DISTANCE, as the cliché goes, is relative. Bangalore to Guwahati seems like a siesta—a three-hour flight—when things are ‘normal’. In extraordinary circumstances, like this lockdown, it’s 3,000 km of deep space. This unassailable emptiness separates Gourisankar Bora from his wife and their newborn child. “No amount of video calls can fill that void,” says the first-time father, a senior analyst with an insurance solutions company in Bangalore. He is working from home—alone, anxious. Wife Himadri agrees, although convalescing from childbirth (April 23) in the familiar comfort of her parents’ home has been the couple’s plan. She flew to Guwahati in January, with the baby due in April, while Gourisankar would have booked a flight the day she went into labour. All good until a rampaging virus forced the entire nation indoors. The joy of hearing “It’s a boy!” now feels like a painful gap in a tooth.
“I want to meet my son, cradle him in my arms…but can’t say when I can go. It will be risky even after the lockdown is over.”