Delhi's Anti-Covid juggernaut

By Vijaya Pushkarna

Delhi is on a roller coaster ride as thestate tries to deal with Covid 19, and provide the necessary facilities for its  petrified people.
From a confident start saying Delhiwas prepared to deal with any spike in Covid says end May, the capital city is flapping its wings in all directions, hoping that by a miracle something—just anything—works, to reduce the number of cases, hospital admissions, ICU requirements and death on account of Covid.
One day it was the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s words that seemed the way forward. Don’t rush to the hospital unless you have serious symptoms, urged Kejriwal, after his efforts to reserve the beds of the hospitals under Delhi government for Delhi residents fell flat. He agreed to make peace with the Centre and cooperate and go along with Lt Governor Anil Baijal’sdirections that no such reservation will be allowed.
A couple of days later, as the surge continued, the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, showed he was in c…

Who wants to be a Bollywood insider?

By Vijaya Pushkarna

Sushant Singh Rajput was definitely overqualified for the Hindi film industry. Know anyone who comes close to him, in terms of education, interest, passion, knowledge etc? What drove him to end his life is a secret that he has carried with him. Over the last few years he showed that a young lad from a small town middle class background with no Sugar Daddy in Mumbai can make it big in the Hindi film industrywhichdeserves the silly name it has got—Bollywood. Luckily, Sushant was not a girl, otherwise “they” may say he slept his wayto the success he achieved. In his death , he has raised an issue that never got the serious discussion it deserved –other than as the “casting couch” talk that comes up periodically.
That issue is “insiders” a mafia of sorts, entrenched in the industry, sometimes over two generations, and sometimes even more-- long enough to call it home, claiming it as their exclusive territory. The first generation stars who have made it to the top do n…

Beauty and the Covid Beast

By Vijaya Pushkarna

Counting the Days Under Virus Lockdown by the Length of Trudeau’s Hair.

On Thursday, the New York Times carried a story with that very catchy headline. The hair salons in the Canadian capital of Ottawa were to open the next morning, so the reporter went on to speculate, “But will Prime Minister Justin Trudeau get a haircut, or will he continue to suffer in solidarity with voters in areas of the country where they remain shuttered?” Strictly adhering to the rules of the lockdown, Trudeau did not go to a barbershop, and his hair and beard both made for a lockdown look.
In India however most of our leaders looked no different (during the lockdown) from how they did before the third week of March when Prime Minister Narendra Modi clamped a nation wide lockdown that began to be unlocked 68 days later, on June 1. From resident barbers to visiting hairdressers, to privileges of having their favourite salon opened specially for them, they have it all.But for the lesser mort…

Speak Softly-- keep Covid 19 at bay

By Vijaya Pushkarna

Whispering is generally about sweet nothingsthat are romantic; gossip that is interesting but not necessarily relevant or true; and the game called Chinese whisper-- a game in which a statement gets distorted as each player whispers it into the ears of another.
Covid 19 , originated in China , now requires us to whisper---well almost whisper—whether or not it is romantic, gossip or not a game.
One of the important toolswe need to succeed in our battle against the novel corona virus, is to lower our volume, and speak softly, very softly.
Thenation-wide lockdown that began on March25 was used as much to ramp up our health facilities for Covid patients as to educate people on how to fight it at an individual and community level. Every Indian knows the importance ofhand washing, wearing a mask, social distancing and staying at home. But there is a crucial message the government has failed to convey, or at best, whispered. And that is to speak softly.
Whether we are speak…