The current situation where the novel Corona has taken the entire world by storm is something that I have never experienced before.
For the first time in my life, exams have been cancelled, schools have shut down abruptly in the middle of the year and everything has come to a standstill.
It is an extremely upsetting time for us, as we speculate about our unfinished assignments and our studies on halt. Many of us are involved in our online classes, but the novelty is wearing off fast, with no friends to whisper and joke with, the monotony of being in front of a screen very overwhelming.
Being inside has never been more difficult, the walls of the house seeming to claw at me as I long to go outside and resume my cancelled plans. Going to find my mom to whine for the umpteenth time that there’s nothing to do in the house, I find her crying on her prayer mat.
I stop on the threshold feeling guilty, I haven’t been a very patient daughter for the last couple of weeks. She’s praying to Allah amidst her sobs, praying for our safety, for our well-being.
Tears coming to my own eyes, I sit down behind her, holding up my own palms to say Ameen, a heartfelt one, praying for it to go straight to the skies. The guilt becomes stronger as I try to think about things from her perspective.
That night, lying in bed, I think about my parents. Both of them have been constantly on the go, cleaning after us, cooking for us, making sure that we feel safe and happy. The added responsibilities of having everyone at home hasn’t put even a frown on their foreheads.
My dad makes jokes to lighten the mood, my mom makes sure to have something especially nice for dinner every night. Sure, they have their ups and downs, the worry on their face evident but they have been doing their best to make things smoother for us.
I remember a conversation between them, my dad worrying because his retail outlet has been closed since the last week and my mom lovingly reassuring him that Allah would make everything better.
I make a few resolutions before drifting off to sleep that night. Tomorrow is a new day, and I will start afresh. The next morning, I help my mom do the dishes, I sweep and mop with her, I make the beds, feeling happy as we clean the house. Something which I’d thought would be a chore, is an excellent time for bonding as we laugh and chatter.
My dad cracks jokes as he makes breakfast, and my heart seems as if it will split with joy. My mom looks less tired and the day that would normally drag, passes productively and happily. The worries are forgotten for a while that night, amidst laughter and love.
When my mommy comes in to say goodnight, she stoops and gives me an extra hug and a big kiss. And that makes the whole day worthwhile, as I snuggle happily under the covers. I’m going to help her every day, I vow to myself. And sleep, which had evaded me for the last couple of weeks, came easily that night as I slept with a clear conscience.
What have you been doing in these upsetting times? Have you been taking care of the parents who love you so much, and who pray every moment for your happy life?