Mother’s Day: Home and beyond, finding a partner for the pandemic

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He hops off a helicopter, whips off his shades and makes a dash through the grounds towards his home to give his mother a surprise, but there she is, waiting at the door with a ‘pooja thali’ in her hand.That admittedly cheesy scene between Shah Rukh Khan and Jaya Bachchan from the blockbuster Hindi film “Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham” was playing in Sonali Puri’s mind when she was on a Mumbai-Jammu flight to give her mother a surprise last month.

Her mother was at the door just as she had imagined but instead of a ‘thali’ was a hand sanitiser!

“Good hygiene is a blessing in times of coronavirus, my mother told me,” laughed the 37-year-old.

That was in mid-March, a few days before the coronavirus forced lockdown began on March 25. And home in Jammu is where Puri still is, the short vacation turning into extended mother-daughter downtime, both recalibrating their equations as they spend focused time with each other after years.

This Mother’s Day, the first time in years perhaps that Puri has been home for the day, she said she is just happy she managed to spend this stressful lockdown period with her mother

I don’t remember spending this much time with my mother in the past 10 years. We play cards – she still cheats — watch old movies, cook, sing, dance and of course fight too. Everything like old times.

 “The best thing is that with her being around I can be the child again, and with me being around she gets to be the mother again. Even the otherwise stressful work-from-home is not that bad with her around,” said Puri, a recruiting professional.

The nationwide lockdown was first extended till May 3 and then till May 17 with a few relaxations built in.

The uncertain weeks have seen everyone across the spectrum of income, age and gender trying to hold on to their ‘constants’ in life.

While lives all over are upended, home is the anchor – few like Puri are at home, lakhs of others such as migrant workers are taking unbelievable risks to get there and many are stranded longing for the day they’ll finally be there

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