Candy, the cute, white Lhasa, cocked his ears, with his half opened eyes. “I will be moving out tomorrow, the first thing in the morning,” announced Sanjeevani as she went to the guest bedroom and banged the door behind her. Shekhar was seething in anger but did nor respond. He switched on the television. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing the nation. In their fight, both of them had completely forgotten about it.
“From the stroke of midnight today, the country will be under a total lock-down for the next three weeks,” the Prime Minister was saying. Shekhar was hearing him, wide- eyed. He went on to explain the extent of lock down and it practically meant that the country was on a war against the corona virus pandemic, that had gripped the world. As his ears were taking in all that was being said, his mind was busy working on the implications. How would Sanjeevani be able to move out the next morning, he thought. She had to go to her parent’s place, in a neighboring city and stay with them for some days while she looked for a place of her own to stay. With the lock-down, the transport also was now paralysed, making it impossible for Sanjeevani to go.
Sanjeevani and Shekhar had been married for five years now. They had known each other from the time that they were in college. Both worked in multinational companies and were doing very well, professionally. Candy was vividly remembering the day when Sanjeevani had brought him from her friend’s house, huddled comfortably in her arms, in her car. She then putting him in a basket covered with red paper, had taken him home. As soon as Shekhar had opened the door, Sanjeevani had thrust the basket in his hands shouting out a big happy birthday. Candy could never forget Shekar’s scream of delight on seeing him. Since then, Candy lived with them. Most of the time it was indeed difficult for him to decide who, out of the two, loved him more.
For the past couple of years or so, Candy had been quite upset. Disagreements and fights had started between the couple and many a times they would take serious shape. Shoutings, arguments, banging of doors, non communication, all of these would disturb Candy tremendously. He could clearly see that the root cause behind all this, stemmed out of, lack of time, being spent together. Both were ambitious and had become heady with success. One wanted to start a family, the other firmly dismissed it. Their expectations from each other grew but neither of them was pliable enough to address them. Every small thing started becoming an issue. Candy sadly saw both going their own separate ways in the name of having different likes. Both, looked for happiness alone and that was the worst thing, Candy thought could happen.
Candy, in his own way, would try to get them together. He would try to play, involving both of them. He even, would try taking both of them out, by pulling their clothes indicating them to step out. He would snuggle up between the two of them on bed but all this failed. The distance increased progressively and Candy became a hapless watcher. Now the time had reached for Sanjeevani to announce such a drastic step and Candy was feeling miserable. What could he do, to make things right, between these two people who he loved so much, he would keep on thinking.
Next morning, when Sanjeevani woke up, she was crestfallen to know the state of affairs of the country. That meant that she would have to stay put with Shekhar in that house for another three weeks. She felt terrible, to say the least; but there was no other option. Candy was the happiest, in this situation. So in the midst of the lock-down in the country, Sanjeevani and Shekhar continued living together. But things were very different now. Thrown together, with each other, day after day, without any house help, having to run the house turned out to be a task. It was extremely difficult to work in co-ordination, when they were averse to communication. But being just with each other, gradually, though slowly, revived their feelings for each other. They had more time to think about themselves and had nothing to run away to. The happiness that very foolishly, they were searching alone, elsewhere, started re-appearing off and on, now. Both of them started seeing the fact that every relationship, needed to be worked upon, constantly with the intention and belief to make it work, instead of leaving things to happen on their own. They realised that the age-old, tried and tested model of happiness, always is based on family, inclusiveness and love; everything else is secondary. They also realised that their own unhappiness and frustrations were being spewed out, generating more and more of the same. Somehow the priorities had got mixed up.
Now under this period of forced lock-down, Sanjeevani and Shekhar, again started to enjoy doing things for each other. Small acts of caring became acts of love. Both of them, in their own way, would try to surprise the other, by going that extra mile. This simple togetherness, filled them with heavenly joy and deep love for each other. Days passed and their love blossomed.The duo started talking about their thoughts and mistakes that had taken them apart.Unlike the earlier times, when there would be only accusations against each other, now both accepted their mistakes and talked about what all caused them. Both felt immensely grateful to God, for giving them a second chance. Sanjeevani would shudder to think of what she was going to do! She was going to leave home! Shekhar too would feel dreadful at the thought of a house without his love, Sanjeevani. Candy’s joy knew no bounds. How ironical, he thought that it took a pandemic to bring these two, his human parents, together again.