About –the stories of the world this week, 6 November to 12 November: a colourful week, Climate Change, War, Elections, Social Media layoffs, Pollution, Blind justice, and a new kind of Blood.


Climate Change is in the news almost every day with its effects eminently visible as heavy incessant rains, floods, storms, rising sea levels, droughts, forest fires, extreme hot or cold temperatures – never before experienced or recorded- and the kind, occurring in some part of the world. We have been bombarded with various degrees of temperature, catastrophic predictions of continuing to use smoky fuels such as coal and oil; about smart methods of harnessing the everyday friendly sunlight, water flow, wind, and even the gusts of traffic in our cities, branding it as clean or green energy and going ga-ga over it.

Tree-planting is becoming a serious hobby, and we hear heart-warming stories of people single-handedly growing a forest starting with one or more tree samplings at a time. People are listening and doing their part in mysterious ways!

What is climate change? We need to refresh our mind on this awfully often used term. Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. Climate change is a shift in average weather conditions we experience every day.

World temperatures have been rising over the years because of human activity such as using oil, gas, and coal for homes, factories, and transport. When these fossil fuels burn, they release what we call greenhouse gases-mostly carbon-dioxide (CO2)- into the atmosphere.

When sunlight reaches Earth, the surface absorbs some of its energy and reradiates it as infrared waves, which we feel as heat. These infrared waves travel up into the atmosphere and will happily escape back into space if unimpeded. Oxygen and nitrogen don’t interfere with these waves-they are not impressed-as they leave, but CO2 does, and falls for it, on first sight. Back Beauty?

Only after the Earth absorbs sunlight and reemits the energy as infrared waves can the CO2 and other greenhouse gases grab and absorb the energy. As CO2 soaks up the infrared energy, it vibrates and re-emits it back in all directions. About half of that energy goes out into space, and about half of it returns to Earth as heat, contributing to the warming ‘greenhouse effect.’ Now that we are re-educated, we can no longer call ourselves ‘green-between-the-ears’.

The world is now about 1.1 C (Degrees Centigrade) warmer than it was in the 19th Century – and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 50%. Temperature rises must slow down if we want to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. Global warming needs to be kept to 1.5 C by 2100. Left unchecked, we will experience catastrophic warming, with worsening droughts, rising sea levels and mass extinction of species.

United Nations (UN) climate summits are held every year, for governments to meet, discuss, and hopefully agree on steps to limit global temperature rises. They are referred to as COPs (Conference of the Parties). The parties are the attending countries that signed up to the original UN Climate Agreement in the year 1992. COP27 is the 27th annual UN meeting on climate being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 November to 18 November.

A report by the independent Climate Action Tracker Group in the year 2021, calculated that the world was heading for 2.4 C of warming by the end of the century. If nothing is done, scientists think global warming could exceed 4 C in the future, leading to devastating heatwaves, millions losing their homes to rising sea levels, and irreversible loss of plant and animal species.

In a warmer world, land animals will also find it harder to find the food and water they need to live. For example, polar bears could die out as the ice they rely on melts away, and elephants will struggle to find the 150-300 litres of water a day they need. Scientists believe at least 550 species could be lost this century if action is not taken.

The UK and Europe will be vulnerable to flooding caused by extreme rainfall. Countries in the Middle East will experience extreme heatwaves and widespread drought. Island nations in the Pacific region could disappear under rising seas. Many African nations are likely to suffer droughts and food shortages. Drought conditions could occur in the Western US, while other areas will see more intense storms. Australia is likely to suffer extremes of heat and increases in deaths from wildfires.

Major changes need to come from governments and businesses, but scientists say some small changes in our daily lives can limit our impact on the climate, such as, taking fewer flights; living car-free or using an electric car; reducing consumption of meat and dairy products; reducing energy use; buying energy-efficient products; improving home insulation; switching from a gas heating system to an electric heat pump in home heating.

We’ll wait for the outcome of COP27 and the new climate change goals, on 18 November 2022.

War: Red to White

After several days of quiet on the Russia-Ukraine war-front, there was noise made this week of a mighty turn: Russia formally announced retreat from strategic city of Kherson. It was just over 5 weeks ago that Russia ‘annexed’ Kherson as its territory and now it leaves the city with its tail firmly tucked between its legs.

Big setback for Putin. What’s going on? Stuff of future military history!

US Midterm Elections: Red and Blue

The Legislative Branch of the United States consists of the House of Representatives (House)and the Senate, which have the sole authority to enact legislation, declare war, confirm or reject Presidential appointments, beside holding substantial investigative powers.

