The Almighty and the Mighty Virus

Satire — When Religion meets Reason

Michelangelo, creation — sun, moon and stars, source: Wikimedia

Science and religion are on a collision course again in this pandemic, with news about God’s faithful congregating for worship and defying lockdown orders. While not all the religious are blind in their faith, a vociferous minority seem to believe that God will protect them from the virus because he is bigger than the virus. There can be no doubt that God is bigger than the Covid-19, because He created the novel Coronavirus just like He created us. Hence, it is logical to assume that the Creator is bigger than the creation.

Continue reading “The Almighty and the Mighty Virus”

Bill Gates — The Nostradamus of Pandemics

The Hypocrisy of Philanthropy

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

It is all over the news how Bill Gates predicted the current pandemic some years ago. The man is not an epidemiologist or a doctor, but one of his many charities focuses on pandemics. Therefore, he has become a Nostradamus for predicting this pandemic and the ones in the future.

I wonder if he foresaw how the Trump presidency would turn the greatest democracy on earth into a banana republic, because the federal government’s efficiency does play a critical role in controlling the epidemic.

Continue reading “Bill Gates — The Nostradamus of Pandemics”

Flower-heads — Hard Lesson in Gravity

Small Town to Big City Experiences

Monochrome image of a train at a station, with a mother and son on a platform bench.
Image by Shelly Paul

I grew up in small communities, where everything was within walking distance, where most faces were familiar even if they were unacquainted. Moving from one such small town to the neighboring Chennai city was a new, unexpected experience.

To go from an idyllic life to the noise, the traffic, the crowd and the sheer size of the city took a little getting used to. One curious scene that held my attention were the public buses during the morning rush hour.<!–more–>

These vehicles were so stuffed with people, that the door-less entryways at both ends bulged with passengers who hung from the steps known as foot-boards. The effect made these buses look like incredibly pregnant organisms as they creaked and groaned, precariouslylop-sided, as they wound their way through the city, lurching from one bus-stop to the other. When such a bus slowed to a stop, the people hanging on to the footboard — who were mostly men — spilled onto to the street and jogged a few paces before they came to a complete stop. That sight held such fascination for me.

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At that time I was taking the local metro train to work, which sometimes came in the same fashion. That morning however, the train was not crowded, but I was running late. As the train approached the station, I got up from the seat and moved to the door-less entrance of the compartment and waited impatiently for the train to come to a stop. The wait felt interminable as the train slowed down next to the platform. In my haste, without thinking clearly, possibly propelled by the image of the men spilling out of the buses, I jumped out of the still moving train. Instead of slowing down with a slight jog like the spilling-men, I came to an abrupt stop.

The next thing I know, there were flower-heads hovering over me. They had gathered around me, with their heads towering over me in a circle, with sunlight streaming through. There were all kinds of flowers, some of them wore their long hair in a single braid and were wearing sarees, others had short hairs, some of them had beards and mustaches and were wearing shirts and pants.

They were looking down anxiously. All the flower-heads had mouths and those mouths were moving. They were trying to say something. What were they saying? The voices were coming in clearly now and I was able to hear them. They were asking if I was alright and if I needed any help. Help? Why would I need help? What happened to me? Where was I? Why was I horizontal instead of vertical?

Realization dawned on me. In jumping out of the moving train and coming to an abrupt stop I had broken one of the sacred laws of physics, and right then and there, as punishment, gravity felled me landing me flat on my back on the hard, concrete platform. I must have had a mild concussion or something, because I seemed to have blacked out, which was probably when the crowd gathered around me.

When I came to, there I lay, horizontally on the hard concrete floor of the train station, looking up at flower-head people who were looking down at me with anxious faces, asking me if I needed any help. ‘Help?!’, My wounded pride reacted in my mind, ‘Help me? Me? Who was full of life, filled with youthful vigor of a twenty-year old. I don’t need any help, especially from some who were old enough to be my parents.’

As embarrassment unhinged it jaws and began to swallow me, I shot up straight, like an arrow from the floor scattering the flower-heads. I responded to their concerns brusquely, by saying I was fine. I dusted off my clothes carelessly, trying to pretend that the powers of gravity had no effect on me, without even bothering to glance at my elbows and knees that were scraped raw. Still, I couldn’t shake off the staring eyes.

So, I started with slow, measured strides, head held high, face stoic, stubbornly refusing to wince from the angry red bump that was growing on my forehead. A few paces later I darted out of the station as fast as my full-of-youthful-vigor-legs would carry me, trying to soothe my wounded pride which hurt more than my body.


