Covid in India: I’m one of the lucky ones who got out… my parents are stranded
Posted on May 2nd, 2021

Courtesy The Times

When I arrived in Mumbai, India was in denial. By the time I left the funeral pyres were raging. Now I pray my family will survive, writes Vidhi Doshi

hen I got the phone call, I buried my face in the folds of my grandmother’s sari and cried. In one way, it was good news. I had managed to get a seat on one of the last flights leaving India, just in the nick of time, before new travel restrictions to the UK were brought in. I had four hours to say my goodbyes and reach Mumbai airport to check in to London.

I put my head in my grandmother’s lap. She told me to say a prayer, and for the first time in years I didn’t give her sassy backchat or tell her I was an atheist. Instead, I prayed. Then she told me to pack.

My grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. As an Indian-born British citizen, I have homes and family in both places but with borders closed during the pandemic I felt enormous guilt at not being able to be with her.

Vidhi with her grandmother at her wedding

Vidhi with her grandmother at her weddingVIDHI DOSHI

In February I travelled at last to India to see her — to start making up for years of separation. At the time, while the UK was battling its devastating second wave of Covid-19 infections, India was logging fewer than 100 deaths a day. The number of cases was falling.

Narendra Modi, the prime minister, was peddling a convenient myth. That India is young and strong. That our nation cheaply shielded itself against the virus by developing herd immunity, while helping the rest of the world to recover with Made in India vaccines. That we, a developing country, had better get on with the pressing business of building our economy and becoming a global superpower. The data we were shown seemed to support that story.

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One Response to “Covid in India: I’m one of the lucky ones who got out… my parents are stranded”

  1. dingiri bandara Says:

    India should meddling in Sri Lanka, which they always did and take care of theirs. If they have a problem with China, settle it with them directly without harassing Sri Lanka. Same goes for other countries.

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