A day in the life of a housewife amid the COVID-19 lockdown…

Khevna Pandit
Wednesday, 29 April 2020

‘Thanks to COVID-19, everyone now has the time,’ says homemaker Vaishali Amit Shirodkar. A day in the life series highlights how people in Maharashtra are fighting the pandemic in their own way.

For Vaishali Amit Shirodkar, a housewife residing in Jalna, Maharashtra, the ongoing pandemic has given her family a reason to find time for each other. “I like being busy,” she tells Sakal Times. 

“Whether it is sewing work or drawing, I really like working.” However, her increasing chores in the kitchen take away most of her leisure time, leaving her with barely any respite and all thanks to the nationwide coronavirus lockdown. 

“I have a good time because we’re all together, but doing housework leaves me with no time to pursue my hobbies. After a long, tiring day, I don’t feel like taking anything up,” says Vaishali. 

Hailing from the worst affected state in India, the uncertainties of the following few months worries her. “When will the outbreak end?” she asks, “All of us are waiting with bated breath. Reading about the rising number of cases every day is scary -- makes us question, what will happen to our country?” she continues. 

Despite the mundaneness of the lockdown routine, Vaishali reiterates why staying at home is imperative, “If we follow it (social distancing) well, we will have good results sooner. I hope everyone stays at home and we’re able to send the virus packing.”

Living with her husband, a mechanical engineer who works from home has been challenging. 

“After he’s awake, he will want a cup of tea. After I give him some tea, he wants snacks -- and then lunch,” she tells us. “He also wants me to prepare something new every day.” 

However, regardless of her increasing workload, Vaishali has managed to see a bright side to an otherwise grim situation. “It is wonderful how our old stories and games have come back to life. Games that we used to play as kids like langdi, champu are a novelty for today’s generation. Mahabharata and Ramayana reruns on television take me back to my childhood days,” she nostalgically adds. 

Vaishali, like billions of others, didn’t anticipate that there would be days like these.

“Although there’s an option of online shopping, we have managed to control a lot of unnecessary expenditure. We only buy what we need and have learnt to forgo everything else,” she says.

She also has a young son, who like her husband, demands her to treat him with different delicacies day after day.

“Aai, please prepare sheera for me, please let me have maggi or sherbet. He always asks for something, and the demands continue all day long!” she smiles.

While staying indoors is nothing less than a challenge for Vaishali, she also expresses her gratitude towards the essential workers who have dedicated their lives to keeping us safe. “Police, doctors, nurses, and other essential workers – I’m very thankful to them. They have left their families behind to serve us public. I salute them,” she tells us. Yet, despite all, Vaishali is glad that her family spends quality time together, something which was a struggle before the lockdown was imposed.

Looking at the brighter side of the situation, she concludes, “Thanks to coronavirus, we now have time for our family members. Earlier, we’d only hear each other say ‘we don’t have the time’, but thanks to this pandemic -- everyone now has the time.”

Photojournalist: Prathamesh Ausekar

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