Lockdown Routines: Trying Times For Sujata Chaudhry As She Worries About Her Son And Daughter, Stuck In USA

In Our Special Series, Odia Poet Tells OB She Spends Time Talking To Her Plants While Watering Them And Praying For Humanity

Life for Odia poet Sujata Chaudhry has undergone a sea change following the nationwide lockdown, which was clamped to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

She lives in fear, worrying for her son and daughter who are both stuck in USA. “Just when we were planning to get my son and daughter fly back home from Seattle and Chicago, the flights were grounded,” informs the former Chief Post Master General of Jharkhand.

“We feel helpless… We suffer in silence. My house looks like a jail. My heart is in USA. Every day I see disturbing news in the media which adds to my fear,” says the Berhampur-born Sujata.

From being an extremely busy poet who hopped from one kavi sammelan to another at Sahitya Akademi, Habitat Centre or India International Centre, Sujata is confined to her home as she spends time talking to and blessing plants while watering them and praying.

Lockdown has left her so miserable that she has exited five WhatsApp groups. Apart from domestic chores, she spends most of her time praying and listening to pravachans.

“I pray to Prabhu Jagannath to intervene as early as possible and heal the world,” says the gold-medallist in political science who joined Indian Postal Service in 1985 and retired in 2016 at the level of Additional Secretary to Govt of India.

While in service, Sujata devised a method to control corruption in the government. Named IRC — Integrity Recognition Certificate — it was commended by Central Vigilance Commission in 2011. She also worked for the upliftment of girl child by focusing on Sukanya Samridhi Yojana.

For someone as accomplished as her, Sujata now says, “breathing is the only miracle, the rest are unimportant.”

She has resumed her Facebook blog ‘Ramayana Revisited’ on Ramnavami and is reading books like ‘Message of Shri Sai’ by Shri Suresh Chandra Panda (fifth time) and  ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda, for the third time.

She signs off by quoting George Santayana: “Happiness is the only sanction of life; Where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment.”


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