Hang On


This year, 2020, started with wild bush fires in Australia and people living down under hopped-skipped-and jumped like kangaroos to get themselves in to a pouch of fire-safe water. It is believed that about 500 million animals had perished and about 15 million acres of forest was lost due to the raging fires! This was just an introduction to Global Disasters, which grew-up quickly and relentlessly to become the signature tune for the year. And then, a never before seen infectious disease, COVID-19, spiked-in and spread faster than wild fires, across Continents, liberally using one of humankind’s best known inventions – the aeroplane. Now the planes are grounded, the wings of flight are almost broken, and the virus is freely wheeling around the world using the drift of human fault lines.

I wish a nano Spiderman would sling a web around each Sars-Cov-2, jailing it inside – rendering the deadly latching spikes inactive. I wish Superman could reverse-rotate Planet Earth – like he did to bring back his dead girl friend to life – to when the Coronavirus first showed up, so that the World Health Organization discovered it had a brain, and walled China into preventing people flying the virus in and out of China’s Wuhan . I wish Batman had kept the virus contained and spread all over himself – they do nothing to Bats – rather than using an intermediary Joker in trying to save the world. Batman’s best intentions apart, I wish many more superheroes appeared on the scene, like a stealth Black Panther, Wonder Woman, or Iron Man, and saved the World from the pandemic. It has put all of us in masks and made us wash our hands to the bone while pushing us physically apart. Nobody to kiss? Nobody to Hug? In a first, the good guys are locked-up, for their own safety, while the enemy prowls round.

Earlier, the President of the United States of America escaped impeachment to carry on with his kind of mangled, divisive politics. Sporting legend, Basket Ball great, Kobe Byrant died in an unexpected Helicopter crash. He was up in the air, but the basket couldn’t hold the weight of his achievements. It had to let go. It did.

Talking about going, the forever dishevelled Boris Johnson levelled the European Union to ‘Get Brexit Done’ in late January, and then went on to have a baby, outside marriage, and successfully tackled the virus, inside his body, as well. Last heard, Boris was counting the number of his children!

At the Oscars, was it a coincidence that ‘Parasite’ infected all of us with its brilliance and walked away with lots of golden statues? South Korea got an inkling of things to come and acted with grace and speed – we’ve all seen that, to wide acclaim. They taught the World a lesson, or two.

When Nissan’s disgraced Boss escaped from Japan and landed in Lebanon little did we know the chemistry that was in store for Beirut. Stored Ammonium Nitrate chemical it was for over five years until it blasted the living daylights out of an already multi-dimensionally suffering Beirut. Meanwhile, James Bond’s ‘No Time to Die’ is yet to be born. I wish Bond was around, with all those beautiful girls ‘unmasked’ frolicking around him, to tell us to ‘Die Another Day’. We lost count, after Easter. This silly thing was supposed to be trumped by then, wasn’t it? Did it? New comers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are supposed to have the answers. And ‘Comma-la’ (should be Kama -la) is already walking Chennai’s Besant Nagar Beach with her Grandfather – in flashback, while she asks her Chithis (Aunts), sprawled over India, to break good-luck coconuts.

The superb logo of the Tokyo Olympics 2020 showing the emblem sun at zero, physically distanced the five-Continent rings for a while and counted itself to the year 2021. The sun sets to rise again in the Land of the Rising Sun. Nevertheless, the fireworks of the Opening Ceremony was conducted, to spend the crackers, and to rave e-You-Tube views!

I read that a studious girl, Ashanti Palmer, not only graduated from a New York High School as Class Valedictorian but also with perfect attendance, never missing a day of school from pre-kindergarten to High School. Could she have done it now? Maybe, her aggressive going-to-school was a bellwether – gulping down precious school time by the ton, in case there was no going at all. Children are beginning to forget how a School looked like; and believe that everything comes out of a small hand-held screen. What else? Babies?

Talking about New York, I was mighty impressed with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s slick, no-nonsense, apolitical handling of the pandemic, with his daughters, one of the girl’s boy-friend, the House Dog, and his awesome Secretary, to show up every day and drive away the bad spirits. I was inspired by his leadership and felt that there was nothing much to look up to the White House in Washington. I watched his daily, science based, data driven, Press Briefings in the USA, to learn and understand ‘what’s happening in India’ (My! India’s Press briefings were a disaster in itself), and that thing called the ‘new normal’.

While all this was happening, India showed its might in superior, weaponless combat on high cliffs and cold ice, over an invisible Line that China tried to mentally shift. Imagine if we had weapons in hand? The Rafale Fighter Planes that India had ordered from France flew-in to be around, should we change the rules of combat. Enter the Dragon’s Den? Meanwhile, the prince of the Congress Party complained that the Prime Minister stole the Air Hostesses (Remember, his father always flew well-attended flights with them) who could not be found on the planes, when they were delivered. And that was worth an act of stealing. Chor hai? Some thought that every Indian deserved an Air Hostess landing in his Bank Account!

With such action and drama could Bollywood be left behind? A talented upcoming Actor who played the cricket innings of India’s Ticket Collector-turned-Ball Collector & Keeper, Captain Cool, could not manage the web of deceit that overwhelmed his acting skills and gave it all up for an everlasting act in Heaven. He became more well-known after death than during a clueless life in this World. Was it spin bowling, or the fast in-swingers that did him in? Hope the CBI has the balls to find that out!

2020 is not over as yet. There is hope out there. We look up to the skies when confronted with the vicissitudes for life. We can learn a lot from Birds. India’s Nagaland State is called the Falcon Capital of world. Yearly, around one million Amur Falcons storm the State for roosting and breeding their kind, from Mongolia en-route to the final destination­­­­ of South Africa. They travel up to 22,000 km, one of the longest in world, on their own without booking precious tickets on Air India’s Vande Bharat Mission Flights. And they don’t have Air Hostesses to serve them. The Prince will hopefully learn and come to roost in a New Delhi Bungalow probably vacated by his gone-girl Sister.

Here’s wishing that the flight through the rest of the murky, dangerous 2020 is smooth, after all. This year is one helluva fight to stay alive. Hang On. The next number is the series is, ‘One’. Tomorrow is another Day, is my favourite ‘gone with the wind’ saying.


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