By Dr Jai Ahuja
The BARC India viewership data states that the Indian Premier League clocked a cumulative reach of 405 million, out of a total TV Universe of 836 million viewers, across 21 channels that Star & Disney India aired the matches on. That number is staggering; it comprises nearly half of the Indian viewership – making it the perfect time to deliver a speech to a nation angered by betrayal. This is what it has come to. Not only do I have to suffer sickness and disease propelled by vote bank appeasement, I also have to miss my Mumbai Indians innings for it. That is a hefty price to pay, nearly as hefty as the beard that reminds me to pay it. The same bellowing voice that told us a 21 day lockdown was the only way to curb the numbers (and our enthusiasm!), says that it can only be used as a last resort now.
Understandable, because a 35 lakh person religious gathering ought to be the first.
It’s been a strange few weeks. Teetering on the brink of normalcy, I saw my father smile earlier this January. It was one of those smiles that makes you grin in reciprocation, one of those smiles that warrant no verbal response, just pure unadulterated happiness. He’s nearly 60, but he’s worked harder than me this year. To be fair, he’s worked harder than me every year since I caught on to the notion that board exam results barely matter. But especially this year. As a pathologist, he had the privilege of being the first responder to the scene when the pandemic struck earlier last March 2020. Fast forward to a year later, and he’s still on the scene.
The on ground sentiment seems widely varied. Some are branding the pandemic a political ploy, some have lost family to the disease, some are ready to risk it all for a breath of fresh air and some just don’t want us to wear ripped jeans. To each their own, I say, as long as they’re wearing masks and washing their hands. And praying to the God they want us to pray to, of course. As a man deemed to be wise once said, faith will help us defeat this pandemic. It might. Faith might save us from the virus, but not from this government, because not even God can jest a clown.
It’s been a hurricane of emotions these past few weeks, and while you may be feeling lost, just remember you’re not the only one. You’re not alone, the one’s paving the roads are just as lost. Remember the fact that they care about your health. They’ve shut those nasty gyms, while McDonalds’ stays open. They care about your health. They really do.
(Dr Jai Ahuja is a medical doctor, writer and no matter what time of the day you’re reading this, probably very hungry. He enjoys a good workout as much as he enjoys the principles of democracy and equality. You can see some of his musings on his website, www.docquack.com.)