Inorbit Mall stands desolate, in a continuum where the indoors hum with life and the outdoors hum with silence. Three visibly bored security personnel at its entrance look on at Link Road, an arterial thoroughfare in the Mumbai suburb of Malad. There are flickers of activity here: the odd personal vehicle, fleet cab and autorickshaw, and migrant workers, with face masks drenched by the mugginess of June, still building the Mumbai metro despite the cold shoulder India as a whole has given them.
A back road leading to Inorbit Mall from HyperCITY—the nearby supermarket, also desolate—was once closed to the public. But that was before 23 March 2020. It’s now the only pedestrian route to the mall. The security personnel rise, conduct the mandated temperature and contactless bag checks, and let one in.
On the left wall, flanked by trophies