About: The story of how we fired on all our guns this week, in our World.


United Kingdom: The Case For A Return Of Sherlock Holmes

On 3rd March, Sarah Everard, a 33 years old marketing executive vanished into the proverbial thin air, while walking home to Brixton after visiting a friend in Clapham. Both places are about 50 minutes away from each other on foot. A typical walk from Clapham to Brixton takes one through some of London’s most populated, brightly lit, and well-walked parts. Hundreds of people pound these pavements every day and consider the streets in and around them as home.

Sarah left Clapham at 9 pm, and is believed to have walked through Clapham Common, a large park on the route. Soon after she left, Sarah spoke to her boyfriend on her mobile phone for about 15 minutes, and was last spotted in the footage of a doorbell camera at about 9.30pm. A day later, Sarah’s boyfriend contacted the police to report that she was missing. The police then sought public help in tracing her whereabouts, and made ‘missing person’ posts on social media to elicit responses.

A dead body was found, a week later, inside a builder’s bag, in a woodland in Ashford, Kent. Two days later the Police confirmed, through the use of dental records, that it belonged to Sarah Everard.

Then, this week on Tuesday, the police made two arrests – the first was a Scotland Yard police constable, on suspicion of kidnapping, and the second a woman on the suspicion of assisting an offender. Detectives are investigating, and we should be getting a clearer picture in the coming weeks.

Many Londoners shared their own experiences of harassment on streets or public transport and are demanding better protection. Much of the conversation has revolved around what men can do to make women feel more safe. I think this is an important lead to work on. And I hope the case is solved in the manner Sherlock Holmes does, to throw the best possible light on how it happened. Maybe, the fear of getting caught could act as crime-deterrent.

Australia Too

In another Commonwealth, beyond the Oceans, in Australia, tens of thousands of people across the country protested against sexual violence harassment and gender inequality after a wave of sexual assault allegations involving politicians surfaced.

Worlds apart there is about the same problem, which needs urgent attention.

Earth Shakes

When was the last time we heard about an Earthquake, leave alone experiencing one, near us? Give me a break…seems long ago.

Iceland, an Island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, known for its stunning natural beauty, has recorded a whooping 50,000 earthquakes, and more, in the past three weeks, perhaps signalling that a volcanic eruption could be heating-up and melting its way to the surface.

Think about Iceland, and what scorches my mind is its capital Reykjavik-where over 60% of the population live-and where the Reykjavik Summit meeting between the then US President Ronald Reagan and the then Soviet Union’s General Secretary, Mikhail Gorbachev, was held in 1986. They came awfully close to agreeing to a complete elimination of nuclear weapons: of course it wasn’t to be and has remained in history as the nearest successful attempt of leaders of nuclear powers to do so.That itself was earth-shaking.

They say that Iceland is a land of contrasts: ice and fire, glaciers and volcanoes, mountains and lakes, waterfalls and geysers. I cannot agree more!

Meanwhile, Scientists are baffled, putting together the beauty and all the pieces of quake information, tying to make ‘breaking news’ out of it. And Icelanders are learning to live with the ‘Earth shakes’.

The Guns Of Myanmar

Myanmar has been tightly gripped by severe protests since the military seized control on 1st February and detained Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party, the winner of the General Elections.

Mahn Win Khaing Than, the leader of a group of Myanmar politicians has vowed to press on with a ‘revolution’ against the illegal coup by the military, saying ‘this is the darkest moment of the nation and the moment that dawn is close’.

This Sunday 38 people were killed in one of the deadliest retaliation by the Military and martial was declared in six areas after Chinese-funded factories were set on fire. The death count has risen, to at least 138 people being killed, till date, in the ongoing protests.

Over the past weeks the turmoil in Myanmar has been heart-wrenching as new shots of over-the-bar violence by the Ruling Military Junta snakes its way up the headlines every day. India, as a powerful neighbour, and the United Nations (UN) as a far-sighted neutral observer can do more-speak up, defend democracy, and boldly order the Military to hand power back to the people.

