Authored by - Asha Mathew                                                                                                                                  The alarm rang…and louder than the alarm were the headlines blaring on the television declaring the alarming number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru. Rudra sighed! He knew how his day was going to begin today – his mother who was glued to the news was going to turn and look at him with imploring eyes and ask him again, “Do you really have to go out for work? It is so risky….” And that would just be the tip of the iceberg.

He looked at his watch and decided to hurry up. Today was going to be a busy day at work. As he brushed his teeth, he made a note of all that he needed to finish through the day. The first chore for the day was to find a plumber and painter for Mr. Govindan’s property. Most of the plumbers and painters who usually worked for their company had gone back to their villages due to the lockdown and lack of work. The others were hesitating to come and work - for fear of the contamination and the infection. He must speak to Victor again today and somehow try to convince him to come and do the painting. That wasn’t going to be an easy task.

However, that was not the thing worrying him the most. With a lot of difficulty, he had managed to find a tenant for Ms. D’Souza’s property despite all the COVID chaos. Everything had been taken care of – the rent she had wanted had been agreed upon, the deposit accepted, the rent agreement signed and mailed to Ms. D’Souza. The tenants were supposed to move in today. Yesterday, someone tested COVID positive in Ms. D’Souza’s apartment complex and the whole apartment complex was sealed. No one would be able to enter that complex for another fortnight or even longer. What was he to do? The prospective tenants were all packed to move out and they were anxious because they had to vacate immediately. Where was he supposed to move them? He reminded himself that this was the first concern he needed to put forward during the scrum call in another half an hour. His only relief was that his bosses weren’t irrational people – they would understand. Even then it was a really tough situation in times that were already unreasonably tough. His bosses were already under a lot of pressure with the revenue coming to a standstill and overheads soaring.

After all this madness was sorted, he would have to follow up on leads that he had generated the previous day for possible listings. He knew that most of them would be dead ends but still the effort had to be made. The number of houses that were getting vacant in the city was disturbing! How were they supposed to get in new business? “One lead at a time,” was what his boss had said. He knew he couldn’t afford to let the situation bog him down. What motivated him most in this situation was the leadership of his boss! The man spoke more with his actions than his words. He stepped into the field just to make sure that they didn’t feel scared or demotivated while working. He not just spoke to them but demonstrated all the safety measures that they needed to take while they were out managing the various property and pursuing leads. Even the others agreed that it was his leadership and empathy that had made all the difference in these uncertain and scary times.

The knock on the bathroom door was not just a reminder of the breakfast that had been served but also of the long day ahead. Yes, it was going to be a challenging and taxing day but Rudra felt he was ready to take on whatever came his way.


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