When Bunny and I were simultaneously struck down by the nasty bug and put ourselves in home quarantine, added to the anxiety of possible hospitalisation, or worse, was the emotional dislocation of having lost our individuality and become two more anonymous statistics in the soaring graph of the corona case load.
This theft of the self can be almost as psychologically and emotionally debilitating as the physical ravages of the disease. How were we to reclaim ourselves as selves, not numbers? The solution came about spontaneously, and in a way that couldn’t have been better.
In order to prevent cross-infection, we had isolated in separate rooms, and communicated through our mobiles.
From the moment we woke in the mornings to just before going to sleep at night, we’d make repeated phone calls to each other. The content of our conversations was, by and large, of a practical, ‘How are you getting on?’ nature.
We’d ask each other what our oximeter and thermometer readings were, and whether we’d remembered to have all the various medicines prescribed for us, and what we’d like for the next meal.
But these mundane telephonic exchanges brought back a tidal wave of memories of a romance that started in the Calcutta of over 50 years ago.
As Bunny’s unofficial fiancé, I was allowed by her dad to visit Bunny on a daily basis at their home. But at 7pm sharp her dad would call out to the domestic help, ‘Raju, khana lagao!’
We all knew that the family never ate before 8.30. The announcement was my signal to go. Curfew time.
But late at night, both households asleep, Bunny and I would talk on the phone till early morning.
What we said didn’t matter, couched as it was in the sublime nonsense which is the prerogative of all lovers everywhere, taboo for eavesdropping ears.
In remembrance, Bunny and I rediscovered that as we were then, so are we now. Cupid’s darts can come in many forms. Not excluding the spike of the coronavirus.
This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.
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