Festivities #1 : Raksha Bandhan in times of Coronavirus

Raksha bandhan or Rakhi is on the 3rd of august this year. It’s a festival that celebrates the brother-sister love. The sister ties Rakhi on her brother’s wrist to protect him against evil influences, pray for his long life and happiness and in turn the brother promises to protect his sister from any harm.

So how do I celebrate the festival? Well there’s a funny story to it. Since it’s just me and my sister, we tie Rakhis to our papa and dadu sent from their sisters. And because we were kids when we were learning about festivals and why they are celebrated, so that we didn’t feel left out, (and also we were sad about not getting any gifts, well atleast I was) our mother gave the brilliant idea of tying one on Papa’s wrist from our side too since it’s a festival which celebrates the promise of love and protection.

But after completing my school, I moved to Chandigarh for college, the city where my maternal side lives. And I fall short of words to say how properly I have celebrated this festival in the past few years. All the relatives get together at one place, there is so much warmth, vibrance, mithai and delicious food.

However, since the world is fighting a pandemic, this time it would not be celebrated in the same manner as it always has been. The sisters would not be able to travel to their brother’s home or vice versa to celebrate the festival because of coronavirus induced travel restrictions.

But hey, there is always a way out. You can opt for sending your Rakhi by post and celebrating the festival through video calls. But there would be long queues at the post office and to avoid crowded areas (which is a must in this situation) you can send your Rakhis through e-commerce platforms. There are so many sites on the internet which are offering abundance of beautiful combos and at reasonable prices.

I recently sent my Rakhi through the site Floweraura to my cousin. (And I just wish this was a paid promotion of the site, but no it’s not.) Even the site ferns and petals is giving good Rakhi offers. Initially I used to get most of the flowers and cakes delivered (whenever they had to be delivered distantly) from ferns and petals but then I found floweraura which has an even better range of products to offer, the prices are also reasonable and the quality is good. (Will put the link of the Rakhi combos from Floweraura in the end. You can explore the site and select any combo or gift of your choice. Thank me later.)

Also, I read it in the news that people are sending handmade rakhis. Can I crack the joke that brothers can gift their sisters masks and sanitizers because this is the most important protection the world requires right now?

Fun fact, a Gujarat based rakhi maker every year gives Rakhi packed with a theme message and this year he is conveying the important message regarding covid-19 to wear masks, keep distance and use sanitizers. Concludingly, I would urge my readers to purchase locally made Rakhis because we know how badly the arts and craftsmen have been hit due to the pandemic. (Local ko vocal karo)

Well I would like to end my blog sharing two mythological stories that I read on the internet to know why Rakhi is celebrated. (And trust me there is a galaxy of stories to read, believe whichever you feel is right). I know we celebrate the festivals with great pomp and show but these days lack the essence of knowing why they are celebrated.

The first one is the story of Krishna and Draupadi. Krishna cuts his hand by mistake and Draupadi tears off a corner of her Saree and tied his finger with it to stop the bleeding. In return, Krishna promised to help her out when required and that is why Krishna provided help to her during her unceremonious disrobing by making her saree neverending and protecting her when she needed it the most.

The second one is the story of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humanyun. When Rani Karnavati’s kingdom was attacked by Bahadur Shah, she wrote to Humayun for help, sent him a Rakhi and sought protection. At that time, he was in the middle of another military campaign when he abandoned it and returned to help. Unfortunately he couldn’t make it on time and the queen had already set herself to fire but Humayun then restored the kingdom to Karnavati’s son and did not let it fall in the hands of Bahadur Shah.

Let me know in the comments section how you are planning to celebrate Rakhi this time and if you have heard any other mythological story related to it. Also, please like, susbscribe and share my content if you find it worth reading, it keeps me going.

Link to the Rakhi combos on Floweraura : https://www.floweraura.com/p/send-rakhi/amazing-rakhi-signature-box-9921897ra

How my family fought against Covid-19

I would like to start by giving out the conclusion that my home is now free from the virus and everybody is healthy. But yes, it was a tough emotional battle because of the obvious reason that a vaccine for it hasn’t been found yet.

My father started feeling feverish on the 12th of June. Initially all of us took it as fever or flu only but when the fever was uncontrollable, we got slightly worried. He took 3 fever tablets in a day. The tablets showed their affect just for 1-2 hours from the time they were taken but the fever again came back to 101-103 degrees.

