As we try in vain to get through the day without arguing with a family member, who popped into our room for a quick “Hello!” while we’re on a work call, navigating evening chores with the fam to the tunes of Saathi haath badhana—is this lockdown strengthening our relationships or testing them to death? One thing is certain: we will never understand ‘family’ in the same way.
Coincidentally, May 15 is the International Day of Families, and I wonder how it’s been going for you, reader! Be it the one you’re living with, the one you’ve made for yourself, or the one far away physically but brought close through video calls. What better time to reflect on our relationships than this lockdown!
How many hours did you spend with your family before the lockdown, and, how many do you now? What does your ‘family time’ look like? Is it a ‘friendly’ game of Ludo turned into the next Mahabharata, or are you training to join the Masterchef? Which family member has surprised you with a new aspect of their personality? How do you manage your work/study without interruptions? And, how do you divide the chores?
I really feel nothing brings us together more than hardship—and it cannot be emphasised how true it is today. We have a pandemic, and squashed together in the four walls of your house, your immediate family perhaps forms your only physical human interaction today. At the same time, we are reconnecting with all the chacha-chachi, mama-mami, and all those cousins we had never met. We are truly coming together over long calls and even online games. We have been forced apart, but have never been more connected.
So, how has this pandemic changed your relationship with your family? What do you think ‘family’ is, and how do you cope with being cooped up together? You can also talk about the family you’ve found in friends, or family living far away!