The Virus andworkingfrom home..!

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SINCE I’ve been working from home for quite a huge part of my writing life, a number of friends and relatives have suddenly started calling me after the present coronavirus scare to ask how to go about it, “Well!” I tell them and then disappear offline as the wife asks me to place the garbage out for the kachrawalla, “And while you’re at it,” she says, “take the dog down, and also tell the milk man we need onlytwolitrestomorrow!” “Well!” I tell them as they call again, “Actually…,” “Dad!” cries my younger one, “will you reverse my car for me, since you’re the only one who’s free, someone’s gone and parked right behindme!” I come up exhausted with having to navigate the car out, pick up the phone, and find that the same person is still hanging on, “You see!” I say, as the cook comes and asks me if I can help her peel the onions as she’s a bit tired today. Eyes filled with tears, not because of any emotional story gathering in my mind, but because peeled onions make you cry, and how, I rush to bathroom to wash my eyes, and find the plumber sitting there, holding a nut in his hand, a pair of pliers and looking expectantly at the door. He gives a smile as I enter and says, “Sir, will you go to the terrace and shut off the mains, then I can work and fix your tap. I asked madam but she said, only you are free!” “But I need to wash my eyes!” I tell him. “No water sir, till I repair the tap!” says the plumber very matter of fact, as the wife peeps in and gives stern glare for not obeying plumber’s pleas, with all the time I have on hand. I rush back to the phone after having closed the mains, “I’m sorry!” I say, and a jet of water shoots out of the bathroom into the bedroom and right onto me, “What’s happening?” I shout. “You haven’t closed it fully!” shouts the plumber sounding irritated and before the wife can also yell, I run speedily up the stairs and close the mains even as water streams down my eyes from the wicked effects of the onion peels. I watch as the plumber settles down to his job, the cook to hers, my daughter to her car, and go back to the phone, lift the receiver and find the line dead. I call the number and find his wife picking up the phone, “What did youtell my husband Bob?” “Nothing!” I whisper. “He’s rushed off to office, even though his boss told him he could work from home..!”