Posted by Savita Das, Delhi (as narrated to Amrita Dasgupta)
On 24th March, 8 pm, Sagar’s father Gautam had just returned from work. All three of us were in our cramped, one room home listening to Modiji. With the lockdown announcement, sadness and tension filled our tiny space.
Life came to a standstill. Sagar’s remaining 12th class board papers were cancelled. I could not go out to work in the neighbourhood shop nor could Gautam attend to his delivery-man duties. Since,the first day, Gautam and I have been anxious. How will we run the house?
My son, Sagar, is disabled. With great difficulty, this year, I had managed to get a junior student as his writer for the board examination. She knew Sagar and could follow his speech. His other subjects had gone off well. He is sad and worried, thinking of the papers still to be taken.
Sagar always looked forward to Sundays when we all would be home. Now, life seems to be endless Sundays. We play ludo and watch TV together. The pain and swelling in my knees has come down, as I have not pushed Sagar’s wheelchair for many weeks. I feel bad for Sagar. He is confined in the room. I know he is bored and misses his outings. But I don’t want him to get exposed to Corona.
In April, I did not get my salary nor did Gautam. We called our employers but they cannot pay during the lockdown. Thankfully, we had got a ration card four years ago. It is providing us with our basic food grains. Vegetables are too expensive and we eat only potatoes. With lockdown, a new requirement, sanitiser had come up. We need it as Sagar cannot be taken frequently to the distant community washroom to clean his hands.
Money was flowing out fast. Our monthly essentials were yet to be bought. We were worried and restless. Then… Sagar came to our rescue with his disability pension. We normally use it to pay his tuition fess. The pension amount is small but enough to take care of our immediate needs. We never thought our son would be our saving grace. We are indeed blessed!