The House is made up of 435 elected representatives divided among the 50 States in proportion to the total population. In addition, 6 are non-voting representatives of countries which are part of the US, but not wholly, such as Puerto Rico. Representatives are elected every two years.

The Senate is composed of 100 senators, 2 from each State with six year terms staggered so that one-third of the Senate is up for re-election every two years. That’s US Democracy in a nutshell!

This year, Midterm Elections for 35 seats of the 100 seats in the Senate and all 435 House seats were on the ballot. Additionally, 36 out of 50 states will elect new Governors.

In the House, the ‘Blue’ Democrats currently control 220 out of 435 and the’Red’ Republicans 212, with three vacancies. In the Senate is a 48 – 48 score.

The counting of the votes is underway – seems to be going on furiously, in a never-ending manner -and on the last Count, in the Senate it is Blue-48, Red-50 and in the House, Blue- 200 and Red 211. We may have to cross over to the next week to see who has control of the Senate and the House.

The Colour Blue

The microblogging and social networking service Twitter after being swallowed like a worm through the beak of its new Owner – the ‘far too brilliant’ US entrepreneur Elon Musk – is making all kinds of news. Employees are being uprooted like trees – sacked in truck loads -accounts that impersonate others are being permanently suspended unless they identify themselves as ‘parody.’ And there is a plan to charge USD 8 for a blue tick, on a verified Twitter Identification.

The little Blue Bird is ruffled and does not seem to know what to do. Done with migration?

Meta: Blue, Red Purple, Green

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, which owns Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has announced that it will cut 13% of its workforce. About 11,000 employees – from a worldwide headcount of 87,000 – were fired in industry’s biggest layoff and Meta’s first mass lay-off in its history.

Mark Zuckerberg said the cuts were, “the most difficult changes we’ve made in Meta’s history. It is due to macroeconomic downturn, and increased competition, which caused revenue to be much lower than expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that”.

The news follows major lay-offs (the colour blue, above) at Twitter, and other tech firms.

India’s New Delhi: Colour Blind

Over the past weeks pollution in India’s capital, New Delhi, reached invisible levels and people began searching for each other including themselves in the thick air. The Government decided to keep kids locked-out of school to breathe perhaps slightly better air at Home. The main reason for the poor air quality is blamed on reasons outside New Delhi, with the obvious culprit being stubble-burning by farmers in the neighbouring state of Punjab.

In a shocking decision, India’s Supreme Court freed three men sentenced to death for the brutal, rape and murder of a 19 years old girl in 2012 – the conviction and sentencing of which was made by lower courts. The Supreme Court has said that the prosecution failed to prove the charges beyond reasonable doubt, leaving the court with no alternative but to acquit the accused, though involved in a very heinous crime. The Court pointed out several procedural lapses during the case trial, due to which the convicts were acquitted of the charges by giving them a ‘benefit of doubt’.

Known as the Chhawala Gang Rape Case, three men – Ravi Kumar, Vinod, and Rahul – kidnapped a girl at Qutub Vihar Phase-II in Delhi on February 2012, when she had just returned from work at about 8.30pm. She was then taken to a mustard field about 30 kilometres away in the Haryana village of Rodhai where they took turns to rape and brutalise her. They mutilated and poured acid into the girl’s eyes, inserted a broken liquor bottle into her vagina and abandoned her in the mustard field to die.

In February 2014, a Delhi Court convicted the three men to death after finding them guilty. On August, 2014, the Delhi High Court upheld the death punishment, declaring that the accused were ‘predators’ roaming the streets and ‘looking for prey’.

The girl, Kiran Negi, was from Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, living in Qutub Vihar, Phase II, Dwarka in Southwest Delhi, with her parents and two younger brothers. She wanted to become a teacher and was pursuing a graduate course in a Delhi College. And worked part-time in Gurugram’s Cyber City as a data input operator to augment the family income.

The incident took place about 10 months before the Nirbhaya Incident that shook India, but it did not attract media attention to the extent that the latter did. The girl’s family reported the kidnapping on the very same night. The grieving father of the girl was taken aback by the apathy displayed by the police personnel who had come there to investigate the kidnapping. “Get us a car and then we will follow the kidnappers,” one of the police officials had scoffed at the girl’s father”.

