In April this year, Vashi-ba-sed Sumita Karmakar was supposed to travel to China, the womb of the beautiful, grammarless language she has been teaching for four years now. But then Covid-19 would soon rob her of more than just her virgin trip abroad. A commerce graduate who learnt Mandarin on a whim in college a few years ago, Karmakar used to love teaching the official language of mainland China to an Andheri class full of Gujarati businessmen and confused college students such as her former self, seven days a week, six hours a day. Today, work takes up merely two virtual hours a day as her class has shrunk from 40 to five, making her weekends so painfully free that she calls up colleagues out of boredom: Hello, how are you? Can I teach you some Mandarin?
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