The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has been an emotionally and physically demanding time for people across the world. The ramifications of the pandemic were multifold, with the virus not only claiming lives but also wiping out businesses and livelihoods. While some of us have the privilege of staying with our family, such times can be extremely difficult for those who are away from their loved ones. In such situations, it is the people around you--from friends to coworkers-- that make up for the absence of your loved ones. This is what television actor Mohit Malhotra has touched upon in a recent Humans Of Bombay post.
In a note shared on the Instagram page, the Naagin 5 actor explained the lovely bond that he shares with his house help, Bharti. Acknowledging her immense contribution to his well-being during the lockdown, Mr Malhotra has described her to be the older sister he never had.
In the post, Mr Malhotra is quoted as having said, “For the past 12 years, I've been living alone in Mumbai. With my hectic work schedule and night shoots, managing everything on my own was challenging; my entire schedule was messed up, until Bharti, my house help, started working for me. Since 2013, she's literally taken over my kitchen and home! She'd call up my mom and ask for my favourite dishes... She learnt to use Google to make new recipes–her Thai curry is out of this world!”
He explained that she even kept tabs on the kind of food he was consuming. “Within just a few months, she became like family. Whenever I was feeling low, she'd make amazing Rajma chawal. And when I came back home late and ordered junk, she'd find the untouched dishes in my refrigerator and be like– ‘Bhaiya, aap bahut unhealthy kha rahe ho' (Brother, you are eating a lot of unhealthy food). After a point, she became my mom's jasoos (spy)–if I didn't eat properly or was stressed out, she'd call my mom up...”
With time, Bharti soon became like a sister to the actor - and he even funded her son's education. “She was like the older sister I never had. I'm even close to her son, Rohit–once, he told me that he wants to study well and get a Master's degree. I was aware of Bharti's financial condition, so I paid for his education. He's like my nephew," said Mr Malhotra.
The actor also spoke about how Bharti, like several other domestic workers, lost her source of income due to the lockdown. “When the lockdown happened in 2020, I was stuck in Delhi. Since Bharti worked only for me, I knew she was out of a job. So, I continued sending her salary. And every other day, she'd text me to enquire about mine and mom's health; we both looked out for each other. 3 months later, the day I came back to Mumbai, Bharti was already there! She'd kept ghar ka khana (home-cooked food) ready…”
Speaking about how she is like family to him, the actor added, “And in the past 6-7 months, Bharti ka promotion ho gaya hai (Bharti has been promoted)! From being my sister, she has now become my mom. The other day, I was telling her that I was going to start calling her my ‘lockdown mom' and she burst out laughing. Honestly, if there's one thing I've learnt in the past year, it's that sometimes, it's just good to have family around.”
Take a look at the post here:
The heartwarming post received a positive response from social media users. One user commented, “Wow... Just wow... We need more humans like him on this earth... And also like Bharti didi... Who worked so hard and sincerely…”
Another comment read, “Now that's a beautiful story.” “Ahhhh that's lovely! What a beautiful soul,” wrote one follower.
Summing up the post, one user said, “Lockdown taught us more than we could have imagined, we found love and care in unconditional ways! We realise that we are in this together and together only we will conquer.”
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