We celebrate the bond of love, care and support on this International Day of families

Anugraha Rao
Friday, 15 May 2020

Amidst the crisis, there is a realisation that family is created with love, care and support; not just through blood relations

At least once in our school life, we all must have written an essay on the importance of family in our life. However, it is only now that we are truly realising and appreciating that we have our families to rely on during this pandemic. Having a support system is really crucial in such difficult times. For many, it is their very own family that is keeping them safe and sane; for others, it is their friends and neighbours. On this Family Day, we speak to a few people to find out how they are keeping up in the lockdown.

Friends are family 

Sourabh Suryavanshi, a content writer based in Pune, says that the lockdown is going very well for him, thanks to his friends. “We are confronted with something that we never saw coming, but we are together. I am working from home, reading, writing, and doing things that I was not able to do while working in the office,” he says. When Suryavanshi first came to Pune, he was all alone. But with time, he made good connections and friends. “We are helping each other with many things. There’s no way I am feeling lonely and helpless,” he says adding that he did not have any idea that this pandemic will take such a shape. But he is glad that his friends are no less than a family. “I believe that being in contact with people (not physically, but digitally) is the only thing that can keep us sane. Without friends, parents or relatives, surviving this crisis would have been impossible. We all need to encourage and support each other right now.” Telling us what lockdown and staying away from his family taught him, he says, “We take things for granted. We complain about lack of time and all the wonderful things we would’ve accomplished otherwise. Now that we have ample time to spend with family, we must cherish it. Before this lockdown, we were running after things and after lockdown too, we will go at a faster pace than before. But we had lost touch with our loved ones and now is the time to catch up with them.” 

Emotional support 

Priya Havelia is stuck in Mumbai, without her family.  A singer by passion and profession, she is taking singing classes online. “I am highly grateful that I am able to work from home even in this tough time. Earlier it was little difficult but now, I’m enjoying my classes and work,” she says. Currently, Havelia’s flatmate Kritika is also with her. “I feel happy that I have at least someone with me at this time. Kritika has become like a sister to me. She is super supportive, and understanding. We cook, eat, binge watch, and sing together. We have developed a stronger bond than before,” Havelia says. While she admits that she misses her family sometimes, she can’t imagine life in quarantine without her flatmate. The one thing that Havelia has realised is having a family is having an emotional support 24x7. 

Technology is a big help 

Tejas Mudholkar, a 3D artist from Mumbai, is living all alone in his hostel. “I always underestimated the importance of learning basic life skills – cooking etc. However, the lockdown taught me everything. In the absence of family, roommates, and food delivery, I wouldn’t have survived this pandemic, if I hadn’t learnt it,” says the youngster. One of his friends came to his rescue and taught him basic cooking. Later Mudholkar continued learning from YouTube. He says that technology has helped him a lot too. And the fact that his friend is present in the city at the moment, “I know if tomorrow I face any crisis, I have a friend living 5 minutes away from me who will always be there to help me out. This helps me stay positive every single day,” he says. “I have been living alone for the past 6-7 years and I never realised how important being in touch with friends and living with family is. This pandemic made me realise that no matter how little time you get with your loved ones, live it to the fullest. Because you never know if tomorrow some drastic situation will arise, posing threat to your very existence,” Mudholkar says on a philosophical note. 

Praying for all 

Youngsters can fight this pandemic with all their might and emerge winners. However, it gets a little difficult for the parents. Still Ismail and Rahila Shaikh are the parents who are praying for the safety of the entire world. “In this lockdown, we are safe at home and praying for the people throughout the world. This being the sacred month of Ramzan, we are praying every day, especially for the humanity and health for all throughout the globe,” says Ismail. Their son, Aamir (23), is currently in the USA. In his absence, their family and friends are always available to help them. Says Ismail, “Nature demands change, and we have to adjust ourselves and support the law for the betterment of society. Insha Allah, all will be well soon.

The new extended family 

Manisha Prashant Chawade (50) lives in Wardha while her son is currently in Pune. “I miss him a lot and continuously pray for his well-being. Yes, I am worried for him but I always remind myself that he’s safe wherever he is,” says she.
And their neighbours never let them feel his absence. “We have developed a really good bond with our neighbours. We are all like a family now. So if we need something, they bring it for us. Also, other kids don’t let us feel the absence of our son. We talk to each other (by maintaining safe distance) to understand each other’s condition and needs,” Chawade says. It is important to share your feelings with others, no matter if it is for 5 minutes or more, she says.

One call away 

A teacher by profession, Vandana Upase from Chandrapur is currently busy in educating the kids which distracts her from thinking about her daughter, Utkarsha, who is currently stranded in Pune. “I am worried about my daughter but I know that I can’t get her home right now. Therefore, instead of feeling sad, I appreciate her for being brave. She is a great artist and is enhancing her skills. Also, to distract myself, I indulge in household work, cooking different dishes, making rangoli, etc,” says Upase whose son luckily returned home right before the lockdown. “Thankfully, our son is home, we have good neighbours, and other family members are just one call away,” she says.

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