COVID-19 Diaries: Juggling

man juggling basketballs near storefront
Photo by Paweł L. on

I log in with a coffee and croissant by my side. The email volume is low and I figure I might get the dosai and adai maavu done if the day was going to be light. I get up, soak a mixture of rice and dals in varying proportions and return to my seat.

I scan my calendar, respond to emails and hear the chatter of the kids coming down. I head to the kitchen again, heat up milk, get breakfast going and send them their way. The elliptical beckons and I heed. Saathi is already logged in and settled into work. Work calls start at 9:00 am and go all the way to 10:30 am. I take a break, herd the kids to shower and come back to a flood of emails and something that has to be prioritized.

I spend most of the day on calls, looking up things that are new to me and trying to remind myself to breathe. The children do their math, I set up writing prompts for them. I take a break to sit with Laddu and her paper packets.

It is not even 2:00 pm and I am ready to cry. I return to more work calls and a sense of urgency about everything. My twins are behind on their day three work. The rice and dals soaking from the morning are calling me. I heed again, get the grinder going and switch to work mode.

At some point, I make the time to craft an email to my daughters’ teachers explaining why app-based learning may not work for them and suggest alternatives. I hear back in less than an hour with the details I request. This time, I cry, fat tears of happiness.

I end my day a little past 6:30 pm when my VPN cuts me out rudely. All I want to do is curl up with a hot beverage and have dinner served to me. Instead, I have two pans sizzling on the stove and four mouths to feed. I cook, clear and turn the lights out and send a prayer heavenward.

The knowledge that we are in this for the long haul is both sobering and draining. I think of single parents battling it out without help. I think of hourly workers and those who are suddenly without a paycheck and feel a wave of gratitude wash over me. I thank that the only sacrifice being asked of us is that we stay home and stay safe.

4 thoughts on “COVID-19 Diaries: Juggling

  1. I feel every word of your writing Laksh,
    Last night, I felt like a few cathartic tears would do the trick, but I couldn’t even summon up the energy. So, I sat looking mutely into the night. At some point I fell asleep wondering whether I can go on doing all that is expected of me in these times, and then I thought of all the daily wage workers, small business owners, said a prayer in gratitude, and resolved to get through to the next day and the day after.

    1. I think we all under estimate the trauma of this as it unfolds over the next few weeks. It is hard to go through like everything is okay when nothing is. This is truly an unprecedented situation.

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