Sunday, May 31, 2020

CORONA is not a laughing matter – The lighter side – 30

CORONA is not a laughing matter – The lighter side – 30

The worst of the deadly virus, Corona is over, let us hope. The unlocking of India in phases will start tomorrow, June 1, with the 5th phase of the mechanism to fight the menace. In Punjabi we say “Bhog Pai Gaya” – The Antim Ardas. It will be my last blog on the
lighter side of the situation as “Bhog Pa Ditta”. Life will go on. We are to live with the situation for some more time. Meanwhile, the redeeming news is that there are reports that our health scientists, Pfizer of the USA and Sun Pharma of India, are nearing to develop a much called for vaccine to check and kill the virus. Let us pray for their success.

As of today, we stand at number 8 or 9 in the world with regard to the fallout of the pandemic with more than 1 lakh 85 thousand positive cases and 5 thousand deaths. The mortality rate, fortunately,  in India stands at 2.4% as compared to about 6% globally. The recovery rate is encouraging with more than 40%. We have done well in the fight against the virus in spite of many of our inherent problems of poverty, illiteracy and fatalistic approach due to religious dogmatism etc. Anyway, there was no easy solution. Governments, generally, did well except the one glaring and visible failure to handle the issue of migrant workers. Their misery and
hardships on the road definitely gave a sad commentary on the so called ‘democratic and welfare state’ credentials and claims of our administrators and the society. I have been writing in my blogs that it would have been better if the central government would have undertaken the work of transporting the workers with better coordination and avoidable confusion among the states. But why it was not done is anybody’s guess. On the contrary, the legal officers, Solicitor General of India, of the Central government were seen justifying the failure in the highest court of the country, Supreme Court of India. Let us hope the worst is over and there will be no more politics on this human tragedy. PM Narendra Modi’s government has completed one year of its second term of office yesterday, May 30. I read with interest a long letter he wrote to “We the people” of India listing mainly the achievements and successes of the government and obliquely referring to the challenges ahead. The Jumlas like “Jan Shakti”, “Rastra Shakti” and “Sabka Saath – Sabka Vikas – Sabka Vishwas” sound very good. But, unfortunately, the ground reality indicates that we are drifting from the constitutional norms stipulated by our forefathers in running the day to day administration. We must remember that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar termed such a situation as “Grammar of Anarchy”. We ought to mend our ways and save the country.

Now, all said and done, in this last piece on the lighter side of Corona virus, let me quote a renowned columnist Karan Thapar who wrote in the Hindustan Times of today, May 31, under the banner “How Laughter Got Me Through the Lockdown”. He wrote, “On the assumption that today is the last day of the lockdown, I thought it might be fun to recall what we have just lived through. If like me, you marvel at the fact we were able to make light of it, humour was our best support. With my blogs, I tended to be supportive in my own humble way.
Some of the latest gems in this regard:-

The tipplers provided many good occasions to laugh as:

डॉक्टर: तुम गटर में कैसे गिर गए?
शराबी: क्या बताऊं डॉक्टर साहब, बिना ढक्कन की खुली गटर को गलती से सोशल डिस्टेन्सींग का सर्कल समझ बैठा था!

We Indians are always positive to find a desi solution to the ills:

कोरोना अगर इस भीषण गर्मी से भी नहीं मरा तो...
बरसात के पानी में डूब कर मर जाएगा, धैर्य रखें!

A telling commentary on the economic fallout of the virus – unemployment:’

कहने के लिए तो पिछले 60 दिन से कोई रोड पर नहीं आया लेकिन
हकीकत ये है कि कई लोग रोड पर गये हैं!
The virus has created a scare among the public and people are afraid of each other. Somebody has rightly explained:-

अब तो आदमी भी आदमी से डरने लगा है....
औरत से तो पहले ही डरता था!

The lovers have their own romantic funda to fight the virus:-

आज का ज्ञान:
सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग का ध्यान रखते हुए ही बहुत पहले से "Flying Kiss" का आविष्कार हुआ था!

As usual, I conclude this with a poetic expression in a lighter vein:

Woh Paas Se Guzarti Hai To Dil Mehak Jata Hai;
Pehle Perfume Ki Khushbu Aati Thi Ab Sanitizer Mehakta Hai!

Gulzar Sahib is known to put things in the right perspective:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

CORONA is not a laughing matter – The lighter side – 29

CORONA is not a laughing matter – The lighter side – 29

I decided to stop at 30 and this is the last but 1 in the series of the lighter side of Corona. Many things are happening in quick succession. India is now among the 10 worst countries in Covid 19 cases – 1 lakh 40 thousand positive cases and 4 thousand deaths. Ever since the relaxed lockdown - 4, more and more cases are detected on daily basis with an alarming more than 6 thousand cases in a day. We need to be alert and careful. With
A Santa Banta Joke
the starting of domestic flights on May 25 and train journeys to start on June 1, these cases are likely to rise. Though government machinery is not oblivious of the situation yet I thing better coordination and cooperation among the centre and the states would be called for. Political considerations and narrow agenda resulting in acrimonious blame game among the stake holders are worrisome and detrimental to the public good.