The victim’s father ran pillar-to-post seeking justice. He approached the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, but was shunned away saying, “such incidents keep happening”. Officials at the Chief Minister’s Office handed him a cheque of Rs one lakh and asked him to leave. Apart from this, no other assistance or compensation of any kind was given to him.

The parents of the girl, yearning for justice, were heartbroken by the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court this week. “Where do we go?” No one killed Kiran Negi?

The Colour Red: Blood to Bank Upon

This week, researchers announced that lab-grown blood has been transfused into people for the first time ever. Scientists in the United Kingdom (UK) have been able to manufacture blood from donor stem cells. And have infused two people with about two teaspoons of the lab blood to see how it behaves in the body. If the UK trial is a cool success, manufactured blood cells could help people with rare blood types or disorders, who often need transfusions. There’s also a possibility that the blood can be stored longer, compared to standard donor blood. The two people who have been infused have not reported any adverse reactions. And at least eight others will also receive transfusions over the next few months. More trials are needed before it can be used clinically. If you are running out of blood, that’s something to bank upon in the future.

More colourful stories coming up in the weeks ahead. Transfuse yourself with World Inthavaaram.



About: the world this week, 31 October to 6 November 2021, warming up to climate change – the heat is on humankind to save the Planet; let’s do it with G20, COP26, with a new star called Hydrogen…among other things, while India drums its plans.


Weather is what we experience every day: and we watch and soak-up the predictions of, the day, the week, month, and the year, to plan adventures outside the safety of our cozy homes. Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. Climate Change is a shift in these average conditions – deeply studied by Scientists and other Masters of the climate change game, all over the world. Their study results tell us about the health of our Planet: whether it’s overworking itself in the gym to keep those toned, tiered, economy packs of countries in shape or whether it’s mostly in bed, under the blankets, and wearing ice caps.

It’s a fact that temperatures across the world are shooting-up because of human activity caused climate change now threatens every aspect of human life. If left unchecked, Earth-the only Planet in the Solar system known to support life – will experience catastrophic warming, with worsening droughts, greater rise in sea levels and mass extinction of living species. We face a gargantuan challenge, but there are potential solutions.

The sinister climate change we are now experiencing is caused by us humans using oil, gas, and coal to get various things done in our homes and factories, and for transport. When these fossil fuels burn, they release greenhouse gases – mostly that much maligned guy called, Carbon Dioxide (CO2)- which trap the Sun’s heat and cause the Earth’s temperature to rise.

The world is now about 1.2C (degrees centigrade) warmer than it was in the 19th Century. And the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by about 50%. Temperature rises must slow down if we want to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and global warming needs to be kept under 1.5C by 2100, say Scientists – that’s the target, which we all need to own up. Remember, if we keep burning ourselves at the current pace we are looking at a whopping rise of 2.7C by the end of the century. That would be Hell!

One of the effects of climate change is that many small Groups are forming all over the world to discuss the future of Planet Earth. It’s almost like small clouds gathering to block harmful global warming sun-rays or send meaningful showers of rain down on to Earth.

Most of the Groups have a thread of climate change woven into them. And that’s the ‘hot and melting’ topic this week. Let’s start with a Group, leaning more towards the economics side.

G20 Italia 2021

The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum consisting of 19 of the world’s major economies, and the European Union. It works to tackle major issues related to the global economy, such as international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.

The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises. Since 2008, the Group convenes at least once a year, with Summits involving each member’s head of government or state, finance minister, foreign minister, and other high-ranking officials. In addition, International organisations, and nongovernmental organisations are invited to attend the summits, some on a permanent basis. The group’s chair rotates annually among the members and is selected from a different regional grouping of countries.

This year’s G20, the first G20 Summit hosted by Italy, was held in Rome on 30 October 2021 and 31 October 2021. It was the culmination of the work carried out during the whole year of the Italian Presidency through various initiatives and get-togethers.

What was the outcome?

Climate Change: The G20 committed to the key Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C and pledged action against dirty coal plants-agreed to stop funding new dirty coal plants abroad by the end of 2021- but fell short on a target of zero emissions.

Taxation: The G20 agreed to subject multinationals to a minimum 15% tax, as part of an effort to build ‘a more stable and fairer international tax system’. Internet giants of the United States, such as Amazon, Google’s Alphabet, Facebook’s Meta, and Apple – which have benefited from basing themselves in low-tax countries to minimise their tax bills – are particular targets of the new global regulation.

