A Story Of Grief, Determination And Generosity

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The pandemic turned Veena Bakhle’s life upside down when she suffered an irreparable loss during the first wave of the COVID-19. She lost her husband to the virus’s fury, but it has not deterred her from facing life head-on.

After the unfortunate loss of her husband, her family, son and students helped her build her inner strength. What drove her to continue teaching was the fact that it had been more of a family tradition since childhood than a profession.

“Something which’s innate continues irrespective of the situation, whether it is taking up responsibilities or holding yourself accountable. After my marriage, my husband left it to me to decide whether I want to continue working. So, I decided to do so because my parents, not only inspired me to opt for higher education but also to stay financially independent,” said the English Teacher at Orchids The International School’s Ambegaon Branch.

Her biggest challenge while attempting to resume normalcy was being focused, diverting herself from the memories of the tragic incident and resuming her normal work life. However, it was her family, the children she has been teaching, her schedule and the mentorship program she has been a part of that helped her cope with the loss.

An additional boon for her was the school management that not only gave her time to grieve but also helped her get transferred.

In spite of the assistance, she has received following the gut-wrenching experience, she was furious with the government and hoped there was a better system to tackle the situation. Bakhle mentioned, “Around the world people getting infected and dying, such was the ferocity of the deadly virus. I wish we had enough ICU beds for every patient, then we might be able to save a few more hundreds of people.”

Given this, she believes the pandemic has altered her approach to life. It taught her that life is unpredictable. She added, “Not for a single moment we must take our close ones and our health for granted. We might have a short life but we should make it worthwhile and not wait for tomorrow to fulfil our dreams. I have always believed that we owe it to ourselves to be happy, irrespective of what happens to us. It’s only then we can help others to be happy.”

At the end of her conversation with Mumbai Live, Bakhle remarked, “When you don’t have – give’, be it love, care or even attention, this would make someone somewhere feel better and supported.”



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