiffin.

    After a few days Mr. Chaturvedi had a running nose and mild fever. He and Mrs. Chaturvedi went for the Covid test. By the evening the results were in. It came by mail and Mrs. Chaturvedi could not see it. Mr. Chaturvedi said both of them had tested positive. But since Mrs Chaturvedi did not have any symptoms, she told him to show her the results. But he refused.

    Since both of them were positive, Mrs. Chaturvedi did all the work and took care of her husband. She set up a pact with her friend who would do the online transfer for the game and continued playing, much to the irritation of Mr. Chaturvedi.

    Mr. Chaturvedi, never thought she would play when he or she were sick. How wrong he was.

    A few more days later, Mrs. Chaturvedi developed fever and her oxygen level dropped. Mr. Chaturvedi rushed her to the hospital. Now he had printed the earlier lab report. The doctor looked at the report and said, as per that report she did not have Covid, only her husband did. Because she did not isolate from him, she too got it. Mrs. Chaturvedi glared at her husband. Inspite of seeing her so sick, he slyly smiled at her, looking like he had achieved something. The doctor said they both need to be hospitalised. Mrs. Chaturvedi called for the wheelchair and sat on it and said she was ready. The doctor asked “What about your husband” Mrs. Chaturvedi looked at the doctor and said “send him to the mental hospital”!!!.
     
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  5. sln

    sln Platinum IL'ite

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    Simple conflicts woven into a story with an absolutely deserving last line comment.SLN
     

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