Vaccination: G20 vowed to support the WHO’s goal of vaccinating at least 40% of the world’s population against Covid-19 by 2021, and 70% by the middle of next year -2022, by boosting the supply of vaccines in developing countries and removing supply and financing constraints. They also promised to work together towards the recognition of Covid-19 vaccines deemed safe and efficacious by the WHO.

Others: Still reeling under Covid-related disruptions, G20 leaders ruled out a hasty removal of national stimulus measures. G20 set a new target of channelling USD 100 billion towards the poorest nations, coming from the USD 650 billion fund already made available by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) via a fresh issuance of its Special Drawing Rights (SDR).

SDRs are not a currency, but can be used by developing countries either as a reserve currency that stabilises the value of their domestic currency, or converted into stronger currencies to finance investments. For poorer countries, the interest is also to obtain hard currencies without having to pay substantial interest rates.

Now, onto our next Group on Climate Change.


Conference of the Parties (COP) is a United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference initiated to tackle climate change, and COP26 is the 26th summit held this year in the city of Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK).

The first COP meeting was held in Berlin, Germany, in March, 1995. Historic, path-breaking decisions and goals were made and adopted in COP3, Kyoto, Japan, December 1997, the outcome of which was The Kyoto Protocol, and in COP21, Paris, France, November-December 2015, the outcome of which was The Paris Agreement. Both these conferences set tangible targets which nations took home to work out on the treadmill.

Over the week, the bandwagon of world leaders flew directly from G20 Italia to COP26 Glasgow in what was a back-to-back meeting: wonder how many planes had to lift off and how much more gas they pumped into the poor atmosphere?

There is a new term we need to get familiar with: Net Zero. We heard it all the time over the past week.

Net Zero means a fine balancing of the gas books on our naughty gross climate affecting businesses. It means the greenhouse gas emissions pumped into the atmosphere by humans is balanced by creation of new carbon sinks – such as forests – to absorb an equivalent amount. You clean-up and mitigate your own muck!

How about other solutions?

Enter the Hydrogen Kid

There is a new star on the block an it is beginning to get famous – Hydrogen. Many say it is the answer to our climate change woes.

Hydrogen can be produced from diverse domestic resources with the potential for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Once produced, Hydrogen generates electrical power in a fuel cell, emitting only water vapour and warm air. It holds promise for growth in both the stationary and transportation energy sectors.

In a Hydrogen Economy, Hydrogen would be used in place of the fossil fuels that currently provide four-fifths of the world’s energy supply and emit the bulk of global greenhouse gas emissions. This could aid climate goals because of the obvious benefits of Hydrogen and the fact that it does not release CO2, on burning.

There are three main types of hydrogen fuel. First, ‘Grey’ Hydrogen, which is vast majority of Hydrogen in use-and there is plenty of it, mainly in industry-is made from natural gas. But the process emits CO2. Second, ‘Blue’, or as the gas industry likes to call it, ‘decarbonized’, Hydrogen is made from natural gas with carbon capture and storage (CCS) attached. Finally, ‘Green’ or ‘renewable’ Hydrogen, which every Hydrogen advocate says is the ultimate goal, is made from the electrolysis of water powered by electricity from renewable energy sources. Wow, I’m for green!

Hydrogen’s energy content by volume is low. This makes storing Hydrogen a challenge because it requires high pressures, low temperatures, or chemical processes to be stored compactly. Overcoming this challenge, and others is important in making Hydrogen more friendly.

A lot more needs to be done to make Hydrogen work: at the moment it’s just a kid that needs to grow up quickly.

India: Hear the Drums Boris?

India’s Prime Minister (PM) Modi was at his eloquent best beating drums and singing with the Indian diaspora in Italy and Glasgow before delivering India’s Climate Control targets.

India pledged to achieve Net Zero by the year 2070; achieve 50% of all its energy uses from renewable, non-fossil, clean-energy sources; increasing the total of such power generation to 500 Giga Watts (GW) by 2030; cut one billion tonnes of carbon emissions from the total projected emissions, again by 2030, and reduce carbon intensity by 45%. The PM also thumped his chest to say India is the only country that is delivering on the Paris Agreement targets.

These are indeed sexy figures to look at and a bold & beautiful statement by India.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the hosting country, UK, said PM Modi understands climate change and the power of sunshine very well, and has done some extraordinary things in his country. There is one sun, one world, one grid, and one Narendra Modi, he said. Later, trying to sit under the sun, the PMs warmly talked about a unifying future Solar Grid.

