Work from Home, WFH, COVID-19, Lockdown

Life is a journey. It has its ups and downs. We have been making so many train journeys. Train is a metaphor of the journey of life.

There are stations to board and alight, and there are time scheduled. Not always the train adheres to the schedule, there are unscheduled delays and there are unnecessary stoppages. Some are acceptable and many are unpalatable to us. We adjust and get accustomed to such customary. Quickly accommodate to trifling deviations but not to the major deviations which are far and few in between. We thought this journey of ours was one more routine travel, things will change by the time we reach the next station but not to be case.

COVID-19 as it initially unfolded was localized and was largely perceived as one such viral pneumonia.

The virus will go through the standard protocols of protection and get gradually contained. This is just a phase where the train has to pass through the tunnel and things will black out for that short period. There is light at the end of the tunnel and that’s how life goes about with phases of darkness and rise of enlightenment.  Everything was set for another fascinating journey of life.

Work is the ultimate bedrock of life and hence work is termed as worship.

One can straight way imply that no work means no life, the correlation can appear so simple and straight but dived deeper it is indeed complex to comprehend. We have been working at office and we have been working for our home. We were routinely working our ways of life with regimented mode of work schedules and travel modules.

The train was on course and the compartments were well demarcated. There were compartments dedicated to the comfort of passengers to rest and sleep. There were compartments dedicated to pantry where food gets cooked, packed and served to other compartments. There were servicemen for different services and work was done in collaboration with different service team to meet the desired level of service. The passenger enjoyed a safe and secure journey to their destination. People traveled for different reasons and didn’t matter whether it was business trip or people traveled for leisure trip both form of trips happily coexisted and life was on a smooth ride. Then there is this unfortunate mishap and the train is derailed. Things have suddenly gone helter-skelter and compartments are mangled. People are being frantically rescued. The train officials and the disaster recovery team working in tandem to bring things under control.

The journey of life has suddenly gone out of gear and the mishap has brought life to a grinding halt.    

Home work and office work lived in two separate compartments and there was neither overlapping nor there was any unofficial interference. They coexisted with almost perfect harmony. The husband was the working boss outside the home and the wife was the boss of home work. Rarely there was any toss up between the two compartments of working. With the rapid growth of economy it started to grow and gain its firm ground to become the established norm of working. This mode of working became got widely accepted as the working model for most families where the bread-earner was the husband and the wife took the role of toasting the bread and serving the soup. There were new breed of family where both became the bread-earner and earning was doubled to outsource the home work. The office work was growing its tentacles and it was pricking and pinching the home work. Home work didn’t have enough armories to fight the battle. Home work was on the defense. But these novel breeds were few and far between, and large body of working species remained in the first category.      

Home is where the heart should be that was what doctor has been advising for pretty long.

Spending time with family, take rest and work out with your home works. Somehow we dozed and we were maintaining an official distance. The world outside was more tempting than the world inside our home. Forget about the world inside us that the spiritual doctor was preaching. Rather we were engineering our decorated thoughts and gave doctor’s advice a miss. The office was our boss and we were always on the rush. Pushing ourselves to complete the office work at office and it was not to be case. Either it was a deliberate ploy or was designed to disguise. Though we could well complete our office work at office but we maintained the standard for incompleteness. Hence invariably we brought home the work to keep us busy in home and away from the home work. The works in home is not that of women and for the maids to do it always it was also meant for the man to take part. They kept apart.

Such was the partition that the division often resulted in bickering and sometime baked into large scale emotional battle.

The division between home work and the office work. The home work was given a secondary dressing and office work got the royal treatment. This is an ongoing battle of rattle between the divisions of work. Though work itself was immune to such racism but they had no voice to speak out. Work was vehemently subjugated to the vagaries of gender dispute. Man was the boss of office work and woman was at loss counting the home work but no money in account. The civil war inside the house was constantly cooking and a little more supply of heat we could sense the burning smell.

Home was on the boil. It was the oil of office that was spilling over the coastlines of home.

COVID-19 arrived and the balance of power swiftly shifted even if there was no balance in her account. Her bank started making all the counting. Man had no option as it was a complete lockdown he had to hand over the key and as she opened the locker to find all gas nothing solid. The naked exposure and the confinement set the home on fire. Man had no escape route nor did he have the protective gear in place. He had no option but to take the role of firefighter and started dousing the fire. Ironically it was the same home work that came to its rescue as that was the best possible extinguisher available on hand. He started extending his hand in doing the home work and it was not easy. He always felt home work was easy and anybody could do it, needed neither qualification nor any special skill to do. He realized that deceptive nature of home work.

