News Karnataka
Thursday, June 30 2022
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Wave, Ripple or Tipple – what’s your preference? - 6 min read

Arre Bhai, when everybody is writing, speaking, deliberating, and offering unsolicited advice about it, why not I?

Omicron – Will it cause a wave or a ripple? If it’s a wave, can we generate elect-ricity from it or can we be a part of the ripple effect? That’s a question that most of those in power are trying to find the answer to – and rightly so perhaps – it’s the key to the future – their future.

What spreads faster than omicron? News about Omicron. Which Countries have it, and in what number? Which states have it? Is it milder or wilder than Delta or the original that was made in China and didn’t last awfully long? As usual! Well, it’s still a shy teenager – So wilder but milder? that’s the general verdict. Teenagers are not what they used to be…They are mostly immobile, ironically because of the mobile! But not this one. It travels widely via mobile!

Indeed, this meme going around on WhatsApp, the highly recommended, global, but mostly Indian open University, captures it all. It goes like this:

“I 100% support mandatory vacations for everyone. If anyone refuses, then they should be FORCED”

and in small print:

“If you read vaccination instead of vacation, then there’s nothing more to say…”

And then there is the headline: “If given, the booster must be a different vaccine: view in the top expert body”. Well, it’s important to make hay when the sun shines – Gotta spread the moolah around. Right? It’s one way of encouraging R&D. Covid is a common man’s pandemic has vast untapped potential, unlike HIV, which even after 37 years of its discovery, has not found a cure nor a vaccination because of it’s limited by transmission methodologies! Covid has learnt its lesson!

There may not be another opportunity unless one is created, but the experience of this one – will it inspire another one? it’s a whole new segment of business like the internet, mobile, and the cloud, in that order.

And then there are the death-defying costs of Omicron – There’s a funeral in India, and the only son is abroad. All the diagnostic labs, their vendors, and their value chain – hospitals and hotels are positive about it – but he evaluates negative abroad 72 hours prior to departure, on arrival at the airport, after 8 days, and then when he crosses state borders – both ways, again 72 hours prior to the departure, at the airport and on arrival at his original port of boarding. And he would be out of pocket by almost Rs: 25000 @Rs3000 per nose and throaty tickle and with nothing left should he evaluate positive at any one port of call. Despite all of that, omicron still travels on a plane! or does it have its own wings?

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But the general trend among nations – even if it’s their own is: If you are a sicko, we don’t want you, because we can’t afford you. But you’ve got to spend your own money to find that out, tell them, and then remain a caged parrot – replacing the original one defined by the Apex Court – for a while. Not even in your own cage, in someone else’s gilded one, but at your cost. No wonder the parrot has learned all the swear words so quickly. And if you are an African parrot, which genetically are the best, well, it’s a live stream…

Despite the omicron debate overtaking the airwaves, a lot went on last week in the nation and in the world. Russia Putin a word in India for its arms industry. What about us? the US asked! Silence, not science, silenced them. In the meanwhile, Biden warned Russia to not put in its hand in Ukraine, “U can’t” Biden said. But Putin is Biding his time. That’s the state of play geopolitically. But it does not matter to us. What matters to us is the Elections, Elections, Elections, Elections, Elections!

All this was very confusing and even more confounding! But I had occasion to put all these confusing thoughts aside for a while as I attended an alumni meet at which memories – both repressed, aging and some, even engaging – were expected to flow as easily as the cocktails or maybe because of them. Clarity was the name of the game. But all we got were mocktails. At first, I thought it was because of the skewed gender ratio at the table. The key was in the spelling I guess –  The gents were in a minority. So, without much ado I kept quiet. It’s an important minority credo. Its called the silence of the lambs…

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But a clarification was soon forthcoming from unexpected quarters – pun intended. There was an election around the corner. But the spirit is missing, I said, and I can’t understand why. Then someone explained. Counting must be in a logical sequence not random – like the count of sheep while going to sleep. I still didn’t understand. And I said so. That’s the spirit I was told.  The spirit is in the Elect-ral.

The discussion then was, naturally, mostly rational – Mocking each other – until it turned to pass-outs. Who passed out when? That worried me. Was this some kind of new epidemic that had gone on for ages and we had not noticed? It was an annual feature from what I was hearing. But then how were we all seated around a table in 2021 = Who revived us? With what? Certainly, all of us had passed before we passed out? Doesn’t matter now. The next stage is Pass on…the salt, please. Must enjoy the phase between pass out and pass on! YOLO!!!

It’s a happy note on which to leave you to ponder. But there is one better that has just come up. We were not part of the Universe for 21 years – we were totally independent of it – part of the non – aligned movement – when suddenly we re-found our part in this great big entity, through Harnaaz Sandhu who was crowned Miss Universe 2021 at the 70th Miss Universe 2021, held in Eilat, Israel, 21 years after Lara Dutta won the title in 2000.

If her victory smile did not enthuse you, rest assured nothing will – at least not until next week when you will, I am sure, smile again.

Au revoir


Disclaimer

This Article is written in the lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.

Image by Gerd Altmann 

Brian Fernandes

Brian is an alumnus of Roshni Nilaya’s Post Graduate School of Social Work, HR Department and has 30 years of local and international HR and General Management experience. Journalism, poetry, and feature writing is a passion which he is now able to pursue at will. Additionally, he loves compering and hosting talk shows. He loves learning and imparting it; so, when time permits, he provides leadership facilitation and soft skills training to Postgraduate students and Corporates in Mangaluru and Bengaluru. Besides, he is an accomplished Toastmaster under the aegis of Toastamasters.org and a designated Distinguished Toast Master.

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