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Pandemic Work Life Balance by Garima Pura

Artwork by Ishita Jain

Half the day is a transaction of service and currency.

An exchange of self for survival.

Soul for supper.

Work calls are time-tabled.

Ingredients of the call are measured by the pouring of the ladle-

Two and a half cups concern,

One tbsp grief essence,

Four spoons of hope of a better future,

Beat into a batter of energy that will get you through the call.

Like the customary, half hearted prayer said before school started,

Irrespective of our belief in any almighty;

Work calls begin with checking on each other.

Lack of faith in any higher power and lack of interest in knowing who is dead on the other end is evident.

Taste the batter, it is sour.

Add two sachets of quick fix “take care” powder.

Awkward silences that veil languished spirits

Are our alarms.

A resolute board-room clap and snap!

We step out of our death-fearing mental maps.

With the passion for oxygen, lungs and hospital beds;

We speak of reports, deadlines and un-answered email-threads.

We walk on the fence of to-tell or not to-tell, who’s who is dead or sick.

Everyone’s too afraid of how far or close we are from the extinguishing of the wick.

Taste of the batter doesn’t matter.

You eat it as it is before garnishing it,

With a drizzle of one-day-at-a-time.

Garima Pura, 25, is an independent writer and filmmaker for stomach and soul; who'd rather be paid to sleep. She aspires to learn Urdu and pole dance, all in good time. Based out of her hometown Panchkula during the pandemic, she otherwise shuffles between Delhi and Mumbai for work. A fan of drizzly, windy, weather and uninterrupted green landscapes; she channels anger by making feminist cooking recipes on Instagram @ma_jyotanwaali.

Follow Ishita Jain's work on Instagram @ishitajain24


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