BY DIVYANI RATTANPAL

(Divyani Rattanpal is a writer and presenter with funny bones and a spine)

The bags were checked in. The rented Noida house was no longer mine. With a boarding pass to Mumbai in my hand and memories of Delhi crowding my mind, I boarded the 6:50 PM plane on March 20 to begin a brand new life. Little did I know that two days later, a Janta curfew would lock all the humanity of Mumbai inside.

But this is just a precursor to the days that lay ahead. Picture abhi baaki hai, as a world-famous Mumbaikar had once said. Two days later, on March 24, a 21-day lockdown all over India began and a menacing virus shut down Mumbai like no don could have.  

Back to my life. 

Far from my plan of networking in Mumbai as soon as I landed (I even networked with the autowallah who picked me from the airport), the only networking I am doing now is with the suitcases in my room.

Forget landing lucrative deals, I now have to scour Swiggy and Zomato for sasta food deals. 

I ache to say hello to the delivery boys in my newly adopted city, but even they have begun practicing social distancing. 

At evening, I go for walks and find the city that never sleeps, snoring away inside.

For weeks and then months (or who knows even longer the novella called my life is going to be stuck between the chapters of Delhi and Mumbai.  

The new Mumbai life is still buffering, and the culprit is not a computer bug. It’s a damn virus.

It seems as though just after writing  Page 1 of my life’s Mumbai chapter, the heavenly powers went for a 21 day break and left me hanging. 

But it’s not all hopeless mind you.  

I have finished a dense book on psychology which has made sure I won’t have a meltdown anytime soon.

And with who knows how many more days of lockdown still to go, I have embarked reading a 600-page Rohinton Mistry novel, which given my lockdown schedule, I am confident I would be able to finish. 

I am also practicing my auto haggling skills on row upon row of empty autos. 

I have also begun empathising with Pooja Mishra and other Bigg Boss housemates who lost their shit in an isolated house.

I have caught on so much beauty sleep that I am confident I will win any goddamn beauty pageant right now. 

Meanwhile, working out, a Buddhist practice and charming flatmates are keeping me sane.

While my dreams are fuelling me to not give up.

For I know that the city of dreams is in slumber right now, but once the lockdown gets over, I will no longer have the time to sleep.