We decided to get him tested for Covid and booked a home sample collection slot for the 20th of June. However, the uncontrollable fever eventually made us worry and we decided not to delay the test and get tested from the hospital closest to our house, Asian Institute Of Medical Sciences. We cancelled our pre-booked test and got tested from the hospital on the 17th of June. (I am attaching a link of the hospital’s website at the end of the blog. Feel free to check it out. Also it’s not a paid promotion, just referring if anybody wants to know about it.)

His report came on the 18th of June in the afternoon and he had tested positive. To be honest, we panicked because we had to fight against what was unknown. Next we had two options, either to home quarantine him or to get him admitted in the hospital. Since he already has some chronic diseases, both my family and the doctors we consulted suggested us to get him admitted in the hospital.

We got him admitted on the 19th of June with the satisfaction that doctors will be more efficient than us for taking care of him. My mother, sister and I also self isolated ourselves in our rooms since we had been in close contact with him. We stayed in constant touch with Papa through video calls and messages and tried our best to keep him boosted and positive.

But I cannot deny that there were many moments of tension. Initially I too had fever (about 100 degrees) which made us worry even more. But whenever Papa shared any signs of recovery with us, the temperature came down to normal. My sister concluded that I was having stress fever, my mother was stress-sleeping and she herself was stress-eating.

The hospital controlled Papa’s fever very well from the very first day. But he showed some breathing problems and that was what kept us worried. There were incidents like one time he dozed off in the night with his earphones on listening to something on YouTube, his battery drained and his phone died. My mother woke me up the next morning saying she is rushing to the hospital because she is not able to contact Papa and we cannot know the exact problem. Another incident happened when he called me at 3:30 in the night and said he was facing some breathing problem and I told him to inform whoever doctor or attendant was near him. In some time he conveyed that his oxygen mask had slipped off while sleeping and that he needed to keep more care. Small incidents, but yes they made us panic.

All this while my mother, sister and me were constantly of the thought that we should get tested too. All of us had our own opinions and we concluded by first waiting for Papa’s second report. He was tested again on the 27th of June and his report came negative. He was discharged and we brought him home. Below I am attaching a photo of Papa when we went to get him discharged.

Then we decided to finally get tested even though we did not show any symptoms. All three of us got tested on the 1st of July. My sister and my report came on the 3rd and we both had tested negative. My mother’s report came on the 4th and she had tested positive. We were taken aback because we did not expect it.

We isolated her in one room, booked a video conferencing appointment for the next day again from Asian hospital. The doctor told us that the case is mild, gave her a prescription which majorly had vitamins and told her to take the medicines and follow home isolation for the next 5 days and then get tested according to her choice.

The next week was hectic for my sister and me because like any house, our mother is the backbone of our house and she keeps it running. We had to cook meals for the family, keep the house clean and look after our dog.

We again booked a home sample collection slot for the 10th of july for my mother and me since I had some cough. Our reports came on the 11th and both of us had tested negative and the home was finally covid free.

It took us roughly a month to fight and win from the virus and honestly it was not much of a physical battle as much as it was an emotional battle. Yes, the private hospital fees and tests drained a good amount of money but the important thing was that we all regained our health. This fight made me realise that nothing in life is more important than our health.

It goes without saying that my friends and relatives kept me boosted and full of positive thoughts. My society cooperated in the best manner by making the groceries and essentials reach our doorstep so that we did not have to step out. There are two lifts in the society and they kept one specially reserved for us just in case we needed to rush to the hospital. Also, goes without saying that I am truly grateful to Asian hospital for bringing both my parents back in the best of their health. I am thankful to Dr. Subrat Akhoury and Dr. Rajesh Budhiraja for their constant guidance.

Concludingly, the fight hasn’t ended yet. There is still a long way to go. We aren’t sure if the virus won’t affect us again, hence we are still practicing social distancing, stepping out of our house as less as possible, wearing our masks whenever we step out, frequently sanitizing the home, taking our vitamins and washing our hands.

Surely there would have been some bitter points in our fight against the virus, but lets focus on the positive and important side.

Let me know in the comments section how you all are fighting against the virus or how any of your known battled against it and feel free to ask anything related to it. Show some love since it’s my first post and it would keep me going.

Link to know more about the hospital : https://www.aimsindia.com/