I took a short five-day trip back to Dehra Doon to be with my ailing grandmother, she had asked me to see her as I have been spending a lot of time in Mumbai it had been almost five months in the big city for me and she was getting lonely. Her servant boy called up and said she had slipped in the loo. I knew it was an excuse to get me back she just wanted to see me and feared for my safety in Mumbai. The past can haunt us all and she feared that I would again get into trouble if I went into uncharted waters as I tend to do when I am in Mumbai. So it was stetted my friend Ashish Parasher booked the ticket back to D Doon and within 24hrs I was in Delhi. Corona times have changed everything. The system at the airport had been overhauled. You can do online web check-in and get your boarding pass and baggage tag all on the phone. The security at the entrance has got huge glass on their faces as they keep a distance. The quest is separated by 6 feet and there are attendants who keep a watch on it. I was wearing my mask and trying to navigate the cue, but the boarding pass dispensing machine was very effected all you have to do is type the ticket PNR Number and the boarding pass pops out. I managed to get my bags checked in and also my camera bag, the total weight was 21.5 kgs and I had to shell out Rs 950 for extra baggage. I tried paying by cash but only managed to pull out Rs 10 notes of which I had many, and then realized I was falling short so I finally paid by my card. I was frisked and my handbag scanned again the airports are full of signs and posters advising people to keep the distance the staff checking baggage do so from behind a glass screen.
I went up and had a bite at McDonald’s, I wanted to use my Pass and enjoy the privileges at the lounge but I was pressed for time. As usual in my dazed stupor I got the numbers on the boarding pass wrong and landed at terminal 31 A I sat there for sometimes thinking mine. The flight will take off from this gate only to wake up to a call “Sir we are waiting for you at gate 54 B this is the last call for your Indigo flight kindly come fast.” I realized I had mistaken my flight seat number for the flight boarding gate number. But I keep making mistakes like that and made them even in Africa once. But as luck would have it I managed to board the flight in the nick of time but not before making a rush for the final call, I had to navigate many people and escalators to get there. Once in the flight, I was handed a corona shield with sanitizer sachets. I wore the shield not before chucking it off, it was irritating me. The seats had one empty gap, so two people could sit in a three-seat space, which was cool and adhered to social distancing norms.
At the Delhi airport, I took the taxi to D Doon only to be stopped at the Uttarakhand check post where I was asked to fill a form and give reasons why I was visiting the city. I gave my id and pan card details and duly got a piece of paper with chit which I was to hand over to the nearest police station to my house in Dehra Doon.
The roads were quiet and most dhaba and eateries on the way where half empty with only vegetarian food being sold. Once in my house in Doon, I managed to appraise the grandmom of my current work in MUMBAI. The system in the Corona times was efficient, next day I got a call that is mold report to the police station and stay in home quarantine for the rest of the days I was in the city. Cops visited my house and I. Deposited the slip I got at the local station where I again filled forms detailing my house phone number and address. After a couple of days, cops came and put a poster on our front gate which said quarantine. This was just to tell the night it’s that someone had come from another city and that person is in-home quarantine. The system made by the government seems efficient enough and supported my technology it is working well. My mask was on at all times and I managed to have some good conversation with my grandmother who was displeased by my work in Mumbai. With the Sushant Rajput case live all the time on television she feared for me as my past in the city has been a painful one. She urged me that I had no reason to return to the city as I had everything, she invited I say longer with her as the city of Mumbai was just a den of drugs and women, city of vice she warned me to be careful in my dealings as I had been duped before. I took her to advise but my heart was in selling my books and within five days I was back in Delhi to collect my camera bag. With my equipment in hand, I headed back to Mumbai. Now resting in my abode at the mar-riot room 568 on the fifth floor I am back to doing what I do the best writing and meditating. Chanting my mantra’s and shlokas to appease the Linga Bhairavi.