Heroes of the Pandemic: Subhash Chandra

Subhash Chandra

March 2020

We are sitting and facing each other wordless, worried. The air in the room is heavy and doleful. Home is the only sanctuary. The invisible deadly demon, Corona, strides the streets unchallenged and powerful. And yet ….

I pick up a bag.

My wife gets frightened.

“Where are you going?”

“We’ve survived on potatoes and rice for four days. Now nothing left.”

“But how can you even think of it?  During the lockdown, shops open only for four hours. There would be surging crowds and no social distancing. How can you be so reckless?”

“Can you suggest an option?”

“I’ll go.”

“That’s a smart idea,” I snort. “With your slipped-disk and delicate Bengali constitution you plan to haul the weight up sixty two stairs to our third floor!” I say truculently. 

“In any case, I can’t allow you to go out,” she declares, agitated. “You know very well, the elderly are particularly vulnerable. You’re seventy plus; your age-compromised immunity is lower than the others because of your weight loss and low hemoglobin.”

Both of us are edgy and restive. The dust particles are frantically swirling in the slanting sunbeam streaming through the window.

Sanjay Trehan


We are startled by the trilling doorbell. Time was we’d warmly welcome a guest, as few undertook the trouble of climbing up. But now we get tensed up.  Cursed times!

“You go to the bedroom,” I tell my wife and put on a mask and specs. The Virus can get into you through the eyes, too.

Lo and behold! Sanjay Trehan, a lively young man adored in our Housing Society known for his guileless smile, and friendly, vibrant voice, stands on the other side of the grill-door. He works for a leading Indian company as a highly paid executive.

“Uncle,” he says in his booming voice, “I’m going to take charge of you two... I’ll bring all that you need and leave it outside the door. Please don’t stir out at all. This is my order!”

Overwhelmed, I could not utter a word.

“You can phone me up the previous evening and give me a list of items.”

It became a routine. Every evening, my wife would call him. We not only consumed veggies and fruits of our choice, but also of good quality because Mini, his sweet-natured wife, accompanied him. It went on for months, until the shopkeepers’ boys were allowed entry into our Complex after Corona cases dropped drastically. For a week at a stretch not a single case was reported in Delhi.


However, our worries re-surfaced with the onset of the second wave. Just a couple of days into it, we got a call from Sanjay one evening.

“Hello Uncle, we resume our old routine. Okay? Tell me if you have any other work, such as, going to the bank or paying bills.”

We’d learn later, he had driven a Corona-infected resident to hospital and helped many other people in several ways, besides.

Love you, Sanjay! Bless you Sanjay!! May God make more like you!!!

1 comment :

  1. May the tribe of such Good Samaritans increase ! Beautiful piece about a great human being 🙏


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