Hyderabad: Sometimes you have no choice except to be strong. Adil Qureshi did just that and emerged stronger in the face of adversity. In the past two months, life has been a roller coaster for him - full of twists and turns.

First, he lost his father, Gaffar Qureshi, to COVID-19 while his mother, Sayeeda Akhtari managed to pull through the disease after two weeks of hospitalization. Thereafter, Adil himself fell prey to the ailment along with his wife and children. After a month-long home quarantine, they are now on the road to recovery. What kept them going were their positive outlook, grit, and determination. "You can fight COVID only if you have a positive attitude and don't allow depression to take hold", said 45-year old Adil of Bazaar Guard.

But this is easier said than done. Life went into a tailspin for this family as it struggled to cope with COVID. Adil and his mother were put on external oxygen support as their saturation levels dipped. The difficulties they faced in procuring the precious gas is another story. Though she lost her husband, Ms. Akhtari did not let negative thoughts creep in. "At this crucial time I have to keep the family morale high", remarked the 80-year an old retired teacher who fought bravely to overcome the disease.

Caught between grief and resilience, the family observed Ramzan Id stoically. "I knew there is a strong link between health and positivity and so I remained optimistic and this quickened the healing process", said Adil.

Another worrisome thing was his overseas job which he landed after great difficulty. But his prolonged leave and health condition threatened to jeopardize it. It was on February 28 that he had flown back to Qatar after his annual vacation only to rush back home when his parents were admitted to the King Kothi Hospital with COVID infection. Luckily his employer has been very considerate.

Now as Adil prepares to resume duty, he feels it's not adversity but how one reacts to it that determines the result. Bad times surely don't last.

J.S. Ifthekhar

J.S. Ifthekhar is a senior journalist with nearly four decades of experience. Ifthekhar cut his teeth in journalism at the Indian Express before he moved to The Hindu. He was also associated with the Siasat Daily, Telangana Today, Deccan Chronicle, Onlooker magazine, Newstrack, Detective Digest and a few news agencies. He has written on different subjects and aspects of Hyderabadi life. However, his passion remains literature in general and Urdu poetry in particular. He is equally concerned with culture, heritage, civic affairs and problems confronting the man in the street. As a journalist he has taken up cudgels on behalf of the underprivileged and many of his stories in The Hindu saw the government promptly taking corrective measures. Ifthekhar has authored two books - Hyderabad - The Nawabi City on The Move and Haj - The Spirit Behind it. He has also translated two books from Urdu to English. His third book - Urdu Poets and Writers , Gems of Deccan  - is just released. Loves to write and writes to live. Can't imagine doing anything else.

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