Nandita Pal



Nandita Pal


Two states in lockdown

Two states in lockdown

6 mins

Prabhat Narayanan got the first posting at Bhubaneswar. Prabhat, an intelligent IT engineer from VIT doing excellent in computers. He comes from a business family of Kerala where he is a single child. Prabhat's father was very keen that son joins family business but mother supported him to pursue her son's dream. Initially, it used to be difficult to adjust to this city mainly from food and language but slowly he started liking this place very much. Koli Tripathy, from Cuttack, works in the same company and became Prabhat's very good friend from a guitar class. Slowly both realized their friendship has turned into relation and both got committed.

Prabhat spoke to his parents about this relation, but her mother communicated that father is very upset as he feels it’s a mistake they have done sending Prabhat here and asked him to return home and look after his own business. Prabhat’s mother also sounded confused as one of his cousin uncles has done two-state marriage but it did not continue.

Koli hails from lawyer family, she has an elder brother who is also a lawyer. Koli s family is a little orthodox, she knew there will be trouble as elder brother is in a relationship but still, parents did not agree. Koli stays in a PG accommodation at Bhubaneswar, when every week she comes to Cuttack, a couple of times Koli expressed to her mother about Prabhat. But indirectly Kolis mother communicated to Koli to forget this guy and think about higher studies Koli wanted to do.

Without families support, Prabhat, and Kolis both of their minds are disturbed. Prabhat received a call from his father last night as his mother is not well and got hospitalized. Prabhat decides to go home and meets Koli outside of the office gate before leaving towards the airport.

Prabhat: Hi. I will be away for a few days, taking my laptop. As you know work is in critical stage, but the project manager allowed me to work a few days work from home until the medical situation improves. 

Koli- yes, please take care. I will pray to God, everything will be all right soon. I am going to Sambalpur to bhaia at a weekend, took 2 days off as well as its holy and parents are also going.

Prabhat- Good, enjoy

Koli- what enjoy, you know the situation. Do you think I am in a mind where I can enjoy it? Do not ridicule Prabhat.

Prabhat- Why not, take this opportunity to learn for getting me now (he said looking another side, and voice is heavy).

Koli- you also settle in home town, marry a girl there, why so much hassle of two-state, two cultures? You also be happy. (She said pretty loud and looked another side).

 Prabhat –Hope it's not Corona Virus and Mom comes back home safe. You also travel safe Koli. I need to rush to reach the airport on time.

Koli- We are traveling in our car. Don’t worry. You take care. I also need to rush now, have some work finish, and will push for Cuttack. Bye then. Safe travel.

Prabhat- bye

Both very sad, going apart, do not know what's there for them. Left for each destination.

Prabhat’s mother got a mild heart attack and was hospitalized. Koli did not go to Sambalpur rather his father asked his son to come home as the corona is spreading and everywhere alert is raised. Lockdown started within a few days when Koli and Prabhat are stuck in their homes.

Koli had to struggle to get her desktop moved from Bhubaneswar office to her home and settling down work at home. A couple of weeks passed by, both had few exchanges of whatsups, no calls. Prabhat and Koli became more tensed about their relations, whenever calls it turns out to be a fight or losing talk. One day Prabhat overheard Kolis mother was telling, ‘why don’t you people stop talking? Concentrate on your studies Koli’. Prabhat felt very bad, Koli too. They decided not to speak, not to think, and lets consciously try to come out of this relation.

Prabhat took care of all aspects of mothers' care during this phase. He used to be full nights awake when the mother has gone through the ICU phase. Also to give mental support to parents, managing neighbors, and relatives during this quarantine time Prabhat only did. Prabhat started working from home after the mother is settled back at home.

One day at night at Prabhat s house

Prabhat s Father- Prabhat, how is your office going son? Is everything ok?

Prabhat- (was quite some time, he was with his phone), yes Dad, all fine. It was a struggle but now all most all team are working from home.

Prabhat Father- how is the situation is in Bhubaneswar? Will you have to go again or working from here?

Prabhat- (looked at his Father), No I will be here only. I will not return to Orissa.

Prabhat Father- (she understood where she hurt him), came and put her hand on his shoulder) asked

How is Koli? Is their family ok?

Prabhat- (did not answer the question) looked away.

Prabhat Father- you are learning Oriya!

Prabhat – yes dad, I am doing an online course.

Prabhat's mother did not say anything, she left the room.

At Cuttack, that day is Kolis Bday. All in the family are dressed up, Kolis brother has made a beautiful Chocolate Cake. Koli is little unmindful, and going up and down to terrace and hall. Bhaia asked her what's the matter? Koli replied that is waiting for her friend Nishi s phone. 

Kolis parents, bhaia, and Koli all in the hall room, and Koli cut her cake. A phone call comes...

Koli- Hello

Nishi – Many many many infinite returns of the day, wish you a lovely bday. Probably this is the first time in life I am not there during your cake cutting in the last few years.

Koli- yes Nishi. I am missing you. (She spoke in Malayali)

Nishi – Ohio… perfect! but Missing me only? Anyone else?

Koli- Nobody I have forgotten everyone I knew before lockdown! (again in Malayali)

Nishi- then to….(by this time Nishi was in hurry to go join an office call), will catch up later. I am impressed dear, sorry I had to rush, You enjoy dearly.

Koli- Thank you, you take care.

(Kolis bhaia started singing a beautiful song, the house itself feels happy…

Koli goes and sits next to her brother. After sometime Kolis mother (she heard Koli speaking to Nishi) goes and sits next to the children.)

Kolis mother- Koli, how is Prabhat s mother, has she recovered? Has Prabhat returned from Kerala?

Koli did not reply, her eyes with tears. After a pause, she replies, ‘ I am forgetting Prabhat Ma’.

Kolis mother could not say anything. Koli opens her WhatsApp, puts in speaker.

Prabhat tells in Oriya- Wish you a very happy bday Koli. Be safe and be happy wherever you are. Enjoy your special day with your loved ones.

Everyone listened, Koli just goes away to her room.

Both parents and family understood the bonding and sincerity of Prabhat and Kolis love. They also understood if the mind wishes they can overcome any odds on the way. Both families agreed for Prabhat and Kolis marriage. Probably a lockdown helped to bring all family members close to each other and solve a matter so positively.

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