India’s Covaxin

This week the World Health Organisation (WHO) finally granted approval for India’s home grown Covid-19 Vaccine called Covaxin – made by Bharat Biotech – for emergency use. To use WHO’s technical jargon, it says, ‘the benefits of the shot, known as Covaxin, significantly outweighs the risks and it met the WHO standards for protection against Covid-19’.

The decision had been significantly delayed as the Advisory Group kept seeking additional clarifications every time data was submitted by Bharat Biotech, and it was beginning to look like a dark tunnel – without the end in sight. With the final risk benefit assessment successfully made by WHO, the vaccine can now be rolled out for global use. And it is expected to benefit many poor countries.

In India, Covaxin was given emergency-use authorisation in January 2021 before the completion of the last-stage trials, which later found the vaccine to be 78% effective against severe Covid-19. The approval, by WHO, is a shot in the arm for India’s indigenous vaccine manufacturing industry.


This week, the Festival of Lights – Diwali was celebrated by Hindus and other faiths as well, all over the world and especially in India. India’s Courts grew a new kind of nose, poking too much into religion, in banning bursting of firecrackers – which is integral to celebrating the festival – based on petitions linking the bursting of crackers to air-pollution and other kinds of disruptions. It did not bang well with most people and suddenly it has fired a debate of prejudice against the majority faith!

More stories of change, fire and smoke, coming up in the weeks ahead. Celebrate, and it’s all right to burst with World Inthavaaram.


About: the world this week, 12 September to 18 September 2021, edging spacing, shape-shift evolution, US Open opens up to teenagers, India breaks vaccination records, and fashion blasts in New York.



Flying to the edge of space is fast becoming a tourism habit. Virgin Group Boss, Richard Branson, started it and was quickly followed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. They rushed to the edge touched it and returned home within the space of a few hours. And on returning, Jeff Bezos even pulled out a Texan hat, grabbed a horse and raced away to the edge of the desert.

Now, Elon Musk’s SpaceX was galvanised to do something better, and this Wednesday a SpaceX rocket lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Cape Canaveral, Florida, in a first ever mission to the Earth’s Orbit, crewed entirely by four Tourists, none of who are professional astronauts. They include a 38 years old billionaire who self-funded the mission, a 29 years old childhood cancer survivor, a 51 years old geologist and community college teacher, and a 42 years old Lockheed Martin employee-who got a ticket through an online raffle.

The Tourists will spend the entire mission aboard the special Capsule that detached from the Falcon-9 launch rocket after reaching orbital speed and successfully manoeuvred into its designated orbit. They will remain in orbit for three days strapped to their seats in the Capsule, before returning to Earth in a splashdown ending, off the coast of Florida, this Saturday. The Capsule will circle around Earth once every 90 minutes travelling at more than 17,500 miles per hour during which time the passengers experience weightlessness and will be enthralled by panoramic views of the Earth. The crew will share a special zero-gravity-friendly toilet located near the top of the Capsule and sleep in their reclining seats. They will come back with lots of stories to tell.

While other tourist spots across the world struggle to get people over to soak in their sights, the Space Tourist spot is above them all.


We have tirelessly and endlessly talked about climate change: hurricanes, landslides, incessant rain and flash floods, melting icebergs, wildfires, heat waves, and the kind, which swept through and flooded the media in recent times. While mankind knowingly or unknowingly made disastrous changes-causing climate change- in the name of development and advancement of civilisation, other animals are quietly adapting: making internal adjustments, actually shaping up to things to come. Shape-Shift!

Animals have sensed the change, in their own mysterious ways, and are growing larger wings, beaks, or legs, or ears, as Planet Earth grows warmer and races towards becoming blazing hot. Looks like increasing their appendages is a cool way to cool off. For e.g., an Australian parrot species saw its beak size increase to between 4% and 10%, on average, since 1871.

Within a species, animals in warmer climates are growing larger appendages, such as wings and beaks, with the greater surface area enabling better body temperature control and regulation. At the same time, body sizes are tending to shrink, since smaller bodies hold on to lesser heat. I reckon they can teach us Mass and Heat Balance.

Now, will mankind in turn, grow longer noses, larger ears, or even tails and wings, to balance the climate change effects? We need to closely watch these spaces (and our ‘backs’ for any signs of tail growth).

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden warned of a Code Red moment on climate change during a tour of parts of the USA affected by extreme weather in recent times: New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana that were devastated by Hurricane Ida, to California which is dealing with raging wildfires.


