“Every morning, I pray for 20 mins to feel the positivity and strength to take on the day. Cooking, singing and meditation– these are my stress busters.
The past few weeks have been a frenzy of preparing, testing and leading my team at Kasturba. We’ve barely had the time to eat, sleep or even catch a breath. Taking even a second off seems so long when so many people are dependent on you.
But, my team has been rock solid throughout. Recently, it was the birthday of one of my technician’s daughters, so I wasn’t expecting him at all. But, he wrapped up the celebrations and reported to work by 11 PM. Another teammate was supposed to take a holiday because he had been working for days on end, but he didn’t take it. When I asked him why, he replied, ‘Madam, the call of duty is more important.’ I’ve literally had to force the staff to take a day off, after working tirelessly every weekend. Still, they made sure they turn up– because they know they’re needed.
When we first heard about the virus, we started preparing almost immediately. And as I explained the situation, the only question my team asked was, ‘Ma’am, when do we begin?’
So far, we’ve pulled through with each other’s support and inside jokes. But these are trying times. There are days when it gets overwhelming– when you realize that these are actual lives, not just numbers on paper. So I give them a pat on the back and assure them that today was better than yesterday, before sending them home.
I usually come back to an empty house. My husband moved to the US recently for work and my kids wanted me to move with him, but I wasn’t prepared to leave. My hospital had just received funding for a diagnostic center and I had to see it through. As my husband was leaving, he asked, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to join me?’ I couldn’t have been more certain – my city and people needed me.
So every night after work, we speak on video call. My daughter usually ends the call with, ‘Ma, don’t forget to protect yourself-I love you’. My grandkids often ask me, ‘Nani, when will we meet? I just say, ‘soon’ but that moment, I miss my family so much, I almost want to be with them.
But serving humanity is greater than anything else. It gives me a sense of purpose and satisfaction– knowing that I am able to help other families during this difficult time. A few months back, had someone told me that Corona was coming and I had the option to leave, I still would’ve chosen to stay–every single time.”
Story reproduced from Humans of Bombay.