Sushmita Pathak

When liquor stores reopened across India on Monday for the first time in nearly six weeks, little circles painted on the pavement were supposed to help customers maintain a safe distance. But Indians paid them little heed.

Rows upon rows of colorful kebabs. Vendors piping yellow batter into giant woks of boiling oil. An endless sea of people. Every year during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Mohammed Ali Road in Mumbai transforms into a food carnival attracting tourists and faithful alike.

But not this year.

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan — a descendant of northern Indian royals, who acted in soap operas before starring in dozens of Hindi-language films and crossover hits like Slumdog Millionaire — has died in Mumbai at age 54. His spokesman, Ahmed Khan (no relation), confirmed the death to NPR.

The actor died Wednesday at a hospital in Mumbai, after being admitted for a colon infection. He had also undergone treatment for a rare type of neuroendocrine cancer.

All his life, 56-year-old Pratap Singh Bora has been sticking his thumb in ink to sign documents. He didn't go to school when he was a kid. Little did he know that he would learn to write his first words at a coronavirus lockdown center during a global pandemic.

On the first day of India's coronavirus lockdown a month ago, Amar Sankrit realized he couldn't get to work.

Sankrit, 21, normally rides a bus two hours each way to a call center outside New Delhi where he has worked for the past year. His company handles customer service queries for U.S. and U.K. telecom companies.

But on March 25, all public transit was halted. He didn't own a laptop, so he couldn't work from home. He worried about losing pay. On a salary of about $3,000 a year, Sankrit helps support his mother.

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