Meharaj Bano, ADN’s Intern and BBA Student at Vellore Institute of Technology University in India, has written a personal and reflective piece, titled ‘Social distancing a learning experience!’. It is very well written and provides an interesting insight. Please read it below.
Social distancing a learning experience!
By: Meharaj Bano
A dreamer who never gives up and can stay positive in a turbulent situation- My name is Meharaj Bano and I am currently pursuing my BBA at Vellore Institute of Technology University in Andhra Pradesh, India. I was born and raised in a city called Vijayawada Semi-Urban, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh. I come from a typical Muslim conservative extended family of 18 members. We have a family business that started around 30 years ago. We live in a locality where there is a majority of Muslims, who work in different fields (such as in supermarkets, real-estates, etc.) and everyone shares a good bond. Through this, I have learned that any difficult situation can be overcome by just working together as a team. This is what helps me grow in the time of COVID 19 as well.
I never experienced something like this before. As no one saw it coming. This was not something that anybody would have imagined. Everyone is locked in their house to save their lives from – CORONAVIRUS. The unexpected outbreak of the virus, the lockdown, self-quarantine, and the Janata curfew (public curfew) might have different impacts on different people’s lives. For me, it was a bonding experience. I live with an extended family of 18 people during the lockdown. The aunts, uncles, their kids and our grandparents all together in one place. Initially, it was normal, gradually there was a food shortage, the shops were closed, and there were kids in the house who were craving for toffees and snacks. We stocked all the necessary items we needed and kept in mind that we should not overstock them as there are other people who need them too. This is when you know and understand the importance of helping each other in tough times and how relationships and connections are important. The basic daily necessary items were available every day in the morning and I could see how men in our house got up real early and went to get things, like milk, and made sure that they got everything essential and ensured that no one faced any shortage or problem. Another important thing was doing the household chores, the maids were not able to come, and cleaning, washing, and cooking are the most essential things. There was a lot of work but it was equally divided among everyone, even the men who never in their life at least in our family worked at home were helping the women in the household chores. I did not know previously how to do any household work too, but now I was still doing and helping my mother. Social distance made us all work together and made a lot look less.
Social distancing can present a unique opportunity to be creative in your own space. We were organizing the cupboards and closets, surveying everything we might want to remove from our home because there’s no need for it. The kids were all together learning how to paint and sketch from their favourite YouTube videos. Every evening was badminton time, we had stories time with our grandparents. Before everybody was busy in their lives, now all we’re doing things together, such as playing, painting, watching movies, series, etc. We were also video calling our friends and families. The social distancing was also worshiping time for us; we were praying, reading religious and holy books and praying to be safe and strong.
I know that social distancing is a temporary situation. We always wished for that one extra holiday to stay at home and now we are asked to stay at home for months without any work. What else do we need? Even we are stressed out by the Coronavirus situation, but we should remain positive. We are spending more time with our families and learning new skills. Nothing more we could have asked for. Family togetherness is important, especially during times of distress. If we are together, strong and united we can fight any virus that comes our way, we should just keep in mind that everything will be back to normal and we should utilise the time we have now as it will not return.
I pray for the people across the globe to Stay Home and Stay Safe to fight this difficult time.