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#Studentlife is, for the lack of better words, interesting. You learn stuff that doesn't really matter yet are not taught what you desperately search for . You make new friends yet sometimes get betrayed by the most closed ones. You work hard but you sometimes don't achieve what you want.Your life becomes a living contradiction. Living in India doesn't really help either as there is so much expectation and competition.  I have felt that on a whole new level during that cursed lockdown period. Yes it feels like an old problem now, but the stigma still prevails as people lost their loved ones to that deadly disease. Many students lost their precious years of social learning to this shell of a room I'm typing this from. It had been, in short , extremely difficult. I was the same. 

I had never been a social person but rather a quiet kid who used to eat lunch with my homeroom teacher. Don’t get me wrong I had friends I Just liked hanging out with teachers and I did not get along with people the same age as me.Being an introvert like this made it a little easier for me to stay at home,for the first couple of months I was living happily without my parents pressuring me to go outside and make friends. I had 3 close friends and that was enough for me .

 However, during the summer of 2021 both my parents got covid together during the second wave of covid in India and  when i tell you I had never felt anxiety and fear at that level ever in my short 18 year old life. At the same time there were several thousand cases of covid deaths coming everyday for the past year and the same room I was happy in was now the room  I was forced to stay in due to the layout of my house. I used to eat food with my grandmother on the ground floor and drank hot water and green tea only for the entire summer because my parents were still worried about me, not themselves. 

Every single day I worried more and more about them but I couldn't show them my concerns when they were already struggling on their own. So I did not react at all and made this very room my safe place where no one can touch me. I didn't react when they were coughing day and night and didn't react when mom lost her voice for weeks ut that didn't mean I didn't fear the worst every single day. So much pain and fear I held up every day that once my parents actually recovered I started becoming very snappy at them and this did not improve when suddenly it was face to face with my exams for the year the pressure kept adding with very less amount of relief. And I started being very snappy towards my parents . It was worse because I was not that way towards my friends which hurt my parents as well. Not understanding why I was reacting like this. Iused to paint a lot right before my parents got covid but after that I hadn't painted for approximately 6 months. 

The effect this incident had on me was no joke. I did start painting again but I just stuck with reference pictures only. Even that brought me a lot of peace but not the expression I wished to express. One day I just picked up my supplies and decided to make an original piece instead of something from a reference picture. And suddenly this painting was created .

This painting expresses the background of that emotion.

By Trisha Bagga

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