A mere infliction in the numbers of Covid is a definite reason to worry. Lockdown and work from home are very logical measures. However, working from home isn't easy for those who are in fact away from their homes.
Delhi is a city that hosts thousands of people like me, who once again, have been forced to stay within the confines of their four walls while having to take full care and responsibility of their own.
The last two years have been very hard on all of us for very obvious reasons. The people of the whole world were confined within the walls of their homes two years back, it happened again during the second wave and now yet again, we all have been asked to 'work from home'. Though I understand that it is important for the safety of all and to curb the rise in the Covid cases, however, it has also taken away the exhilaration of waking up everyday and getting ready to go to work. The eagerness to see my colleagues turned friends, gobbling up their lunches and then deciding together what to order for the second round.
I am one of those people who have left their hometowns to move to metro cities in bid to go to college and work. It's been almost four years since I have moved to Delhi and it has made me realise that it is certainly not easy to build a life on your own. However, with all its hardships, this life comes with its own perks too. It becomes a bit easier once the city starts welcoming you and you start accepting it.
After spending almost a year at home in 2020, I moved to Delhi the next year when I landed this job. It started to look like everything was getting back to normal until the second wave hit us and it hit us real bad. Thankfully, I managed to get home well in time. As the second wave ended, I and many others like me moved back, we all started going to our offices, going out for dinners, trying out new places and what not.
As the time passed, again it started to feel like everything was getting back to normal. Living in my PG became a bit easier because every morning I woke up, I had my whole day ahead of me to look forward to. With masks in place and sanitisers in hand, we all were ready to seize the days, one day at a time.
Last Monday morning, as I was getting ready to go to work, I got a call from my senior telling me not to come. He told me that we now have to work from home. I first got sad, then got back into my PJs and sat in front of my laptop screen. It didn't hit me until I started feeling hungry that I now have to make lunch. The liberty of eating food that my colleagues got from their homes was now taken away. Now, cooking itself is not something anyone would crib about, however, when you are living on your own, without any domestic help, working full shifts from home and then you have to prepare food for yourself three times a day, it does start to get on your nerves.
I have been doing this for five days now and it just doesn't get better. It is not just about the food, there is cleaning of your room, dusting, doing laundry and getting groceries. To top all of this, my glasses broke and now, I also have to get new glasses without which, I can't leave Delhi to go home. Such are the times when you wish you had your family by your side. Things are so much easier when you don't have to care about food, laundry, dishes, groceries along with your work, when you know there is someone you can turn to when you need help.
Another thing that is very off putting about living alone and working from home is how the loneliness creeps in after you are done with the day, looking for someone to have a tea with and talk to but there is no one. It can get a little too silent within the four walls of the room and even though there is always an option of video calling the friends and family, that still doesn't make up for the warmth of physical presence.
I talked to Neeru Sharma, 24, who has been living in Delhi for six years now. Neeru used to work as a cabin crew for a well reputed airline but lost her job owing to Covid. Currently she is working as a BDM for a firm in West Delhi and resides in Rajouri Garden. She says, "Working from home, while having to do all other chores on your own is certainly not easy. There are times when I start to feel hungry while working but I can't leave my work unattended to get something to eat, nor do I have the option of asking someone else to help because there is literally no one. It is not easy to coordinate the work from the office and the work of my own. Even when I prepare dinner for myself and sit to eat, the loneliness saddens me. In the office, we all used to sit together to eat and that joy is not there anymore."
She further says, "If I get sick or just not feeling well, there is no one to take care of me. I still have to get up and prepare food for myself."
Saurav Kumar Mishra, a student in Delhi moved here four years back. Originally from Dhanbad, he has recently tested positive and is currently self isolating at his room in South Delhi. He says, "It is certainly not a good feeling to not have your family by your side, especially at such times. I miss my home, my family and my friends. Fortunately, Covid has not taken a toll on my mind and body yet and I am managing my classes while taking care of myself. Still, isolation and loneliness are definite bummers and can creep in anytime. I feel like any other city apart from your hometown will always be cold even on the warmest of days."