This Friday was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st Birthday and India gave him a stupendous birthday present of having achieved over 25 million vaccination jabs in a single day – a world record – and reaching a total of over 791 million COVID-19 inoculation shots till date. That’s more than the combined population of 78 countries, in just one day, Wow! The Prime Minister said he was humbled beyond measure…and his hair keeps growing. Happy Birthday to a very hard working Prime Minister. I wish he had a birthday haircut! Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!

US Open Tennis

Last Saturday, eighteen years old Emma Raducanu, of Britain, won her first-ever Grand Slam US Open Tennis Title beating nineteen years old Leylah Fernandez, of Canada, without dropping a single set in the entire tournament. And in the process served many aces to set new world records. She won in straight sets of 6-4, 6-3, with some amazing, unbelievable shots, fearlessly dominating from inside the baseline. And sealed the match with a serve ace!

Emma, ranked 150 in the World, started the Tournament as a Qualifier and ended up receiving the trophy from the hands of Tennis Legend Billie Jean King. Another British tennis great, Virginia Wade, looking as beautiful as she was in her playing days, watched and cheered from the stands.

Let me take a quick detour to the phenomenal Virginia Wade who won the Women’s Singles, US Open in 1968, the Australian Open in 1972, and the Wimbledon in 1977 – in Wimbledon’s 100th Anniversary year. She was the No.1 British Player for over a decade, in her time. She had also won four Grand Slam Tennis Doubles Championships. She retired from Tennis in 1986 and has worked as a commentator on BBC and various news networks in the USA. The now 76 years old Virginia Wade has ‘remained single’ throughout her life keeping her personal life absolutely personal and secret. And has never been seriously linked or seen with another person in her entire career. That’s a singular achievement.

Back to Emma, some of the history making and records breaking stunts Emma Raducanu achieved goes likes this: First Qualifier in the open era to win a Grand Slam; First British female winner in the US Open since Virginia Wade waded to the podium in 1968; youngest women’s Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova’s Wimbledon win in 2002; youngest Briton to win a Grand Slam Title; First woman to win the US Open without dropping a set since Serena Williams did it 2014… The young are bouncing back with a vengeance and the old are still trying to serve with resilience.

Serbian Novak Djokovic, 34, the No. 1-ranked men’s player in the world was on the verge of making history to break a tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who also have 20 major titles, for the most in men’s tennis history. And also the first man to win all four majors: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open, in the same year. But, Russian Daniil Medvedev, 25, spoiled Djokovic’s party by defeating him in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, to win his first Grand Slam US Open Title. That’s as straight as it can be!

Recall that Medvedev went through two Grand Slam final defeats before this win, and somehow it seemed that this was his to take. Failure strengthens the arms and legs, and pain needs a winning outlet. Medvedev received the trophy from another Tennis great, Stan Smith (I remember Stan Smith’s Tennis Classes during ‘my’ playing days).

Please Yourself

The Met Gala

This week we saw celebrities of the world carefully strutting about in the weirdest and wildest possible, eye-catching costumes at the Met Gala Event in New York City, USA. And expanded the dimensions of Planet Earth, with imagination running riot. Well, what’s the Met Gala about?

The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala is an annual fundraising event for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s, Costume Institute, in New York City. The event raises money for the Institute – one of the biggest fundraising nights of its kind in the City- which is the only one of the Met’s curatorial departments that has to fund itself. It also marks the opening of the Institute’s annual fashion exhibit.

Each year’s event celebrates the theme of that year’s Costume Institute Exhibition, which in turn sets the tone for the formal dress of the night. Guests are expected to choose their fashion to match the theme of the exhibit. This year’s theme was, ‘explore American Independence’.

Let’s get underneath the Gala story:

The Met Gala was established in 1948 by fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert, and the first Gala started as a midnight dinner with entry tickets. Based upon the legacy left by former Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland, who was a special consultant to the Costume Institute, since 1973 the Met Gala has become well known as a luxurious, blockbuster event, ‘the jewel in New York City’s social crown’ and regarded among the most prominent and most exclusive social events in the world. Attendance is by invitation only. From 1948 to 1971, the event was held at venues including the Waldorf-Astoria, Central Park, and the Rainbow Room, and includes a cocktail hour and a formal dinner.

The Met Gala is also fashion industry’s equivalent of the Oscars, and brings fashion designers, supermodels, and Hollywood stars together to show-off the best of their bodies, awe-inspiring ideas, and the clothes adorning them.

I saw the true colours of our origins, identifying ourselves with the animal and plant kingdom in which we are the intelligent rulers, with colourful brains. We also reached out to a possible upcoming world of machines.

