Soham Paul



Soham Paul


TEA… Corona Times

TEA… Corona Times

3 mins

“Hello, Baba, how are you?”- the voice was anxious.

“ Haan Manish beta, I am fine. How are you? How are the kids?’’- answered Raj Kumar Singh, a retired govt. official, based in Kolkata.

His son, Manish is based in Lucknow, UP. 

“Baba, due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, the nationwide lockdown has been declared by the govt. Please arrange the essential food items, medicines. One thing is mandatory, never go out without mask and refrain from going outside as much as possible. I’ll be calling you later.’’- Manish

‘’ Hello, hello Manish beta….”- Raj Kumar was extremely pensive and was feeling restless.

‘’ Sudha, have you heard about the declared lockdown? ‘’ Rajkumar was trying to find his wife.

‘’ No, lockdown??? ‘’ replied a baffled Sudha.

Rajkumar rushed to the local Kirana shop and found a long queue there. Everybody was talking about only lockdown.

By evening, Rajkumar found that he had become quite educated about the worldwide pandemic crises and the impending effects. TV channels, news pamphlets, WhatsApp messages: every platform was loaded with news of Corona Virus.

He found Sudha was enjoying her daily soap on the TV.

‘’ Sudha, have you called Malti?’’ – Rajkumar was asking about their maid.

“Ohh sorry, I forgot.” – Sudha.

Hell broke loose when Sudha came to know that due to lock down the public transport had gone for a kaput and their maid wouldn't be able to turn up till the lockdown got annulled. 


The next day morning, Sudha got surprised when Rajkumar came with the morning tea.

“Sudha, I know because of your arthritis issues, it will be herculean for you to attend the daily chores. Till the lockdown gets lifted and Malti resumes I’ll be helping you in the day-to-day household job.

As they were enjoying evening tea later, Sudha asked, ‘’Raju, aren’t you feeling ashamed of expediting the so-called feminine jobs? Hahahahahaha. You use to be quite vocal about that.’’

‘’Sorry, I have undermined your effort. During the initial days of our conjugal life, we didn’t have so much money that we could afford a maid. Then I used to help you out.’’ – Rajkumar.

“Within a year, I became pregnant. Manish came into our life. You had to leave the job because of problems with management.’’- Sudha paused for a moment. Her eyes became moist.

“I had no job then. Was trying luck in setting business. Got ditched by a good friend of mine. By that time, my father died in the village. When my beloved younger brother deceived me and tried to harm my mother, I got crestfallen. You stood like a rock beside me and persuaded me to bring my mother to Kolkata from the village.” – Raj Kumar.

“Ok Raju stop, don’t reminisce those hard days.’’ – Sudha

“You were constantly pushing me to appear for the Govt job exams. We weren’t even able to purchase Newspaper every day. You used to bring the left-over newspaper from the nearby kirana. You took menial jobs also.” – Rajkumar stopped.

 “Yes, I remember.”- Sudha.

There was an abrupt silence.

‘’ Raju, in fact, we are relishing evening tea together maybe after so many decades. Do you last remember when we enjoyed our evening together?’’ – Sudha.

‘’ Ohhh – the tea is losing the warmth. Sip it fast Sudha.” – Rajkumar was tickling.

Sudha unknowingly noted lost sunshine in her beloved Raju’s eyes which took her back to the days when they first met at a coffee shop, Sudha paid the bill and Raju was without any money after tendering the bus fares.

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