The end date of the second set of three weeks of the lockdown across the country to flatten the Corona curve is almost upon us. The third of May is just a few days away, and with Labour Day a couple of days before that, we are getting plenty of opportunity to reflect upon work, the value of domestic work especially, and the value of supportive work such as domestic helpers, vendors, the people pressing your clothes and so many other jobs that we all tend to take for granted every other day, even more so when we are people living in some privilege of class, caste or community.
There is a whole lot of people recognizing that work is work and is not gendered in and of itself. For many of us, especially those locked down far from family, we are recognizing that we can and will do what it takes, never mind if those jobs were particularly reserved for one or the other person in the family or outside. There are others for whom the lack of that privilege or being trapped in oppressive spaces where their work is wholly determined by the stereotypes of what their gender is supposed to be good at, and who are fuming and fretting, or worse, in serious anxiety and distress, waiting for a time when they can be back at work.
By this time, a whole lot of us are likely to be taking ourselves that we can't wait for the lockdown to go. One hears grumbles of how some people even think to themselves that they are ok with the chances - the mortality rate of this virus isn't so high, and as someone living on their own, they would very much want the option to go ahead and get themselves the disease, get it over with and move on as a recovered covid patient. Many just want to get back to work, bored stiff of all their well meaning efforts to stay positive and connected virtually through this extended crisis times. Some are already there, planning their return to work on this Third of May, including things like where they might go for dinner after that.
Thing is, we all know in reality that we really should wait for the all clear signals, that we shouldn't really be our and that we should totally wait somewhere. Many of us will probably hold on to that space right through. Most might just go back to work and life mmediately as if nothing happened, even if they have to make do with many compromises. They tell themselves it is worth it, and that it is a better alternative for the current life
It just is not.
Like people who get into relationships just for the sake of company discover sooner or later, it just doesn't make sense to try and short circuit things. Loneliness or boredom aren't really great and lasting motives for relationships or work.
We need to wait for better times and more suitable opportunities.
As written for The New Indian Express.
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.