America Is Still Shooting, Wild

On 16th March there was yet another deadly shooting incident in the United States of America, in the State of Georgia. Shootings in two massage parlours in Atlanta and one in the suburbs left eight people dead-at least six of them were women of Asian origin.

Police have arrested one man, suspected to be behind all the three shootings. The motive is unclear and investigators are trying to get to the bottom of the muscle.

The shootings are sending shockwaves throughout the Asian American Community as hate-related incidents have increased since the start of the pandemic.

This is not how America should look like, and the recurring shootings bring the issue of Gun Control into the cross-hairs. America must act…before the next shooting engulfs the country, again. This is a tragedy beyond measure.

Should we completely ban guns and return to the bow & arrow mode, or better still, armless combat?

Lifting The Veil, Again.

Sri Lanka has taken a significant step towards banning the burka and other face coverings in public, on grounds of national security. A cabinet order has been signed, which now needs parliamentary approval. A ban can be expected anytime now.

The Government is also planning to ban more than 1,000 madrassa Islamic schools, which flout the national education policy, teaching in their own way.

The move comes nearly two years after a wave of co-ordinated attacks on hotels and churches, on Easter Sunday, brought back bitter memories of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam’s (LTTE) brand of terrorism. Suicide bombers had targeted Catholic churches and tourist hotels, killing more than 250 people in April 2019. The Islamic State militant group said it had carried out the attacks.

For over two decades Sri Lanka suffered terribly under the ‘wild, militant, separatist presence’ of the LTTE, which controlled and ruled the North Eastern part of the country. It was a Herculean effort that Sri Lanka made to wipe out the LTTE, gunning down its top leaders and scoring a decisive military victory. And they cannot allow other extremists to take the country for a ride, again.

India’s Five State Assembly Elections

After the recent rains of water, it’s now preparing to rain washing machines, solar stoves, cooking gas cylinders, mosquito nets, and other freebies in India’s Tamil Nadu State, which is going to the Polls on 6th April. People have already been drenched with television sets, mixies, grinders, table fans, scooters, cycles, laptops, gold for mangalsutra, milch cows… and they don’t seem to be catching a cold. Housewives maybe paid to do their homework, one in a family given a Government Job, and the swing of cash flows is a tsunami in the making. With dominating charismatic leaders either dead or out-of-action this is a high octane Election campaign.

In Kerala a wizened old ‘Metro-Man’, seething with national fervour, hopes to build rails to a better future, and run the State like he did the Metro Rail System in Delhi and other Cities. In West Bengal a ‘forever-scowling’ white Tigress slipped and fell hurting herself, breaking bones, and blamed the lotus-eating-Lions for attacking her. Now she gets to be pushed around the campaign trail. In Assam it’s free dole time too, with scooters for girls students and agricultural tools for farmers. We can expect something similar in Puducherry, with about the same parties playing the same political game yonder too.

India’s State Elections offer one of the best entertainment anybody can get anywhere in the world. Try looking at it!

On the COVID-19 Trail

Tracking the great Vaccination drive, more than 413 million shots have been given across 132 countries at a rate of about 9.94 million doses per day.

Israel has showed that vaccinations have a nation-wide effect. By February more than 84% of people of age 70 and above had received two doses and severe COVID-19 cases have declined rapidly. And life is returning to near normalcy. The United Kingdom experienced similar results.

India has administered near about about 40 million vaccine doses till date, and needs to change gears and drive even faster. India, being the Vaccine Factory of the World is in the forefront of delivering Vaccines to other nations as well, earning enormous goodwill in the process. A case is being made for opening the vaccination to anybody who wants it. The Government is yet to decide. Recent spikes in COVID-19 cases are alarming, with a high of over 40,000 cases yesterday, generating fears for a second wave of infections.