Indian Health Minister Harshvardhan has taken over as the Head of the Executive Board of the WHO at this critical juncture. It is good but we ought to deliver. Eid is being celebrated today with all solemnity and rightly so. We are live with a sense of fraternity in our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural
society as our constitutional ethos. With the opening up and starting of industrial and commercial activity, the problems of climate and environment are back to the square one. We need to extra aware of this and try our best to retain and sustain the good aspects of the compulsory lockdown we underwent. Political will and the social and civic sense are the two important ingredients to over-come the difficult situation.
It seems people are tired. Even the joke machinery is getting slow. But still, keeping with the series, I share some more to lessen the burden of confinement and restrictions.

We need to protect ourselves of the deadly virus. Here are some Punjabi Desi Nuskhe to do that:

 कोरोना तो बचन दे पँजाबी तरीके ........
किसे नाल सिदे मुँह गल नहीं करो।
किसे नू छेती मुँह ना लाओ।
जिदे नाल मतलब नहीं ओदे कोलो मुँह फेर लओ।
निवा होन दी जरुरत नहीं सदा आकड़े रहो।
सिर्फ अपने नाल ही मतलब रखो। होर ...
दफा हो
परां मार
शब्दां दा ज्यादा तो ज्यादा प्रयोग करो।
See the presence of mind of an old lady alone at home. Even the thieves are afraid of Corona virus:

आप इतनी बुजुर्ग हैं, इसके बाद भी आपने घर से चोरों को कैसे भगाया?
दादी ने हंसते हुए कहा-
ऐसा हुआ कि मैं नीचे हॉल में सोई थी। चोर खिड़की से घर में घुसे। उन्होंने मुझे लात मारकर उठाया।
मैं उठी, लेकिन हड़बड़ाई नहीं।
चोरों ने पूछा, माल कहां रखा है? तिजोरी किधर है? घर के बाकी मेंबर कहां सोएं हैं?
मैंने बिना देर किए तुरंत कहा, सभी पैसा, जेवर लेकर खेत में बने फॉर्म हाउस में रहने गए हैं बेटा।
मैं घर में अकेली हूं।
और हां, जाते समय साबुन से हाथ धोकर जाना। कोरोना होने के कारण मुझे यहां क्वारंटाइन किया गया है। सुनते ही चोर लोग बेहोश
There are many explanations on the Pradhan Sewak’s mantra of “Atam-Nirbhar” – 
लॉक डाउन 4.0 का मतलब है 'आत्मनिर्भर', मतलब...
तुम जानो तुम्हारा काम जाने।
One more with childlike simplicity:-
हम तो बचपन से ही आत्मनिर्भर थे!
जब टीचर माता-पिता के साइन करवा कर लाने को बोलते थे तो हम खुद ही करके दे देते थे!

Amarjeet, my friend in Oslo, fitted into my scheme of things many a times before in these blogs. Here is the latest one from him:

ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है
ज़िन्दगी भी यारों एक अजीब शय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
ये भूखे ये प्यासे ये मायूस चेहरे
आँखों में भर कर कई खवाब सुनहरे
बेबस चले जा रहे सड़कों को नापते
ये मीलों के रास्ते, बस अपनों के वास्ते
बदहवास आलम, बदलता समय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
देश को जो संवारते रहते हैं साल भर
छोड़ दिया उनको उनके ही हाल पर
इन तस्वीरों से मौन क्यों टूटता नहीं है
आंसुओं से मन क्यों पिघलता नहीं है
दर्द से टूटती अब सांसों की लय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
आस भी छूटी और अब विश्वास भी टुटा
औरों की छोड़ो उनके अपने सेठों ने लूटा
दो दिन में फुस्स हुए बाकी अरमान सारे
मानो पत्थर हो गए फिर से भगवान सारे
कोरोना की छोडो भूख से मरना तय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
देश बचाने वालों को मिलती ढेरों ताली
देश बनाने वाले खाएं लाठी--गाली
जीने की चाह फिर कहाँ रहती है बाकी
अब रुकना नहीं चाहे दिख जाए खाकी
फरियाद सुने इनकी किसके पास समय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
वक़्त है उनके ज़ख्मो पर मरहम लगा दो
उम्मीदों के झरोखों में एक दीया जला दो
अभी नहीं आये तो कब काम आओगे
किस हक़ से कल वोट मांगने जाओगे
गरीबों के हिस्से में तो मात और शय है
ना जीने की फुर्सत ना मरने का भय है...
अमर जीतअंजान