New Delhi Diary September 2020
The currency of the future?
Will ‘crypto-currency’ be the currency of the future? The world economy is taking hits repeatedly at short intervals and the monetary system has become notoriously volatile. In light of this, some European and American economists have started questioning the security of the financial system in its present form.
As a result, all major economies have now started taking the crypto currency ‘business’ a little more seriously even as they tread cautiously till they understand it better. However, there is no denying the fact that crypto currency is here to stay and is doing ‘big business’. A serious issue that has been raised, of late, particularly in the western countries, is: Can it be a security threat? The answer seems to be yes, it can become an ‘uncontrolled menace’.
If you are not banning it, as no major country has shown any inclination to do, then there is a need at least to have a law to control and regulate it. Without that kind of safeguard, crypto currency is going to pose a ‘volcanic danger’ especially for democratic and liberal countries like India and America.
A season of twin blessings
The denizens of the city are grateful to nature for its ‘twin blessings’ this year—the summer was difficult but not very hot, followed by a good monsoon. The city, but for a day or two in May when the temperature soared to 47 degree Celsius, experienced tolerable temperatures for the rest of the summer. And then there was ample rain in the months of July and August. It rained almost every other day but very gently, which ensured that the city did not experience any problems. By the end of August, the weatherman reported that the city had received more than its full share of rain this year.
One fails to recollect such a good summer and rainy monsoon in the recent past. A friend says we are lucky that we had a good summer/monsoon in the city this time while many places in the country and abroad experienced abnormally high temperatures and devastating floods.
Milton lost and regained!
The last time I had read John Milton’s epics, Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, was way back in my college years. Till recently, I had some vague ideas of their themes, and the fact that they were ‘difficult-to-understand’ books remained etched in my mind.
Now that I have read fresh editions of the books, I was quite excited to realise that, this time around, I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and also managed to understand them to a large extent. And, the credit for this goes entirely to my ‘accumulated knowledge of poetic literature’ over the years.
Most critics agree that John Milton is perhaps the most important figure in English literature after Shakespeare. Both his books deal with serious issues of good and bad, moral and immoral, life and death etc. Paradise Lost is, for instance, about man’s disobedience and revolt, sin and innocence etc. The main theme of Paradise Regained is Christian heroism with the character of Jesus Christ portrayed as the epitome of Christian glory. As such, the book is centred on enduring faith in God, the power of prayer, and spirituality.
Digital reading gets a boost
Like many of my friends, I too stopped reading physical newspapers with the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic. This led to a natural shift to reading digital newspapers. I must say that digital newspapers do not give one the joy one experiences when reading a physical newspaper. Maybe, I am yet to develop a ‘taste’ for digital newspapers!
However, one thing that I do like about digital reading is that you have the option of reading any newspapers anytime, anywhere, and with great ease. And, it does not pinch your pocket too much either!
Teacher: What is the longest word in the English language?
Student: ‘Smiles’ as there is a ‘mile’ between the first and the last letters!
By P. P. Wangchuk
P.P. Wangchuk is a New Delhi-based editor-at-large, columnist and professional speaker