First time as he lifted the broom to sweep the room it shifted his fundamental frame of thinking. Driving through the slender handle of the tender broom sticks he found how difficult to navigate the different rooms even though there was no traffic. He felt how easy it was to drive the automotive car through the pick traffic during the office hours. That drive was just the beginning many more things were waiting in the wings and he couldn’t make a ring to swing away from the sudden thrust of workload.

The cleaning of utensils that musically appeared so rhythmical like scrubbing, dipping, draining and setting. The sound of music suddenly disappeared as soon as he started connecting with the flow of water. Fingers were reluctant to venture inside the kitchen basin it was jammed packed and no space to maneuver. Things have been waiting from the dinner table and it has passed the lunch time. Unlike the regular days these lockdown days where having six to seven course meal three course meals was a passe. The day was like a week. Morning three sessions and evening three more and some day’s night had an additional night out session. Food was an integral part of every such session and utensils had to do overtime to get the work done.

They were piling up every other session and the new set of workers was not trained to handle such overflow of work. Not that the man was not doing the over time at office but was overtly disguising in nature. So it was easy to manipulate and manage things in office but things were pretty different inside home. Inside the control room of kitchen under heavy attack from the multiple sessions of warfare man was finding things tough battling it out with the battalion of kitchen utensils. Just not the plates and spoon but the big daddies of pressure cooker and the cooking container frequently used to serve a bigger army of famished family. The same family who just few days back demonstrated lack of sufficient appetite was pouncing to eat anything and everything. It was the idle mind of the idle body both were working jointly. The family was watching the programmes of master chef with deft attention and was ingenuously matching the selected pieces of the recipe. The drive was not even half way and driver was exhausted with pressure of home work. Long way to go was the voice reverberating in the confined corridors of the cleaned room and echo was hitting back hard. No safeguard and no protective gear. Just to keep hearing and get going.

The children hated carrying the work back home but home work was always behind their back. That home work was making children resist going to schools and with the lockdown came the entire school inside the home and it was dreadful invasion. The virtual world that they were in deep love suddenly tasted bitter. And top of it teachers gave more home work as many days were lost in the run off to the process of lockdown.

The working parents had to manage both the home work as the maids couldn’t entire the residential premise but office work virtually took its position and work from home become the boss. Even the work timing got extended as there was no limitation. The boss was no more blocked by the boundary between office and home. Once the office time was over boss never ventured into their private space of family time, home is where the heart is what the boss kept preaching. So the boss didn’t have the moral turpitude to reach out and break that invisible barrier though the divide was clearly visible in the time piece. The boss never wanted to see and talk.

It’s been a prolonged period of lockdown. The health of the organization has suddenly slipped and has suffered an unscheduled breakdown.

The office work already had taken a heavy beating and the heat was on to meet the rising demand. The motion of cycle is yet to gain its full momentum. And it the emotion that was lying low and residing at one corner has suddenly raised its ugly head and showing all its tantrums. Home became the epicenter of the emotional outburst. The office, the school, the restaurants, the supermarkets everybody barged into the limited rooms of each household.

The household chores took a chaotic turn and everything in the house suddenly overturned.

The mind which was a habitual wanderer, pondering here, there and everywhere except silently residing in the body that safely housed its highly protected brain behind the power. The members of family belonged to house but were never seen together inside the house accept perhaps for the food and for sleeping. Even those two activities were getting constantly slipped over and fast food was feeding their famished soul and remaining fast asleep had slowed down drastically. They were constantly on the move and the little moments of life never counted.

The lockdown was taking them down the memory lane and it was back to school. It was back to home. It was home schooling. It was official home was the office. There was no point flipping the coin for the weekends and to see what is the toss result. The result was announced before conducting any test that it has to be work from home. Should I go to office or stay back home was the option for some time and for many. It was an unofficial dilemma and needed to be officially resolved. The coin did come to the rescue but with the new placement of work from home the toss lost its importance and home work became the real boss.

Office work is thrown back to the home and home is loaded with work. The home workers are limited; there is a tussle for work allocation. It needs a fair boss to judge so that there is no unfair treatment meted out to the workers.

It is the toss time in the family to decide who does what as home work has regained its lost imperial empire and has gained its position of the boss. 


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Nihar R PradhanStartupsCorona Crisis,Corona Outbreak,Corona Pandemic,Corona Virus,COVID-19,Home Work,WFH,Work for Home,Work from HomeLife is a journey. It has its ups and downs. We have been making so many train journeys. Train is a metaphor of the journey of life. There are stations to board and alight, and there are time scheduled. Not always the train adheres to the schedule, there are...|| Break the barriers and Make a difference ||