MUMBAI — When an ongoing shoot was stalled on March 18 due to the escalating COVID-19 situation, Benazir, 26, saw it as an opportunity to take a short break. “We were told the shoot will resume by end of March so I took a flight home to Bengaluru, happy that I would get to spend 15-20 days with my mom and dad,” she recounts. It’s been three months since and Benazir wonders every single day if she made a mistake.
When she landed in Bengaluru, her parents were readying to fly back from Rourkee, where her father is posted. But the lockdown was imposed before they could return home. Suddenly, Benazir found herself in charge of the house as well as her younger brother, with a heap of chores she had to manage alone. “I don’t like to cook, and am awful at it. To make matters worse, my brother, in his early 20s and still a student, wasn’t helping around the house. Things soon soured between us and the vibe at home turned toxic. Every day I would hope for the lockdown to end.”
Late last month, Benazir’s mother returned to Bengaluru. And while she is glad for her presence, the last few weeks have been wrought with a different set of issues. The family members find themselves in close quarters all the time and Benazir, who has lived away from home ever since she finished school eight years ago, finds her mother’s micromanagement of her life exhausting. “It’s the small things that bother the most. Like her insistence that I appear presentable by her standards at all times. It isn’t enough for her that I am showered and combed.” While Benazir is thankful for the safety and security that home provides during the pandemic, she rues the lack of privacy.
Small Issues Snowball
Benazir’s dilemma is shared by many youngsters who chose to return home during the pandemic. Their reasons, though, may be myriad. Some, like Vishwas, did so in order to support their ageing parents. The 36-year-old, however, feels his trip from Delhi to Mumbai has been “a...