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Delhi's Anti-Covid juggernaut

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By Vijaya Pushkarna A train getting readied to function as a Covid Care Centre Delhi is on a roller coaster ride as the   state tries to deal with Covid 19, and provide the necessary facilities for its  petrified people. From a confident start saying Delhi   was 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’s   directions that no such reservation will be allowed. A couple of

Who wants to be a Bollywood insider?

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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 industry   which   deserves the silly name it has got—Bollywood. Luckily, Sushant was not a girl, otherwise “they” may say he slept his way   to 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 m

Beauty and the Covid Beast

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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. Bu

Speak Softly-- keep Covid 19 at bay

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By Vijaya Pushkarna Whispering is generally about sweet nothings   that 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 tools   we need to succeed in our battle against the novel corona virus, is to lower our volume, and speak softly, very softly. The   nation-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 of   hand 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