'Lockdown empowered my life'

C. Brinda  

I am a 51-year-old homemaker just recovering from stage three breast cancer. The last one year has been harrowing for me where I underwent six chemotherapies, 15 radiations and a mastectomy at Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. I was limping back to normalcy when the nationwide lockdown was enforced. My family comprises my 59-year-old husband and our 22-year-old autistic daughter as well as my aged mother and a younger sister. My family will not be complete without our ‘dashing’ dachshund, Leo.

I have a part-time house help, Santha, who helps in domestic chores six days a week. But ever since the lockdown started, she couldn't come as public transport had come to a standstill. So, I was forced to do all the domestic chores including cooking and cleaning all by myself. Until then, I was under the impression that I was totally dependent on Santha. I am a highly religious person where I used to visit the local temples regularly. Every day, I used to get up by 3:30 am which has been my habit all along my life.

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I got all the more attached to God. I believe that it was my pious feeling that helped me fight my illness. My family's support has also been incredible. During this lockdown, with the temples closed for the public, I couldn’t visit one and I didn't want to change my routine. So instead of waiting for Santha, I started to cook and clean from 3:30 am every morning. I have a strange or rather a ‘bad habit’ of doing things alone without disturbing anyone. By the time my family members get up, breakfast and lunch will be ready catching them unawares. At the same time, the house will be spick and span. I have been doing this every day, ever since the lockdown was enforced. I take a cat nap after my breakfast and when I find the time, I read the day’s newspaper.

Once the public transport is reinstated, Santha will resume her duties. But I feel happy as well as proud that my house remained intact during this lockdown. In a way, I feel happy and empowered that I could do my chores and take care of my autistic daughter without much hullabaloo. In fact, I’m just waiting to proudly brag to Santha saying, yes, I can run the house without her. I feel that illness is just a passing phenomenon which can be defeated by making oneself engaged, leaving little time to ponder about it.

(The writer is a homemaker in Kerala)

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 4:01:32 AM |

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