New Delhi Diary – November 2020
The new work culture
Ever since the novel coronavirus spread its tentacles across the globe, a large number of people have been asked to work from home. In the beginning, it was a big thrill and a reason for celebration. But the joy of working from home seems to have faded away!
A private TV channel has reported that those who work from home “are not happy to be home all the time”. They feel isolated, and boredom, despite in a family environment, has hit them hard. At least 11% of such people have gone into depression, and 74% feel that they are “suffering from stress or anxiety”.
Many of them are sad that they are not able to work smoothly due to technical glitches and patchy internet services at home. And others have complained that they “have lost their creativity” which comes by being in an office environment where one can have discussions with colleagues over a cup of tea!
The lingering effects of COVID-19
It looks like we are going to live with COVID-19 for a long time and most of us have made it a part of our daily lives. We hear dreadful reports of the effect of the novel coronavirus. Many of those who have contracted the virus suffer serious impacts. There are many who recover from the disease but continue to suffer from various lingering medical and psychological ailments. Some of these people, reported from various parts of the planet, are no longer the same individuals. They suffer from memory loss, speech impairment, regular bouts of dizziness, and no longer feel like their normal selves.
One such person in India was discharged after he was ‘cured’ of COVID-19 but is no longer his previous self. He can’t talk the like he did but he can sing as well as he did in the past. He fumbles and has lost his coherence. Doctors say that the ability to speak and sing are controlled by separate parts of the brain. He is said to have lost his ability to speak due to a clot in his brain. Similarly, there are reports of people who have recovered completely from COVID-19 only to have a heart-attack some few days later.
The ‘data mining’ menace
The words ‘data mining’ has lately become a very popular topic for discussion on TV channels or in private conversations. That is mainly because ‘data mining’ has played havoc on people’s privacy. Data phishing is now become rampant as companies use your personal data for advertisements and other forms of marketing.
And then, we have reports that banks and companies that have our data sell it for hefty amounts. So much so that many social media users have started closing their accounts for fear of such unscrupulous activities.
A little birdie states that data is gold, and that social media giants are “playing this game like never before.” And she adds, privacy is a “myth” on social media and these companies have emerged as the biggest spies around!
The aerotropolis wonder
The word ‘aerotropolis’ is not really a familiar or common word for most of us. Yet, one has heard it fairly regularly in the last few years. The reason: India too will have a couple of aerotroplises over the next few years. One of them will be established in Uttar Pradesh. The first aerotropolis project in India is coming up in Durgapur, West Bengal.
What is an aerotropolis? It refers to a super-city, which is a level above a metropolis. An aerotropolis is designed to provide all kinds of luxurious business facilities to busy business travellers who cannot afford to waste time travelling to distant hotels in a city. Such cities have top-class hotels, clubs, gymnasiums and convention halls. They also have entertainment centres including cinema theatres and the like.
A young girl was talking on the phone for about an hour.
Father: Wow, how come you stopped talking so quickly? Normally, you speak on the phone for hours!
Girl: Oh no, dad, that was a wrong number!
By P. P. Wangchuk
P. P. Wangchuk is a New Delhi-based editor-at-large, columnist and professional speaker