The birds were chirping, the wind was blowing, the ducks were quacking and the sound from the radio was telling about the rising number of affected persons of Covid-19. Suneela was in the balcony having a sip of morning tea and the voice from radio was hammering her brain. She was feeling upset because of this dreary situation.

It was 7:00 am, the time when she rushed for her school van by saying goodbye to her parents, and sat in her school van, watching other kids running to their vans or buses.

But for the past couple of weeks, the streets were clear. There was no sound of horns of buses or school vans, no sound of playing and shouting children, no sound of opening of the shutters of shops, she was lost in the memories of old days … well not that old.

Suneela remembered the days when her mum would wake her up and told her to get ready quickly for the school. And in school, if the teacher arrived late, how the children shouted and played pranks on each other. It all felt like a dream to her now. Meanwhile her mum came calling her in for breakfast but as she was immersed in her thoughts, she couldn’t hear her mother’s voice.

Her mum came and waved her hand in front of Suneela’s eyes and said, “Hello!”

Suneela was shocked and turned towards her mum. Then her mum asked, if she had any problem but Suneela replied, “No mum, there is no problem.”

“Okay, then we should have breakfast dear,” they both walked inside.

While doing the breakfast, Suneela’s mind got an idea to request her mother to take her to the park or to her cousins’ house so that way she could have some good time.

After the breakfast, Suneela requested her mum to take her to the cousins’ house, “I am sorry dear, but you must remember to maintain social distancing for some time. I know it’s hard for you, and, of course, for all of us to stay away from friends and family but if we follow the instructions strictly we will be able to get rid of this virus soon. Then we will enjoy all the things that we have missed so far,” comforted her mother.

Suneela’s heart sank to the bottom, she was so sad and went to her bedroom to take a nap to relax her mind. She soon fell asleep, she saw a dream, in which some silhouette-like human talked to her.

It said, “Dear Suneela, have you seen a thunderstorm and a rainbow forming on the sky after it? Well, consider the present situation as thunderstorm and the coming days a rainbow because after every problem comes a time when things get resolved.

“All you have to do is follow the instructions of the wise and believe that things will come to normal soon. Remember, everything happens for a good reason. Don’t get afraid and don’t get dejected. This time will pass and everything will be normal as it was in the past.” Saying this, the silhouette was gone.

Suneela woke up with a jerk. She was sweating, but there was a sense of relief and happiness on her face. She felt charged and fresh. She stood up with a new energy and smiled to herself. Suneela remembered the words she heard in her dream, “This time will pass and everything will be normal as it was in the past.”

Suneela was now optimistic and could feel the courage to be steadfast in these troubled times and promised to herself to remain positive. Then she ran to her little sister who was playing with her dolls in the living room and joined her.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 21st, 2020