Anguish, despair or melancholy; whatever you may call it, Aljeeta was totally engrossed in it. Melancholy descended over her with the torrential rain outside home. With nothing much to do, Aljeeta binge-watched Netflix show Dark. After watching four episodes of utmost confusion and guessing game, she finally shut the laptop down. Now totally fed up, she couldn’t understand what to do next. Now she grabbed Shakesphere’s tragedy Hamlet, her favourite among other tragedies like Othello, and King Lear. She was an English major and used to do plays in college. But there was no college at the moment. Everybody was behind closed doors. There was no college for the next few months as everything was under complete lockdown by the government.
It’s been raining the whole day. She liked it this way. Rain outside and she being wrapped in her blankets could match no other happiness in the world for Aljeeta. But she had to cook too as there was nobody home at the moment. Her parents are abroad and probably can’t be back soon. They had gone just before lockdown to meet Aljeeta’s paternal grandparents. It had been all the same for the last few days. She had never imagined that such a tragedy would occur in her life.
But she wasn’t all alone. Her Nani( Maternal Grandmother) came to live with her after a few days of her parents’ departure. Now she had at least someone to talk to. Then the declaration of the government for cancellation of flights to India from abroad made Aljeeta dumbstruck and depressed. She couldn’t think of anything as her parents were stranded in some foreign country and can’t be back. She would sit with a sad face all day for many days. But her Nani would try to make her understand that everything would be okay. But even she knew that these were only false hope.
It had been raining heavily for the last few days continuously. Aljeeta and her Nani hadn’t gone out to buy any fresh food. The stock food was also getting over day by day. It was just about time before every source of food would be over in their house. They had been unable to go out due to this torrential rain. They were also afraid to get wet as they might catch fever, which of course would make them nervous during this pandemic.
The first floors of almost all houses in their colony were submerged under water. They had also the same situation. The mobile networks had also been damaged. Her Nani was a heart patient which was also a matter of concern for Aljeeta. She felt like almost all hell broke loose in no time. Having no idea what to do, she finally went out to see if there is any food she could get from anywhere, if there was any. She went out with an umbrella and a water level of her thigh height. She could get no tress of any food out there. There was no sign of human life anywhere as nobody was getting out. She got horrified by the fact that her neighbours who had only one floor had already been submerged, and probably dead. Now this was feeling like a very bad dream to Aljeeta who didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do next.
Then she remembered she had left her Nani all alone in the house. She tried very hard to reach the house through the watery lane. She finally reached. There was total chaos out there. Their car and garage were submerged. She reached her room painstakingly where she saw something she couldn’t believe. She saw her Nani on the floor and bloodstain on the floor. She reached her, but it was too late. She might have fainted and her head had hit the back of the wooden bed to result in a concussion. She was dumbstruck. Another tragedy hit her like a lightning bolt. Her Nani was dead. She cursed herself for leaving her all alone at this time. But she had to go as they would have eventually died of hunger, which of course happened to Nani. In her age with a weak heart, living three days totally starved could only result in one thing. Death.
Now everything seemed to be fading away from Aljeeta. She felt like losing her consciousness but got herself back. There wasn’t even a place to secure Nani’s corpse. She was now left with nothing. No food, no friend, no contact to parents. She felt like being struck in an island from Lost. There was only fear inside her. Fear of the unknown. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of nothingness. Now darkness was arising in her mind. She could see no light. Meanwhile, the rain had also caused power cut. After few hours, Aljeeta opened her eyes as she felt water on her feet. Yes, water. Her second floor was now almost starting to be flooded. Gradually, the whole room got flooded. She still felt like it was a bad dream. But it wasn’t. It was reality straight in front of her. It was death that was knocking doors for her. But she was helpless. She could do nothing. She could see her Nani’s body floating at the corner of the room. “Goodbye, Nani” she said. Those were her last words. And then a complete blank.