Mouna M



Mouna M


Corona Diaries 16

Corona Diaries 16

7 mins

Aditi was in tears, the mall was closed where she used to work before because of lockdown. She was the one and only breadwinner of the house after her father passed away, which made her quit studies and take up this job of a salesgirl in a mall nearby. She had a younger brother and a sister who were dependent on her for everything. Her mother had taken up a job as a housemaid.

Everything was going on fine for her. She was recently given a raise too for all the hard work that she had put in. However, she used to miss her dad like anything and that's what made her fall in love with one of her colleagues, Srikanth, who, according to her was the replica of her father who had touched her heart with his kind and helpful nature.

The management had taken a decision that since the mall would be closed, there would be no pay for anyone and that they could resume their work after the mall reopens. This had put everyone in a soup. Likewise, both Aditi and Srikanth felt helpless, but Srikanth tried to pacify Aditi that God would definitely help them. Saying so, he bought some refreshments to Aditi so that she could share it with her siblings. He also made sure that he bought her the grocery to last for a month. Aditi was in tears, which was wiped away by Srikanth and patting her cheeks, he said that everything would be alright and dropped her home.

Srikanth thought he couldn't sit at home as he had to support both his household and Aditi's. He saw the advertisement on TV about the requirement for a volunteer Corona worker. He immediately called up the number and confirmed to them that he would be joining them from the next day. He had to lie to his parents about the nature of his job as he was the only son, and they would never risk him for this kind of a life-threatening job. He hid it from Aditi too as he knew that she would not let him go ahead with it. He had lied to her that he was called by one of his old friends to help him with his business and that's how he earned money.

Srikanth's parents were in approval of the job as they were in dire need of money, which helped him work as a volunteer corona warrior and support both his and Aditi's family. Things went on smoothly as Srikanth would take all the precautionary measures whenever he was at the workplace. He also made sure that he would take a bath and washed his own clothes. He would be so tired after reaching home that he would hog on whatever his mother would give him and doze off instantly. Aditi used to miss his calls, but then she also took to stitching the masks for which Srikanth was providing the material. She was happy to see him once a week as he would visit her house to collect the masks and give the vegetables, that too for a short period of time.

Srikanth's dedication was literally seen by everyone around him as he would put his heart and soul to it. One day, it so happened that he had to deliver the goods to a house that had given birth to a newborn. As usual, he took all the necessary precautions and rang the doorbell, but to his dismay, no one opened the door. After waiting for a while, he thought of dropping off things at their doorsteps and took the phone to call the owner. He could hear the phone ringing, but no one answered his call. As he had to go for another delivery, he moved towards his bike. He was stopped by the child's crying. The child was crying nonstop. He felt something was wrong and with the help of the neighbors, broke opened the door. The inside scene was terrifying. It was heart-wrenching to see the child crying loudly next to where his mother laid unconscious. Srikanth wasted no time and called up for help from the nearby hospital. The ambulance came within no time. The doctor checked for the lady's pulse, who was pronounced dead. They took the body to the hospital for post mortem and her husband was informed about the same. As there was no one to take care of the newborn, Srikanth took care of the baby until his father came.

Srikanth saw the baby's father the next day itself in the hospital who told him that since the baby wasn't keeping well he had admitted him to the hospital. The lady's post mortem report was handed over to her husband and was told to get himself tested for corona as his wife's report revealed that she was corona positive. The baby's swab test came as positive for corona as well too. Srikanth was speechless, he had taken care of the baby so well yesterday that he had made him sleep on his shoulders for a long time. He wouldn't want to risk his family for the same and decided to go ahead with the test, which unfortunately came as positive.

He, however, convinced his family that he would be traveling out of the city for a month or so and as it was an emergency, he could not come home to inform them. Srikanth's innocent parents believed him, but Aditi got a doubt as she could feel Srikanth's voice was shivering. However, she didn't give it much thought as she got busy with stitching masks as it was indeed profitable, and she had to stitch a 100 more to be delivered the next day. Srikanth had informed one of his friends, Charan, to handover the grocery to both his house and Aditi's and had asked him to pick up the masks too. 

Srikanth's health condition deteriorated, but then he was constantly in touch with both Aditi and his family. Aditi thought of making a video call to him one day as she was missing him badly. Srikanth saw the video call and immediately rushed to the garden to answer her call. Aditi was happy to see his face and kept on talking to him. Srikanth somehow controlled his urge to cough as he had run downstairs to the garden. He tried to look normal, but then he couldn't control it anymore and started coughing vigorously. Aditi kept on asking him as to what was wrong, but the phone lay on the ground, untouched by anyone as he had corona. Aditi could only see a few people walking around, but no one answered her. Aditi's crying reached her mom and she came out running as to what made Aditi cry so loudly. Aditi just pointed out at her phone, which her mother could not understand.

Srikanth was rushed to the ICU where his condition got worsened. He was unconscious. Aditi immediately rang his friend, Charan, who answered her call immediately, and not knowing that she had spoken to Srikanth, he told her that everything was fine as he had to follow Srikanth's instructions to not disclose the fact that he had corona. Aditi screamed at him and told him to take her to where Srikanth was. Charan was shocked to hear that and immediately rushed to the hospital, but he was not allowed inside. He had to wait outside helplessly. He put his phone to mute so that he wouldn't get to answer Aditi's call.

Aditi was frustrated. She was finding herself in such a devastating condition that her mother had to calm her down by saying that God was the last resort. Aditi could not imagine Srikanth's parent's condition, but she was sensible enough not to disclose this to his parents. As her mother told her, she washed her face and lighted the lamp in front of her favorite idol, which was gifted by Srikanth himself. She started praying to God, and told him that if God doesn't help the kind-hearted people like Srikanth, then who would he help. She closed her eyes in order to control the tears, which was wiped away by her younger brother who told her that Srikanth mamu, would return soon with lots of chocolates as he had promised him that last time when they had met. Aditi hugged him tightly and wished that his prayers be answered too.

Charan could not control his anxiety and asked the duty doctor about Srikanth's health and the doctor answered him that miraculously, Srikanth was out of danger and that he had to be quarantined for 21 days more for the safety of people in and around him. Charan's happiness knew no bounds, he immediately called and informed Aditi who sighed a huge relief. Charan requested Aditi not to disclose this to her family. Aditi abided by that and 21 days was like 21 months for her. 

On the 22nd day, Srikanth's discharge from the hospital was awaited by so many of his friends headed by Charan. Srikanth while maintaining the social distance, greeted them all and rode on his bike to meet his parents. They were so happy to receive him and after he was fed stomach full by his mom, Srikanth went straight to Aditi's house. On hearing the bike sound, Aditi ran towards him and despite his resistance, hugged him tightly. Srikanth slowly took off her hands and apologized for not disclosing everything by holding his ears. Aditi nodded her head in agreement. Srikanth was happy and handed over the chocolate to her younger brother and sister, who were very happy about seeing him back with chocolates...

Will be back with more...

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