The first thing I do each morning as I wake up, is reach for my phone. That’s unusual because I don’t like getting to it until later in the day. But these are unusual times and I switch to my WhatsApp messages with a mixture of hope and dread.

Both parents are down with Covid and WhatsApp is my only source of information. My sister’s number is pinned to the top of my screen and I check if there’s a message from her. There isn’t. I check her ‘last seen’ time. Is she is still asleep, I wonder or she is caught up in some sort of an emergency. My head goes into an overdrive, a maelstrom of a million possibilities swirling around, none of them good ones.

As I wait for her message, I scroll down to my school group. ‘Thirty four unread messages’ it says and I know. I know without looking that it isn’t good news. Over the last month I’ve run out of words that can convey even a fraction of what I feel when I read those messages. How does one tell a childhood friend how sorry one is when she loses her father, her partner, her uncle? How?

I’m sorry for your loss 
Om Shanti 

These are but words. Meaningless, powerless. And yet, this is all we have along with the hope that it will bring some solace knowing there are people out there who care.

I check for my sister’s message again. 


I’m reluctant to call, afraid I’ll crowd her already crowded schedule, looking after two sick people and a large house with no maid support. That, when she herself has just recovered from an exceptionally bad bout of Covid. I know she needs to rest but doesn’t have the luxury as she continues to run on adrenalin alone.

So I wait. 

I wait for a message that tells me all is well. 

It comes soon enough. Temperatures and oxygen levels of both parents appear on our family group and I breathe easy again.

And so the vigil continues, counting down days till their quarantine is over, till I know for certain, they have both safely beaten the virus.

I know I’m not alone. I know there are thousands of people out there helpless, frustrated, far away from loved ones, counting days and hours, praying hard as I am. I know there are others struggling for oxygen, for medicine, for hospital beds, for doctors.

I include them all in my prayers each morning even as I am ever more conscious of my privilege. And immensely grateful for it.

Hoping and praying better days come around for everyone.

Edited to add: As I write this my father is out of his quarantine while my mom continues to get better.

5 Replies to “Waiting”

  1. Thank you for sharing such an amazing information with us. I found it very useful and wonderful blog. Keep sharing such blogs with us.

  2. Its truly one of the most difficult times Tulika I wrote about not being ok like a few minutes ok and hit publish, Glad your parents are ok. Stay safe.

  3. So glad your prayers are working. I know how terrible it must be for your sister. Just praying that this horrid horrid virus leaves us soon. Stay safe.

  4. As awful as this sounds, these are times I’m glad my parents didn’t have to live through, Tulika. They loved socializing and going out (unlike yours truly) and this would have been such a hardship for them.
    So glad your parents are on the mend. All we have to cling to is hope and love.
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