Music’s Biggest Night: The Grammys 2021

This year, the 63rd Grammys Awards were held on a different kind of stage and tuned to a different kind of music, as well, heavily influenced by the pandemic.

There was no audience, and performers were separated into five stages, arranged in a circle inside the Los Angeles Convention Centre to maintain social distancing. In another break with tradition, the awards were handed out by bartenders, security guards and cleaners from concert venues that have been forced to close due to Covid-19. Comedian Trevor Noah hosted the ceremony for the first time.

Taylor Swift’s surprise lockdown Album, Folklore, which was a front-runner in the run-up to the Grammys, fearlessly walked away with the Album of the Year prize making her the first woman to win the Best Album Award, three times. She swiftly joins ‘three other folks’ who had done it before – Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.

The Grammy Awards Night may well be called the ‘Musilacious Beyonce Night’ as she aced the Awards breaking the record for the most Grammys won by a woman and any singer, male or female, with 28 awards-also tying the record with the great Quincy Jones, as the living person with the most Grammys.

Enter Blue Ivy Carter, 9 years old, the daughter of Beyonce and Jay-Z who became the second youngest artist to win a Grammy Award, her first, for Best Music Video for ‘Brown Skin Girl’. The record for the youngest is held by Leah Peasall, who won in 2001 at the age of 8 years.

Beyonce and fellow Houston native, Best New Artist, Megan Thee Stallion, also made history as the first pair of women to ever win best rap performance with the remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’. The pair then went on to win best rap song for the same tune. But it was Beyonce’s win for best R&B performance for ‘Black Parade’ that put her over the top.

Find the other winners from the wildcards below.

‘I can’t breathe’ without saying that the Song of the Year was won by Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. And ‘Future Nostalgia’, Dua Lipa, stayed high on Pop Vocal Album of the year. It ‘Rain-ed on Me’ that the Best Pop Duo was Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. I decided it was ‘Everything I wanted’ of Bille Eilish for Record of the Year, but not before shooting ‘No Time To Die’ as the best song for visual media. Watch it in the yet to be released James Bond movie.

I just gulped a solo Harry Styles, ‘Watermelon Sugar’ drink to rock to ‘The New Abnormal’ of The Strokes before going traditional pop vocal with James Taylor’s, ‘American Standard’. ‘Anything for For You’ sang Ledisi in a traditional R&B best performance.

Oops, I’m still out of breath, and hope to find it soon!

The Oscar Nominations

Actor and Producer Priyanka Chopra Jonas along with her husband, Nick Jonas, announced the nominations-which had many surprises-for this year’s Academy Awards.

The movie ‘Mank’, directed by David Fincher, starring Academy Award winner Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, bagged 10 nominations under different categories. The second highest number of nominations was bagged by, The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Sound of Metal, Nomadland, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah, and The Father, with six nominations each.

Mank is an American biographical film about screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz who wrote the screenplay for one for the finest movies of our time, Citizen Kane. Recall, Gary Oldman is the honest Police Officer in the Batman movie, Dark Knight, and has previously won Best Actor Oscar for being Winston Churchill in the 2018 movie, Darkest Hour. Amanda Seyfried is nominated for Best Supporting Actress and this is her first Oscar nomination-without doubt, she is thrilled!

The Indian movies I talked about last week did to make it to the final nominations. But a Priyanka Chopra starrer (she is also one for the Producers), ‘The White Tiger’ held on to its stripes with a nomination for Writing-Best Adapted Screenplay, written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani who has also directed the film. Bahrani is an Iranian-American director and screenwriter.

The White Tiger, is based on author Arvind Adiga’s novel-a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the Man Booker prize-of the same name, and is the story of a self-made man growing from a tea-shop worker in a village to a successful entrepreneur in a big city (call it Bengaluru).

Look out for the Oscar Awards Ceremony happening at the end of March 2021.

More scenes set to great tunes coming up in the weeks ahead.


One thought on “WORLD INTHAVAARAM, 2021-12

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s