I saw a fully head-to-toe covering black outfit, which would put a bat to shame and give the Taliban a run for their guns; a feathered bird dress, which dare not fly; a horse, racing on a chest with its tail in hand; flowers creeping all over the body, one even had a white-yellow flower springing-up from a milky breast; iron-clad body armour; and even the back of ‘Tax the Rich’ – bright red on white, among other stunning costumes. And nearly all were worn by cats walking down the ramp. If some wore the barest minimum, others made up in kind, with miles of clothing. And it was a dazzling melange of colours in a potpourri of fashion.

I saw through Kendall Jenner’s sheer gown, embellished with glittering rhinestones inspired by Actress Audrey Hepburn’s, My Fair Lady, Givenchy dress. Her sister Kim Kardashian was the one who arrive in the all-black, making the Taliban heads turn. I liked co-host, singer and songwriter Bille Eilish’s peach gown, sweeping the carpets. Other celebrities who were decked-up to captivate the audience are supermodel Gigi Hadid, Actress Jennifer Lopez, Singer Alicia Keys, Singer Rihanna… I disliked singer Olivia Rodrigo’s skin-tight lace dress. And thought brand new US Open Winner, Emma Raducanu did justice to Tennis in her printed monochrome Chanel outfit with a pearl belt detail at the waist.

We held all of this in our minds? I’m sure the animals and plants that have been left out would demand representation.

More fashionable stories to sing in the coming weeks. Stay dressed with World Inthavaaram.


About: the world this week, 8 August to 14 August 2021, irreversible changes, running out of Greek letters, the end of the Tokyo Olympics, New York, and India’s stuck Parliament.


My maid who helps with the cooking and house-keeping returned after a month long hiatus babysitting her just-born second grandson. After a few days with the pots and pans, she took a quick break to attend the Baby Shower of her close relative. It’s gonna be a boy she beamed, on returning. A customer dropped in to our store yesterday. Her daughter had married early this year-we had done the bridal dresses-and she is already in the family way. It’s gonna be a boy – I can guess from the ‘dark look’ of her face, she said, with bright knowledge lines written all over her own face.

A doctor friend dropped by for an evening chat, and we discussed, among other things, the booming baby boy-boom and wondered what could be the reason. Perhaps, Climate Change is to blame – easy? Wow! That’s my next story.


Over the past few months we have witnessed weird weather stories bursting around the world: the Americas, North Africa, and Europe saw deadly heat waves and wildfires – America met with a lot of hurricanes; Asia saw pluvial floods and landslides caused by extreme rainfall; Australia too saw lots of water and we read stories of snakes, mice, and spiders spreading all over dry land.

We have become clever enough to acknowledge that climate change is widespread, rapid, and intensifying. That’s exactly the key finding of the latest scientific report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It finds changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system. Many changes are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. Some, such as a continued sea-level rise, are irreversible. That’s a great word pregnant with meaning. More boys tumbling out?

What do we do? The only way is to do whatever is required for sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Benefits for air quality would come quickly, while global temperatures would take 20 to 30 years to stabilize.

The IPCC was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as an organization of Governments that are members of the United Nations or WMO. It currently has 195 members. The IPCC has the objective of providing Governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. It’s reports are also a key input into international climate change negotiations.

That’s a code red alert on climate change. And ‘it promises’ that things will only get worse unless nations of the Earth get their heads out of the clouds and start on an action plan at the soonest.

More Greek

The Coronavirus is still as bold as ever and surging in the United States, especially in the Sunshine State of Florida. That thing called the Delta Variant is shining the most, but other variants are on the prowl and looking to grab a throat-hold on defenceless passers-by. Please Get Vaccinated.

India is doing good bringing down the cases to around 30,000 per day, but the State of Kerala is an outlier owning more than the 50% cases of all India. Once it was was on a different league altogether, a Model worth emulating across the country, but then they have swing to the other extreme end – not worth liking or sharing, at all!

Following up on his announcement, last month, to get people into the vaccination mode, French President Emmanuel Macron introduced a Health Pass in France. Starting on 9 August 2021, French citizens will have to show proof of vaccination, immunity, or negative COVID-19 test for outdoor activities such as, riding on trains, dining in restaurants, and going to various kinds of venues. While post-announcement the vaccination rates did rise up considerably, it in turn brought more than 230,000 people – anarchists, far-right activists, and anti-vaxxers – across France on to the streets to protest the Health Pass. It is now a fourth straight weekend of demonstrations. Many have decried the Health Pass as a violation of freedom and Government overreach.

