After a long winding process of checking whether the bank branch is open or not, I make my way towards it. Yes, such checks are needed in these CoVid times, such is the uncertainty.
Upon reaching, I extend my hand to push open the swinging door when suddenly the watchman rises from his stool and stands between me and the door. He points a gun and aims it between my eyes. I recoil in terror but then I realise that it is the plastic one measuring my temperature. Like it happens to many others who undergo this ritual, I don’t know whether to look at the gun with squinted eyes or just close them. “Theek hai”, he growls.
Again I extend my hand to open the door, when the watchman barks, “Ungli…”. Embarrassed, I raise my little finger and tell him, “No, no…I don’t want to go now”. With irritation in his voice, he shouts, “Arre, no! Your forefinger. Gentleman people like you, you don’t know even this?”
I don’t know where to hide my face as I feel a million eyes looking at me. I raise my forefinger, which he puts inside an oximeter. After few seconds which feel like an eternity he mumbles, “Ok”.
“Show me your hands”, he orders. He is really enjoying his current position of power. Being at the receiving end, I extend both my hands. Out of nowhere he fetches a dispenser and squirts few drops of sanitizer on my hands.
“Go!” He says and stands back, taking full precautions not to touch me even by mistake.
“And don’t take off your mask”. That’s his parting shot.
This, then friends, is the new world where you are forced to wear masks and gloves inside the bank and the watchman points a gun point-blank between your eyes, outside.