By: Madhumita Mandal


By-Madhumita Mandal


Neha lifts a cup of hot coffee. The vapors are making funny patterns. She checks the mailbox for the webinar link. For the last four months, she is working from home. She is a senior Lead in an IT company. She is missing her messy desk and even more her silly gossip time at tea breaks. She recalls her days at the office, her cravings for home, her longing to stay with kids, and her desire for family time. God is great! But wait a minute, she never prayed for such muddle and chaos. No helpers, cranky kid and an always hungry husband whose food cravings have exponentially increased since lockdown.

The link arises and breaks her reverie. The meeting will start in another 10 minutes. In the meantime, Richa too joins. Two ladies anywhere is a perfect combination for tittle-tattle. Richa starts to utter her morning chaos. "Hey! You came early today. Your helper arrived or what?"

Neha who is wearing a formal coat and a night suite pajama exhales deeply and retorts, "No …no. Today, my hubby is not having any important office work. He is babysitting."

Richa adjusting her headgears speaks up, "Lucky you. You are not aware of the pains and headaches of two babies of two different age groups. One will eat your head like pizza while the other will use your hairs to play guitar."

"Wait a minute. Previously, we used to discuss the office stress, mean boss and starved for home time. Many of us thought at the beginning of the quarantine and lockdown situation that working from home will be bliss, a dream come true. Now we realize what it means to juggle their work WITH restless kids," Neha sips her coffee and releases agony.

Richa frowns. "Don't tingle the wrong nerve, darling. Yesterday, my two pinpricks like kids made a band and sang the whole evening. The beats are still banging in my head. You mop, clean, cook and tutor all day in between your business meetings. Where is the personal space? My home has suddenly transformed into 'No Relaxation Zone."

Neha laughs. "Pricking words. When you aren’t in the office, there’s usually even less physical activity: No conference meeting rooms to walk to, no coworkers to go on a coffee run with and no long hallways that lead to the printer or bathroom. There were countless times when I’d find myself with back pain and numbness in the legs because I’d been sitting for five hours straight, without even realizing it. I’d get so lost in the silence of work that I lost interest to eat."

"Good to hear that you are on weight losing chore. Keep up the motivation," Richa teases her. "You and I are lucky. My younger sister is a new mom and she is constantly with her child and nowhere to go because of these restrictions and precautions. Poor soul."

"Hmm… Now we realize that nagging traffic and continuous honking was so cool. The back-bitters at the toffice, the good office politics is far better than full time home job. But everything has both pros and cons. No one will ever remember the business meetings I missed, I couldn't fare well or the undone assignments but my family will remember the precious moments I was there for! That no-regret policy became my North Star. It’s nice to discover this side of life as well," Neha expresses her feelings while finishing coffee. 10 minutes passes soon. Rest everyone joins one by one and the day kick starts online.