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July 29, 2020, 8:01 p.m. by Dr Gayatri Mohapatra ( 798 views)

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The biggest lesson this pandemic has taught us is the importance of relationships and our loved ones. Since the last four and a half months, we have been unable to meet. There are so many restrictions; so many ‘ifs’ and ’buts’; the uncertainty and the risks. But, just as there is a silver lining to every grey cloud, ‘corona times’ has added a beautiful, poignant dimension to the way we express our love, our commitment, our longing.

This is the story of 25 year old Nibedita Kujur from Gunadiha village, Sambalpur district, Odisha. She is a graduate nurse who loves traveling and cooking-especially regional cuisine like ‘pitha’, ‘dalma’ ‘chingudi besara’ “ou khata’’. She was to be married in April of this year; however, the ceremony had to be postponed due to the pandemic. Her fiance, a commando, is posted in a far off place in a remote part of India. His duties are tough and responsibilities high. Our men in uniform sacrifice a lot to ensure that we sleep soundly at night.

In today’s digital age, distances definitely have got shorter. There is email, Whatsapp, and video calls. One doesn’t have to rely on the postman/post to get news of the beloved. And yes, giant e-commerce sites also ensure that online gifts reach.

But, then can an email be a substitute for a handwritten letter? There is a charm to letters/cards that modern communication can never replicate. One can feel the paper and visualize the sender, seated at a table, writing, perhaps with a smile on their lips? Oh, all the deliciousness of imagination that smudges/blotches can convey! Was she/he crying when she wrote those words of longing? Why was that particular word scratched out? And so many more little intimate stories are carried from the stroke of a pen! Writing to someone, taking the time out, buying a stamp, selecting the stationery, going to the post office, each act is thought of and none of this goes unnoticed. A letter, before the content is even read, has already said, 'I care about you. You’re someone special.' And that is a message that we all wish for.

That's also true with handmade items. They have the person's mark on them, and when one holds them, one feels that person, and so feels less alone. Emotional bonding and security come from providing the necessities of life in personal, meaningful ways, by our own hands.

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So, Nibedita has stitched masks for her fiance and couriered them. They carry her love to him in a distant land. The masks will protect him from the virus certainly! However, they are like a ‘kavach’/amulet too because she shyly tells us that while she was making the mask, she also recited the ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ and prayed to Him to keep her fiance, a frontline COVID warrior, healthy and safe.

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Karuwaki Speaks wishes this brave, young woman all the happiness in the world as she waits to go and visit the Taj Mahal with her soul mate soon.

#facemask #love #staysafe #indiafightscorona #atmanirbhar#vocalforlocal#sambalpur

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