What the lockdowns taught me about my family

Almost every evening, I sit with my parents in the balcony and have tea with cake, watching everyone else spending time in their balconies. This is something we never did before so regularly before. One of the very few positives from corona virus has been the free time some of us have been afforded with family during the lockdown.

Just a few months ago, I didn’t know what it really meant watching my father indulge in ‘timepass’ for hours on end and what is my mother’s definition of leisure time! I’ve learnt her way of coping with stress meant overworking to the hilt. Sounds familiar. I obviously knew both of them very well before, but being locked in together for so long has taught me to appreciate the various nuances of their personality. For the longest time, they were mythic figures for me. But now, I just know that they are just people, and that’s important.

Granted, this is a very dark time, but if there are any positives, I will to take out of this. With Mumbai being the epicenter for COVID-19 in India, it looks like our lockdowns will be the longest and harshest. There are many people who are locked in alone and some are even stuck with their partners, which makes for some incredible potential podcast episodes in the future! Right now though, I am learning a lot in terms of how I should and shouldn’t be dealing with my family. It has thrown light on their fears, their worldview and their priorities. I now know how much my brother really cares about his job and how seriously my mother takes every meal that’s prepared. It’s easy to be cavalier about people and their attitude when you are away from them for the majority of the day. But now, there are no excuses!

Many of our family members finally found out what we actually do for a living! I saw my mum work so hard and also realised she’s a person who genuinely likes working. I always wondered where my zeal for work came from and I thought it was my dad’s intensity but turns out that was my Mom’s single minded nature that I inherited. It took me so long to realise the same because I bid my mother goodbye in the morning and came back in the evening to eat food, work a little more, spend some time on my PC and sleep!

Never in a thousand years did I imagine I’d be watching my father play video games all day long and I’d be chiding him for it. 2020 has really been wild okay? When it comes to work, dad is very serious but when he doesn’t need to be there, he is like a sack of potatoes on the sofa! That man is going to have a hellish time post retirement if he doesn’t build constructive hobbies. When it comes to me, everyone in my house already knew my style of working because I have been working from home for quite some time now. But now that everyone knows the exact intensity of operations, I am disturbed less often!

We’ve somehow managed to carry on with our lives without getting on each other’s nerves all this while. It has got us closer to our family than and that’s that’s quite an unexpected outcome to me. Maybe we aren’t as dysfunctional as I suspected. Or maybe we’ve all grown up and matured in our own ways. All said and done, there are a lot of things to complain about. But watching every family member sacrifice and contribute to the household warms my chest. If nothing else, I will remember and cherish these awful lockdowns for this.

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