She worked from home:

She worked from home:

Rachna was struggling with her job. She had two kids and her husband had a job which called for frequent travelling. She had a full time househelp who helped her with household chores and taking care of her kids. This househelp of hers was reliable and trustworthy. Because of her, Rachna could continue her job.

Unfortunately, all of a sudden, her househelp decided to go back to her hometown. Rachna was shattered. She had no clue what to do. Rohan, Rachna’s husband said,’I know you love working but then I guess this is the time you should leave your job. You can try and look for a work from home job. That way, the kids will be safe and you can continue working too, or else, you can manage our kids without working too. I am okay with anything you decide. But commuting to work will be tedious now. You can hire two to three part time house help. They can help with the household chores while you do your office work. Rachna liked that idea. For her, her kids and family meant the world. So she started hunting for a ‘work from home’ profile. Fortunately, she got one. This profile was

somewhat different from her earlier profile, but she was happy to take it up.

She hired one maid for sweeping, mopping and doing the dishes in the morning and one maid for doing the dishes in the evening. She hired one more maid to make ‘chappatis’(flat bread). She did not hire any cook as such because she was somewhat conscious about the hygiene.

Her first ‘work from home’ day started. She woke up at 5:30 am, her usual time, heated up the milk, heated up water, put them in flasks. She then arranged all the washed and dried utensils which were kept in the basket by the evening househelp. She looked at the clock. It was 6:00 a.m. Since she was working from home henceforth, she thought she could take out half an hour for ‘yoga’. But then the clock had struck 6 already. She then started making lunch for her kids to take with them to school. The kids needed to two lunch boxes. One for snacks and one for lunch. She took out the grapes, soaked them in water so that all the pesticides go off. Then she took out the pancake batter. She made the batter and started frying the pancakes. She looked at the clock. It was 6:30 am. She had to wake up her kids. The kids woke up at 6:45. She served them breakfast. It was already 7 by then. The kids had to leave for school by 7:25 a.m. She quickly washed the grapes, filled up the snacks boxes with grapes and muffins and the lunch boxes with the pancakes. She then rushed to get the uniforms of her kids. The kids got ready at glacial speed. Irritated, Rachna got them ready. It was 7:30 am. The kids were late for school. She then sat down for two minutes when she realised the cook who made chappatis will come soon. Before that, she had to make Rohan’s lunch and pack it and have her breakfast too. After all, she had to get ready too to work from home. She went to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, took out the broccolis. She chopped the broccolis, put them in a bowl and sprinkled salt in it. She heated up some water and soaked the broccolis in the hot water so that if there were any worms, they would die. She then took out lentils, washed them and them in the pressure cooker to boil. By the time the lentils boiled, she washed the broccolis thoroughly and then fried them. She then added spices and clarified butter to the boiled dal and quickly packed these in Rohan’s lunch box. She looked at the clock. It was 8:50 a.m. She then quickly made a cup of tea for herself and took out two left over ‘chappatis’ from the refrigerator. She ate two chappatis with the stir fried broccoli and had a full cup of tea. She looked at the clock. It was 9:15 a.m. She then went ahead to clean the kitchen. It was 9:30 a.m.. The beds in both the bedrooms were unmade and the entire living room was a mess. She had to go for shower but then the cook had not come as yet. What if the cook came when she went to the bathroom? She started making the beds and cleaned the living room. It was almost 10. The cook came then. Rachna had planned that she will start her office work from 10:00 am. The cook made the chappatis, Rachna put them in Rohan’s lunch box and Rohan left for work. It was 10:15. Rachna was about to go for shower when she realised there were clothes hung in the balcony. They had to be brought, folded and kept inside. She thought of doing it later and taking a shower now, but just then the door bell rang. It was the cleaning househelp. Rachna had to wait for her before she could go to the bathroom. It was around 11:15 when the cleaning lady left. Rachna went for a shower. She was fast. She was done by 11:30 am. She quickly switched on the laptop. The moment she started working, she realised the clothes had to be put in the washing machine. She did that. It was 11:40a.m. She started working when the door bell rang. It was the lpg cylinder delivery guy. Rachna went to the kitchen, got the old cylinder out and then put the new one. It was 11:50 am. Rachna got back to work. She worked till 1:00 pm when she realised the washing machine stopped long time ago and she had to put the clothes to dry or they will stink. She did that. She looked at the clock. It was 1:15 pm. She got back to work. Till 2:00 pm, she worked. She was hungry. She made rice for herself and her kids so that after they come from school she can have lunch with them. At 2:30 pm, she went to pick up the kids from the bus stop. The bus arrived at 2:50pm. The kids freshened up while Rachna heated up the food, served them lunch. By the time she and the kids had lunch, it was 4:00 pm. The kids had extra curricular classes from 5:00 pm. She had to leave from home by 4:45 pm. At 4:30 she had a client call. She quickly attended the call, took the kids for classes and came home. It was 6:45 pm. Rachna took out her apron and started making dinner. The kids went out to play. By 7:45 p.m. Rachna was done making dinner. She thought of going for a walk but then, the evening dish washing lady came. Rachna also had her pending office work. While she did that, it was 8:15 pm. Rohan came back from work. The kids came back from play. All of them freshened up. Rachna served them dinner, she had dinner. Then she cleared the dishes, put the left over food in the refrigerator, clleaned the kitchen and then put the trash bag out. It was almost 10:15 pm. She yawned. She sat down to do her pending office work. Her daughter and son called, ‘Mom, come here. We can’t sleep without hugging you.’ Rachna said, ‘Two minutes guys, I need to finish something.’ Rachna looked at the clock. It was 10:30 p.m. If she did not go, the kids won’t sleep and they have school tomorrow. Rachna went to the kids and and put them to sleep. After the kids slept, Rachna drank some water, put the alarm for 5:30 a.m. and went to sleep. It was almost 11:30 p.m. when she fell asleep.

Next day it was the same routine, it’s just that instead of the lpg cylinder delivery guy, this time, it was the amazon delivery guy. Rachna struggled to finish her office work. She needed help, but then for that she had to go to office. The question was when? She then decided to work late night to finish off her office work. During one of the client calls, she told the client, ‘ I am sorry for taking time to deliver the assignments. Sorry about that.’ The client smiled and said, ‘ Well, it’s because you are working from home.’ Rachna did not know whether it was a sarcastic remark or a meaningful one. But, she did not lose her job. When one of her acquaintances said, ‘ Please join yoga classes. You can spare one hour, now that you work from home.’ Rachna smiled and said, ‘Yes, I am a free bird. I have a lot of time. Will surely join.’ Saying that, she carried her grocery bag and went to pick up her kids from school while buying grocery on the way, reminding herself of the beautiful dresses she used to wear to work and the intellectual discussion she used to have with her colleagues, which now became discussions about dal, rice and potato fry with her househelps.