“How long would you be gone for?” Akriti’s voice was shaking. The last thing she wanted was to break down in front of Parth. She had heard her father rebuking her mother numerous times for weakening his resolve by crying in front of him. It was the same story almost every other day. Subsequently, she had vowed never to let her man see her tears. Even though they hadn’t said the words, it was an unspoken agreement that they belonged together. But now, he was leaving India with his family, for God knew how long. To avoid meeting his gaze, she focused on removing invisible lint off her dupatta.
Corona took my job and, with that, all my hopes for a better future for my family. Just when I was confident that my daughter would have a future in a better school, corona crushed my and my daughter’s dreams. My wife was not in favor of my decision to enroll our daughter, Sheena, to one of the most prestigious colleges in Delhi. In her backward opinion, girls should focus on cooking, cleaning, and other household chores. I had put my foot down.