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  • Writer's pictureGarima Raghuvanshy

#16 Surabhi

(Names have been changed to maintain privacy)

Surabhi is 13. She lives in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, and has a lot of friends. Her hobby is listening to music, especially English pop music. With the next academic year Surabhi will go into the 8th grade. But at the moment there is no news about when schools will reopen.

Before the lockdown Surabhi used to go to school at 8:30 and come back by 3:30. She had tuition thrice a week. She’d watch TV, eat lunch, study, and walk. She has two pet Labradors, so she would roam with them all around. By 11-11:30, sometimes by 10:30, Surabhi would go to sleep.

She had just returned from her grandmother’s house when the lockdown was announced. When Surabhi heard about the lockdown, she was very angry. Two-three days it was fine, okay, no problem. But now she is bored. Ghar mein kuchh karne ko toh hai nahi. So, Surabhi listens to music and talks with her friends on WhatsApp.

She has many friends, but she doesn’t live close to any of them. The lawn in her house is too big, so she plays there. Surabhi lives in a large joint family and has many cousins. They are all much older than her, so she doesn’t play with them, but she talks to them a lot. Like really, a lot. She is very close to her dad, so she plays with him. Being in a joint family she is happy to have so many people to talk to. Dusri families jis mein koi bacha nahi hai, unko kitna bore hota hoga.

Surabhi wants to be on the phone more. She is all alone, but she doesn’t use the phone that much. She had already gotten her books for 8th grade before the lockdown, so she has to study those. She spends 3-4 hours studying every day. Surabhi reads her schoolbooks, but comics mein zaada maza aata hai. She like novels the most. ‘Dairy of a wimpy kid’ is her favourite. Her school gives students homework over WhatsApp, which they have to complete weekly. Mann toh karta nahi hai but I have to, nahi toh daant padegi. Like Surabhi, her friends are all bored. On WhatsApp they ask each other, homework kiya hai? And ek dusre se homework share kar dete hein.

Surabhi has just started reading the newspaper. She loves the t2 supplement of The Telegraph. She also watches news a little bit. Darr toh lagta hai. But the outbreak is not concerning her that much because Surabhi is all ready for that. Mai saare precautions leti hun jo mujhe lene chahiye. She washes her hands every now and then, she never goes out, like, at all. Mask ki toh koi zaroorat nahi hai, ghar mein hi rehna hai toh kaunsa mask lagaana. That’s it. Medical teams have not come into her area. There are no cases of Covid-19 in her area, but there are two cases in her district. Aur woh bhi bahut hai. 2 cases bhi bahut zaada hote hein. In countries like America people are going outside a lot and the virus has spread, maybe that’s why they have so many cases. In a small district like Hazaribagh if people go outside even two cases are enough to spread the virus.

Surabhi with her Labradors

People will have to understand. In the news it is coming that muslims are in mosques. Toh, galat mentality hai logon ki. People have the wrong mentality. And it isn’t just muslims who are doing this or doing it more than others. Pura India hi iss mein galat hai. Mereko basically hindu-muslim karne waale logon se bahut nafrat hai. She doesn’t have information right now, but there must be many people who are coming together despite Corona. Muslims ko jo target kiya jaa raha hai ye sahi nahi hai, ekdam nahi. The targeting of muslims is not right, not right at all. There is some news that Pakistan has done something. She is not basically against Pakistan, but that’s what in the news. But she doesn’t think Pakistan ne zaada kuchh kiya hoga. She doesn’t know. Surabhi is not that regular with the news toh zaada nahi pata.

During the lockdown, Surabhi’s parents are always tensed. Her whole family is into business. Surabhi ke bade-papa caterer hein, so he has to take lunch to the hospitals. Unhe thoda tension hota hai. In the hospital facilities bahut hi zaada kam hein. Like government mein, jaise, wahaan par the people who have been kept in quarantine, she has heard from her uncle that the children there, they have no facilities. No toothpaste, no brush. So, her uncle bought some for them.

Saare bachhon ka dream hota hai, that school closes. Matlab, zaadatar. Mera bhi hai. But now it’s like, all her friends also say it, pehli baar mai zindagi mein bol rahi hun ki mujhe school jaane ka mann hai. After the lockdown the first thing Surabhi will do is ghar ke bahar nikalke masti karna. She told her friends, jaise 14th ko khulne waala tha pura India, toh mai bazaar jaake pura market hi khareed lungi. Mai karungi nahi, bas aise kehni ki baat hai. She will not actually do this, it’s just a manner of speaking. She wants to go to a hill station. Kahin aur. Bas ghar ke bahar nikalna hai. But even that might not be right. Sabke mann mein hoga ki ghar ke bahar nahi nikalna hai, Coronavirus abhi bhi hai, uska danger hai. Toh mai bhi nahi nikal paaongi.

Some things have been done well in the lockdown. Achha toh hua hai, maine koi farak nahi dekha hai toh mujhe nahi pata bahut zaada. Surabhi paints a little these days. She already knew how to paint, now she has more time to take it up. Maid toh kisi ki nahi aa rahi hai toh ofcourse ghar ka kaam seekha hi hai. She never used to do the dishes earlier, now she does. She has also learnt more about how to cook. Mai khaana pakaati hun, but kam. Ab thoda bahut aur. Sandwich and all bana leti hun.

Her mother says about the blog post ki beta thoda conservative likhna. Surabhi takes the phone and says, I’m nothing like that. You can publish this anywhere.

PC: Surabhi


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