New Delhi Diary – January 2021

Wishes for a better year

Let me begin this column with my heartiest New Year greetings to my readers, hoping for the best of luck and a joyous life. Let’s forget the year that is gone as a bad dream, and wish for a brighter year.

As a New Year is heralded, most of us build up hopes and dreams to be fulfilled. Many of us draw a list of New Year resolutions and see how our aspirations can be realised. I too have listed 12 ‘things’ to be achieved over the next 12 months. Some of them are quite easy while others are mostly ‘impossibilities’. But I have learnt to understand that nothing is impossible!

Similarly, assuming that I live for another 10 years, I have drawn up a plan of 10 objectives to be achieved. One of them is to travel around the world, and that seems to be the easiest one. For me, 2020 has been the most unsatisfactory as most plans remained unfulfilled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that does not cow me down. I am a rabid optimist, and hope the years to come will fully compensate the losses of last year!

Life quality best in Mumbai

In India, the quality of life is the best in Mumbai, and Delhi is rated No. 2. The IIT-Bombay, in a study of 14 cities in the country, says in its ‘urban quality of life index’ report that the objective was tailored to the reality of life, and to see, with several parameters that truly mattered in life, in big cities.

The study gave great importance to women and their life style conditions. Chennai is the best city for women, where people are most “women-friendly.” And, Patna is the worst city for women in terms of respect, education etc. Jaipur has the highest rate for crime against women, and Chennai has the lowest.

The most tweeted-about persons

Donald Trump was the most tweeted-about person in 2020. According to a Twitter report, Joe Biden is second in the list of 10 most tweeted-about persons. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is listed at No. 6. Similarly, Kamala Harris is at No. 10. Over 700 million tweets were recorded globally in 2020, and most of them were about the US elections.

A rebel girl’s story of riches

Chinu Kala, 15, from Mumbai, had a bitter argument with her father one fine morning, which resulted in her leaving home. But she did not know where to go, and only had INR 300 in her pocket. Somehow she reached a railway station in the city, and it was quite late in the night. She was frightened and yet she was in no mood to go back home.

A kind lady happened to see her, and talked to her. The lady took pity on her, and directed her to a place where she could work and live in a dormitory, for INR 250 a day. Days and years passed, and she was nowhere near her dream world.

But she kept her dreams alive, and one day, in 2004, she got married. Brighter days greeted her, and she started taking part in beauty contests, and that opened the doors to success.

She says that it is not beauty alone that makes one a Miss India or a Miss Universe but a lot of other things like ‘beauty accessories’. She jumped into the ‘beauty accessories’ business, and now she earns around INR 15 crore a year. Today, as she looks back, she is thankful that she had the courage to rebel and leave her home!


Wife: Hey, why don’t you think a woman can make you a millionaire?

Husband: I am very sure a woman can make a man a millionaire if he is a billionaire!

By P.P. Wangchuk

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

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