My Grandparents Are Here Quarantining With Me During This Lockdown And It’s Been Chaotic. I’ve Lost All Me-Time
I have lost a track of date, time or even the number of weeks it has been since we’ve been forced into this lockdown, and as we further approach this state of abyss that is living with corona, it seems like we’ve all hit a point in life where asking each other how they’re holding up seems kind of pointless because it feels like we are all in the same boat in the middle of a very, very quiet lake. I know because I am one of those many people who have been losing, regaining and again losing their sense of self and control as we keep shifting further away from what used to be normal.
And while others have started with the process of trying to make this their ‘new normal’, guess a part of me still yearns for the time when I could step out to shop, eat or even meet someone, without frantically obsessing over who has touched what. And if that wasn’t enough, we’ve added into the mix a couple of grumpy grandparents at our place who have are as frustrated, if not more
Not to sound like an ungrateful grandchild who wants to run away from responsibility, in fact, it’s rather the opposite for I have run right into it, I will admit that having my grandparents come home during this period of lockdown, has been quite taxing on me. More so because that has meant added chores, less me-time and more conservatism, all midst the Delhi heat that was anyway driving us crazy. From being on their constant beck and call, to cooking twice as many times things has me on the edge, almost constantly.
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You see, it is a fact that I love and respect my own grandparentsbut but it is also a fact that the entire world has shifted on its axis and put us in an alternate reality of sorts, and the rules of the game have changed. Trust has been replaced with suspicion, fresh air with disinfectant and outsourcing with home-grown. Be it house help or any other, we are our own chefs, cleaners, bread winners and that has meant for us to abruptly leave our dependent lifestyle behind to get down to some ‘aatmanirbharta‘. And just when we were finally getting used to all the changes that were sprung upon us, having to turn from a nuclear family to a joint one was the push one that has pushed me over.
I am mostly glad that we have my grandparents over, for it wouldn’t have been possible for them to get through this time but I would be lying if I didn’t admit to how much I miss my privacy. When I sit down to watch something, my grandmother often wants to know what I am watching, what the story line is and then ‘hmpfs’ when it doesn’t appeal to her sensibilities.
From a family of 5, as we become a family of 7, I’ve come to taste what living in a joint family actually feels like. And by far in this pandemic, it has only meant living under constant chatter, tumbling dentures and a lot of loud talking to compensate for the lack of hearing aids. I love my grandparents, and I would still love to tend to them, but under better circumstances, but since the concept of ‘right time’ has flown out the window this year, guess this is what it is. Besides on the brighter side, I could look at coming out of this lockdown well-versed in multigenerational lingo!