New Delhi Diary – August 2020

The joy of e-reading

Wow, what a change has come to pass, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic! For over four months now, I haven’t been able to have the pleasure of visiting my favourite markets to buy new books. As a result, I had no alternative but to choose the option I have been resisting for a long time: e-reading.

Now that I have been forced to take up e-reading, I am happy to say that I got used to it in no time. It has helped me in several ways: E-reading is kinder on my pocket as it is much cheaper, and it is very convenient to read anytime, anywhere, and does not require any extra space as you can use your smart phone.

Another advantage is that one can read it in bold letters, which means one does not need spectacles to read as is necessary for some printed books. And lastly, one can also derive some happiness from the fact that a digital book can’t be ‘lost’ to a friend or a relative who, in the case of printed books, pretends to ‘borrow’ them for a week or so, but never cares to return them! One hesitates to give them a gentle reminder because that is generally not taken kindly. It is quite likely that you lose not only a precious book but also a friend!

The mysteries of nature

How many of us, and how many times, notice the strange things that happen around us in the world. I guess most of us miss them because of “various and strange reasons.”

The other day, I was watching an international TV channel non-stop because it was broadcasting a programme on the bizarre and ‘unlikely’. One of such ‘unlikely’ things was a ‘miracle boy’ who was born in Germany in the first week of July with three eyes. The third eye was on his forehead and in perfect symmetry with the other two to form a perfect triangle. The boy, only a few days old, looked cute, and all his eyes moved together in any direction.

And there were reports that Indian saints had predicted, a long time back, that such a ‘phenomenon’ would happen. The reports also said that many Hindus believed that the boy is an ‘avatar’ of Lord Shiva.

There can be several scientific explanations for such a phenomenon. However, it will always remain a mystery despite the numerous ‘guesses of possible’ explanations put forth by various individuals and organisations. A friend wondered if we can have such three-eyed children in the future with the help of the German child’s genes.

Good food in bad days!

The Corona days have been very harsh with normal life being put on hold. But, if one speaks about the brighter sides, there are many. For me, a zealous foodie, there is nothing more enjoyable than cooking. Therefore, one can say that, in a way, the COVID-19 times have given each of us an opportunity to cook one’s favourite food and have the best fruit cocktails. Very rarely do we get an opportunity to pamper ourselves.

At times, one follows the best recipes eagerly and ‘obediently’, while at other times, one experiments and follows one’s own imagination. As a result of such experiments, one gets the pleasure of enjoying different varieties of ‘goody-goody’ food! Each new day means a new kind of food, and one did not know what kind of food one will have the next day. That depended entirely on one’s ‘crazy mental waves’. Indeed, if there were any good time for the kind of a ‘Khao, pio, aish karo’ (eat, drink and enjoy) lifestyle, it has been the last few months. And the hope that life can be better, easier and smarter in the post-COVID-19 days, gives one more ideas for experimentation!

Tailpiece:

A: Why did the terrorist blow up his own house?

B: He was asked to work from his home due to the Corona pandemic!

By P. P. Wangchuk

P. P. Wangchuk is a New Delhi-based editor-at-large, columnist and professional speaker

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