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Ninety-Nine Not Out, Still On the Pitch

Updated: Jan 10, 2021

The mobile phone rings straight into one's ear in the wee hours of the morning. It irritates and jolts one out of one's deep slumber. It has to be definitely two things; Either some awful news awaiting or one's house-helper calling to inform about her absence from the duty. Either of the messages delivered, would be devastating in one way or the other. It would definitely transport one to another world all together without one's knowledge. On the early morning of 22nd March 2020, a similar incident had occurred. My 5 years' maid had called to inform me that she would not be coming to work that day. The unexpected leave was due to the Janata Curfew declared by our honorable PM. I had explicitly given all my household helpers indefinite paid leave. The call literally did an excellent job as it knocked me back to reality. The test match named "life without the helpers" started on 22nd March at 6 am onwards with a lot of the hustle and bustle. I was following the footsteps of our Country's leader. Our Prime Minister had started the fight for Corona's eradication. It had so many actions like 'Ghanti Bajao,' 'Taali Bajao,' 'Thaali Bajao.' The game is still going on, but I am eager to finish it as quickly as possible. The first thought that popped to my mind, "Can I survive this ordeal?" It seemed so uncertain at that time. On second thought, I was ready to challenge myself that it was not a big deal to crack. Yes, I could comfortably pull through the coming days without my maids.  The first innings of the Covid-19 test match in my life started without helpers on an unfamiliar pitch. It did not strike in my mind to ask myself how the pitch would be sans helpers in the deadly coronavirus match? Could it be dead, dusty, bouncy, damp, hard, flat, green, fast, or slow?   I was thrilled in the beginning as there was pin-drop silence in our colony. There was no loud chattering of maids, roaring laughter of drivers, no ding dong of doorbells, and throwing of newspapers on the ground with a thud sound. Plants were missing their caretakers. Hot and humid weather made me sick. I had to gulp down tons of ORS as I was dehydrated after some months. My hands were bruised from cutting vegetables. Due to unending dishes dumped for washing, my fingers were swollen. Every day, mopping and sweeping made my whole body ache. I was left wondering about the nature of life's ball thrown at me from different angles. I might have faced many googly balls, but it was not a golden duck for me. Ninety-nine days have flown by with a wink of an eye, and I am still alive without any outside help. I am exhausted now, and a little ounce of energy is left within. Will I survive the remaining days without throwing my bat? My days have turned grey, and I have become cranky. Every morning sunshine whispers to add more runs. But the orange rays of sunset tell me to retire. I am still batting, but for how long? "I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me." ~Annonymous Inked By Suchi 29/06/2k20


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