Before all of this I’d planned on borrowing a book from the library. A novel I was looking forward to reading with my mother – she was coming over from India – and we'd spend the next two months together. But now I am without that book, without my mother. The days stretch long, and her voice crackles over poorly connected WhatsApp calls. She told me yesterday she’d found a book with my story in it. She said she would read it aloud to herself for company. That night, I cried for the first time.
Susmita Bhattacharya is an Indian-born writer who first experienced self-isolation while sailing on oil tankers for months at a time. She then had to self-isolate during chemotherapy treatment. This is the third time, and she’s had a lot of time to reflect on all these experiences while sheltering in Winchester.
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