© Lekha Murali 2019

Word Makeover — Polyamorous Relationship

Promiscuity gets a Glamorous Makeover

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The word ‘promiscuity’ seems to have gotten yet another makeover. Last time it was called ‘open relationship’. This time, it got glammed up as ‘polyamorous relationship’. I do think this sounds way glamorous than ‘open relationship’, which frankly sounds a little on the nose.

Let us try to understand the term. The word ‘poly’ means many or multiple and the word ‘amorous’ means horny or lustful. Therefore, the word ‘polyamorous’ could mean ‘multiple-horniness’, which I am hoping would be the next new word for promiscuity. If horniness multiplies itself constantly, then there is no time to commit to an earnest relationship. So, let’s drop the word relationship, because that word seems redundant. So the word is polyamorous.

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My Little World

A Tribute to my Friends

Silhouette of two children frolicking on a beach.Image by Shelly Paul

My little world is populated with friends — spanning continents, religion, age, ethnicity and other social fragmentation that exists. They give me strength to soar to the skies, because I know they will catch me, should I fall.

My friends also come from a large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins Continue reading “My Little World”

Climate Change — A Consequence of Colonialism

 

Urban landscape juxtaposition of rich high-rises against poor dwellings.
Image by Shelly Paul, Flickr

How History Seeps into the Present

It was inspiring to see the young people take to the streets on behalf of Mother Earth, demanding that their governments act swiftly to remedy the situation, so that they can have a future.

A lot of these governments especially in the impoverished countries are corrupt, greedy and violent. How can anyone expect these government to properly formulate and implement the right reforms? Most importantly, how did these governments get to be this way?

Most of Africa, Asia and Americas were colonized by Europeans for several centuries. These colonizations came at a cost of bottomless cruelty and bloodshed of the native population. These natives were not just plundered and killed for their material wealth, but most significantly, they were robbed off the priceless knowledge of their heritage and culture, through decimation of their languages, religions and customs. Continue reading “Climate Change — A Consequence of Colonialism”

Soul Weary

return to innocence
Image by Shelly Paul

It is a sad chapter in our nation’s history when our young children, the future of this great country, have to rally for one essential need – the need to stay alive, to not be shot or maimed by somebody armed with a weapon. They are pleading for the most elemental right of every life form on this planet – just to stay alive and well.

As I listened to the videos and read the outpouring of the young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it occurred to me that while we live in the United States of America, we send our children to school in war zones. They might as well walk out of picture perfect communities and well go to school in war-torn regions such as Syria or Afghanisthan. Continue reading “Soul Weary”

What does Google share with India’s Communist Party?

google-cpi
Few months ago I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress. The reason being my old blog disappeared from Google search altogether. For no particular reason it simply vanished.

So I did some research and I was asked to verify the website using Google webmaster tools. I followed all the instructions, but the site simply could not be verified. It was quite vexing because Blogger is Google’s own product and I simply assumed, that it would measure up their own standards.

Somehow that was not the case and my blog could not be verified as a legitimate website. After a few frustrating days, I made the decision I have been putting off for a while and moved the blog to WordPress, where I should say it is doing pretty well. The site has been verified by Google, Bing and other social networking sites. Of course Twitter doesn’t verify you until you are a VIP (‘commoners, peasants, shoo, shoo, away’). Continue reading “What does Google share with India’s Communist Party?”

Viewpoint – “Father of the Nation”

Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi / Source Wikipedia

When I saw the statue of Mr.Gandhi being unveiled in London’s parliament square; Mr.Cameroon giving a speech to mark the occasion while sharing the stage with India’s number one celebrity Mr.Amithab Bachchan, the ludicrousness of it all became unbearable. So I thought it was time I explained to the younger generation why Mr.Gandhi is the father of India.

Mr.Gandhi is the father our nation because he was the only leader who went through untold suffering while leading the masses to freedom.

Being one to shun the spotlight, he decided that he would leave politics as soon as his beloved nation was granted freedom by the Colonial British. In comparison, Mr. Nelson Mandela Continue reading “Viewpoint – “Father of the Nation””

My Fascination with Hinduism

sunset at vellore/shelly paul
Image by Shelly Paul

A religion’s origin, that is lost in time. A religion, that has survived the influx of many other religions, cultures, its own corruption and foreign invasions. After several thousand years, Hinduism is still the predominant religion in today’s India. It is more a way of life than a religion. It permeates into everything that’s Indian. That is why it is hard to separate India from Hinduism. Everyone who is born Indian does have a degree of Hinduism within them doesn’t matter the religion they are born into currently. Continue reading “My Fascination with Hinduism”