Amid Malaysia Lockdown, an Indian Restaurant is Helping Me Survive
Since, the announcement of the lockdown, most of the hotels have been shut but I was lucky to find a good hotel.
I am a resort owner from Ooty, Tamil Nadu. I never thought that my life could take a 360-degree turn in a span of just two weeks.
What I thought would be a simple trip to Malaysia, to meet my friends, turned out to be a complete disaster, something I would never forget. My trip was supposed to last for four days. I landed in Kuala Lumpur on 16 March and had booked a return flight for 21 March.
Unfortunately, amid the coronavirus outbreak, Malaysia announced its lockdown on 18 March, hence my flight on 21 March was also cancelled.
Since the announcement of the lockdown, most of the hotels have been shut but I was lucky enough to find a good hotel. Meanwhile, there are other Indians who have been staying with their friends and relatives.
The stranded Indians are staying in Gurudwaras while many others are putting up in hostels provided by Tamil and Telugu Association.
My family back in Chennai is worried about me. I talk to them twice a day, and they ask me the same question – whether I’ll be able to come back on 14 April, when India lifts the lockdown.
My old parents keep reading news on WhatsApp, and you know how reliable it is. And they end up getting more stressed, despite me telling them it’s not true.
COVID-19 cases in Malaysia are on a rise and my parents are worried that I might develop symptoms; they just want me to come back soon with good health.
My business has also been affected. The hospitality industry has been hit the hardest, and I don’t know how will we get back to normal.
‘Violating Restrictions Might Get You Arrested’
Buying food is no less than a task here. I am a vegetarian and everyday, I have to go a supermarket to buy groceries. I have found an Indian restaurant near my hotel, I eat there everyday.
Malaysia has imposed limits on the hours of operation for restaurants, taxi services and supermarkets, as the country is stepping up restrictions in a lockdown to contain the pandemic. Small shops, food stalls, petrol stations are allowed to open between 8 am and 8 pm.
As per government orders, anyone who is seen violating the restricted hours will be arrested.
I visited Indian high commission website to register myself as a stranded traveller and saw that there are thousands of Indian citizens, like me, who are stuck here.
'We Will Push Through
the Dark Times'
I met a few Indians who are stuck here. It was sad to know that one of the fellow Indians lost his dad but he couldn’t get back to attend the final rituals. Another Indian wanted to be with his pregnant wife during her delivery.
It’s a difficult time for everyone, everybody is fighting their own battle. Initially, it was very difficult to deal with the situation, it was draining and led to a breakdown too, but we found peace with other people. We support and have regular conference calls with each other. We assured each other that we will get through this dark phase.
It’s been 23 days and we still don’t know when will we return. The Indian Embassy has no idea either. We are trying to stay positive. I know it’s easier said than done, but we know our country is with us, we need to follow the government orders, we need to stay indoor and stay safe. We can beat this coronavirus.
While all countries are putting in efforts to bring back its citizens. We hope our government won't let us down.
(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)
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