Love in the time of Corona

ByShruti Das

Apr 16, 2020

From reconnecting with old friends to rekindling a dying romance – love still stands tall amid these trying times

During times of crisis, human relationships are often tested and reshaped. Amid this ongoing global pandemic, when we all have been self-isolating, this stands true. Among all the challenges we are facing, mental is one of them — and emotions are often getting the best of us.

From reconnecting with old friends to rekindling a dying romance – love still stands tall amid these trying times. Patriot brings forth such real life tales of love, shared by millennials, in an attempt to understand how people are dealing with relationships in the time of a pandemic.

“The pandemic brought back my toxic past”

“Hello, is that you? Like, seriously you?” My voice quivered as I heard gushes of deep breaths from the other end of the phone…

It was soon going to be six months when I would have officially pronounced my ‘singlehood’, after dating him for over 10 years. But little did I know that the pandemic would slap me with my toxic past, yet again. 

That night, at exactly 3.13 am (ghostly hour, I know — quite ironical) I received a call from him. I knew I was reinstating my love for him and cursed myself for breaking up. “I should have given him the 111th chance,” I thought to myself. And to add fuel to the fire, things started moving in that direction. We started talking all night, video called each other every morning. We were close to becoming a couple once again!

And then came a day when I mustered all my strength and thought “Today is the day when I am going to shout from the rooftop (not literally) that ‘yes, I am in love with you, that is how it has always been and I want us to be back again’.” Just when I was preparing my comeback speech, I received a phone from an unknown number. 

At the other end was a quivering voice (of a woman) from the other end. She told me that she has been dating my ex for the past four months and their marriage has been fixed too! I was requested to stay away from him and was told that there would be repercussions if I did not comply. I obliged. Not because I was scared, but because I had already started to hear my heart pounding and falling like a series of arranged cards.

I verified the facts from him but avoided any further confrontation – because there was no point. He did try to mend ways through the brahmastras (weapons) he would earlier use on me, but I was shattered. 

I had already dreamt of flying to him as soon as the lockdown is lifted and the songs I would play in his car, holding his hand while we went for a long drive somewhere far. That one phone call broke me to pieces — just when I thought my quarantine could not be any worse…!

  • Shanaya Roy*, 26, Delhi

“Don’t know whether we’ll meet ever or not

I handed him his bag, we gave each other a hug and said our goodbyes at the train station. I was overwhelmed with emotions. “See you soon?” he said. And that was the last time I saw him. 

It all started with a trip to Rishikesh. To get a break from my monotonous life, I took a three- day trip to the holy city along with my two girlfriends during the end of February. There, we were staying at a backpacker’s hostel. I met this guy during my stay there, and we instantly connected.

The day I met him, we (me and my friends) joined him and his friends at our hostel rooftop cafe and had a gala time. That very night, we all decided to watch, “Yeh Jawaani Hai Dewaani” together. I and that guy barely concentrated on the film. We kept talking to each other and shared a lot about our lives. It was magical!

That same night, he almost ‘saved’ us from a ‘psycho’ roommate in our dorm – a man in his 30s who started abusing us at around 3 am, saying his sleep was disturbed when my friends and I entered the room. To make sure we were safe, he even stayed with us till dawn. This gesture really moved me.

The following evening we spent time playing cards, board games and talking to each other. As we were both from Delhi, he decided to book a ticket on the same train that I was boarding the next morning. During the train ride, we had great conversations and I realised I wanted to know him better but knew that our time together was coming to an end.

After coming back to Delhi, we started talking via texts and decided to meet. But just then, the pandemic reached such a stage in India that lockdown was announced. And the meeting never happened.

I don’t know whether we’ll meet or not, because the trip was surreal and it feels we haven’t met in our ‘real world’ yet! So beyond this magical ‘boy-meets-girl-on-a-trip’, if we are to make it to the real world – be it as friends or more than that, then I guess we have to wait and survive a global pandemic!

  • Nikita Banerjee*, 24, Delhi

“We opened up to each other after years”

On March 25, I completed four years with my partner. But our relationship took a turn where I felt he took me for granted, and I thought I was falling out of love. Also, we used to brush our issues under the carpet and never confronted them.

But since the lockdown started, we haven’t been meeting. And it made things worse, as our communication via texts and calls were furthering our misunderstandings. Also, I have been undertaking therapy for some time and battling depression, as I have not started working yet after graduating. During this time, I wanted him to be more empathetic and supportive.

So, one night, I couldn’t keep it all in and just vented out to him all that I had been feeling for so long. He understood everything and opened up to me as well. This was the first time in years, that we had such a heartfelt confrontation. 

And after that day, we have been really making efforts to bring that spark back in our relationship. We have been connecting to each other well, and have been seriously making plans about our future together. What we couldn’t do in all these years, a pandemic did!

  • Disha Bose*, 24, Kolkata 

“I have understood their value more”

We all are quarantined in our own homes for the past one month, and no one knows when all this is going to end. But people are finding creative ways to be productive in their everyday lives. Similarly, this is the time when many of us are connecting with our friends more.

 My best friend and I have also found a way to remain connected to one another, via video calls! Can’t thank technology enough for this, because even if we cannot meet physically – it seems we are doing so in a virtual world. It’s sad, but at least we are getting to see each other.

Almost every day we connect, and share our day-to-day activities, we gossip, talk about our college days and so on. It feels really good, because somewhere we got so busy after college – and some even moved out of the city, so we used to meet barely twice a year. And also didn’t speak much over the phone.

And now, during this pandemic, I feel I have understood their value more. And we all have been talking more than ever, that too showing our vulnerability to each other after a long time. I realised they are like my family, and I cannot live without them. And somewhere, our bond strengthened more. 

  • Tiyas Pal, 24, Kolkata 

(*names have been changed on request)