France is not alone, with Italy and Germany also having faced similar protests. While health experts are driving themselves to bring the virus under control, many others are finding fault lines, to nudge open.

In these weekly posts, I often worried that variants of the coronavirus could outnumber the 24 letters of the Green Alphabet. Well, The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Technical Chief of COVID-19, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, seems to have heard me. The WHO is already looking at new names for mutations amid fears there will be more variants trying to get past out steadily improving defences. Star Constellations are the front runners to take over the baton in what is turning out to be a relay race. And we could see variants known as Aries, Gemini… Greeks Gods and Goddesses have also been lined-up, but they are being discussed with the Gods themselves – copyright issues!

Thus far, 11 mutations have been named: four ‘variants of concern’, including the infamous Delta, and Beta; four ‘variants of interest’, such as Eta and Lambda; some which have since been downgraded, on losing the spike momentum and fizzling out, such as Epsilon, Zeta, and Theta.

I reckon that by the time the pandemic turns endemic we could all be full of the Greek Alphabet and the Stars in our heads! And surely we don’t want to think beyond the Greek, should we?

Curtains on The Tokyo Olympics 2020

The Olympic Fire is out in the cauldron, with the Games coming to an end on 8 August 2021. The United States (US) won the most number of medals, 113 (and most gold, 39), followed by China, Britain, Japan.

Tokyo 2020 saw world records broken in 24 events, with swimmers and rowers making the most breakthroughs, shattering six world records each. Four world records were broken in weightlifting and three in athletics and cycling track events.

With no spectators being allowed in the vast majority of the venues, the Organisers resorted to digital engagement to create an atmosphere which made athletes feel they were not alone. A cheer wall was established in the stadiums with more than 250 million videos coming from different corners of the world, supporting athletes from their National Olympic Committees.

Tokyo 2020 social posts have generated more than 4.7 billion engagements, with the majority of them happening during the Games time.

Twenty-seven year old Australian swimmer Emma McKeon’s seven medals (4 gold and 3 bronze) win, stood-up as the most among all athletes in the Tokyo Olympics.

Some US highlights are: track star Allyson Felix is now the most decorated US track and field athlete in Olympic history; Caeleb Dressel took home the most gold medals with five victories from men’s 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle and medley relay. He is the most successful male swimmer in the pool in Tokyo; the US women’s basketball team won its seventh gold medal in a row.

After decades of trying, India finally won a Gold medal in Athletics with Neeraj Chopra throwing a winning distance of 87.58 metres, in the Javelin event. Neeraj is only the second Indian athlete ever to win individual Olympic gold. Indians are traditional javelin/spear throwers and finally it’s showing, why not?

India ended the Olympics with its best ever haul of 7 medals and while Indians were enthralled, it rained cash and goodies on the medal winners.

On COVID-19, it’s not clear that the Games served as the super-spreader event as many in Japan had feared.

The Summer Paralympics will be held between 24 August and 5 September 2021, 16 days after the completion of the Olympics.

Up next: The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, kicking off in February.

I would give a huge Gold Medal to Japan for fearlessly conducting the Games. Keep it up Japan.

See you in Paris 2024.

New York and America

With the Olympics having concluded and the weightlifting events having different winners, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave up lifting weights on the sexual harassment charges. Of course, he thought about this three daughters and their future and said he will resign in two weeks. A new Governor – in a first, a woman – New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, is getting ready to pick-up the broom and clean-up the toxic environment. Good luck to her.

Keeping the story running on the United States, its decision to quit Afghanistan is turning out to be disastrous, as the very Taliban they sought to annihilate are making a ferocious comeback. The Afghanistan Army that America nurtured and trained for over a decade is unable to offer resistance and Towns and Cities are being flooded with the Taliban. Another Climate Change effect?

India’s Parliament

While climate change induced fires engulfed many countries, India’s Upper House-Rajya Sabha, and Lower House-Lok Sabha, of Parliament, saw Opposition Party fire freeze serious business leading to a lock-jam for most of this Monsoon season. This was to protest alleged snooping by the Government on its citizens and a demand to repeal already passed laws. The Chairman of the Upper House tried to douse the fire with his tears – but such clouded thinking didn’t work. He should have called for Hercules to divert River Yamuna to fight the fires – and clean-up as well.

More herculean and fighting stories coming up in the weeks ahead. Stay locked to World Inthavaaram.