60 days of solitude

Updated: May 17, 2020, 07:22 IST | Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai

Ok, so it was a hurried WhatsApp message. The 'Dear all' suggested that this was a joint message, ending with 'we're closing down operations, so we wish you blah blah...'

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaSee man, this has gone on long enough. I'm just climbing the walls with frustration. Isolation and solitude are overrated beyond a point. I've been in a 400-square-foot Andheri West flat in solitary confinement. I wanna go for a run, I wanna see the sun, not from behind iron grills; I'm all for a timetable, for a disciplined day, I usually have a set routine, in stark contrast to my line of work which is uncertain being a line producer, but they cut my salary in April. In May they've just cut me. Nice guys, at least they wrote me a letter. Ok, so it was a hurried WhatsApp message. The "Dear all" suggested that this was a joint message, ending with "we're closing down operations, so we wish you blah blah..."

See dude, I'm not from Mumbai. I came to the city from Allahabad, like my hero Tigmanshu Dhulia, to earn a living. Making political films was the dream. Of course, I don't know when we'll start seeing movies, let alone making them, but that's my back story, my vision.

Being an immigrant paying guest (PG) as opposed to being a born-and-brought up Bombayite is damn tough, especially in a lockdown. You realise that the city isn't really your home, you are a stranger in a crisis. I haven't met anyone for two months, except Nandu, uhm that's a parrot that pops by my window every morning.

My bai, who cooks and cleans, stopped coming when the building got sealed. My neighbour, the arrogant little sh**, decided he was above the law, and went to meet his "night football buddies" in person, and came back, and tested positive. Anyway, so my bai called to tell me that she felt there was no hope in the city anymore, so she's left her tiny, airless kholi and has begun walking to her gaon. At least she and the family can do khethi there. Being a millennial, I'm fully in sync with the digital age, so an online existence is my thing, but almost 60 days of meeting no one, I'm getting seriously pakaoed, fully brain fried, like that Rajkummar Rao flick, Trapped. Look, I know I have much to be grateful for, I'm still Swiggying pasta and Zomato-ing for kebabs. I've learnt to cook, YouTube zindabad, while many aren't getting food.

But, I'm done being stuck indoors. I'm Netflixed out. I'm Zoom called out. I've Google hung out till I can't hang out anymore.

I'm prepared to take on the virus. I'm sick and tired of this belief that we should all get used to this as a normal. See I have a theory, dude, may be it's the unpopular one, but we shouldn't have ever had a lockdown. Gotta take this nonsense head on, 'coz now what are we gonna do? How can we just go back to life? It's like Mad Max terrain out there.

Once the lockdown ends, how are we gonna unlock our doors?

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.dacunha@mid-day.com

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