Sunday, Jul 03, 2022

Mixed Shots

Passing through: A chuckle here, a teardrop there

Mixed Shots

Blowing The Whistle

They raise a ruckus, shout slogans, rush to the “well”, grab microphones, hurl stationery and furniture, and in some legislative assemblies around the world, the filibusters take to fisticuffs too. Wait a minute. The slogans are coming with bells and whistles during Parliament’s monsoon session, which is getting soaked in the Opposition’s protests against several policies and laws. Some of our MPs are blowing the whistle (on issues of public importance). Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu is quite concerned and upset over the whistling. He warned that the “whistleblowers” would be called out if they don’t stop because this “unparliamentary act” could become a norm if allowed to continue. But opposition members say spying on people through the Pegasus spyware, three controversial farm laws, the runaway fuel price and out-of-control inflation are worth a whistle.

In Latex News

Australian canoeist Jessica Fox found a perfectly stretchy, waterproof material for a boat repair at the Tokyo Olympics: a condom. Fox, who won a bronze medal in women’s kayak slalom and gold in the canoe slalom, posted a video on social media of someone making repairs to the nose of her boat. First, a gooey carbon mixture is applied before the condom is used to secure it in place. “Very stretchy. Much strong,” the caption reads. The 27-year-old Fox is the world’s top-ranked paddler in canoe and kayak and won the first women’s canoe slalom race in Olympic history.

Best Paw Forward

He is mostly known for the fine-quality cattle in his shed, but the patter of paws gets as much attention. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath has broadened his pet pool by introducing another dog to the mix. Gullu—a black Labrador pup. Gullu burst onto the national scene a fortnight ago when he dashed to greet the CM after prayers at Gorakhnath temple. The CM’s other dog—Kalu, with a jet black coat and on a strict vegetarian diet—was often photographed with him. Kalu was adopted after his previous pet dog, Raja Babu, died and left him grieving. Just like they do for ordinary people, pets owned by people in power provide their owners with comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR. And this is what US President George H.W. Bush had to say: “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots.”

It’s All Gas

First we were told in Parliament that no one died of oxygen shortage during the second Covid outbreak this April-May. This followed Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane’s remarks that not a single Covid patient died in his state’s top hospital, Goa Medical College, because it ran out of oxygen. Now wind back three months. Rane told repor­ters on May 11 that 26 people died within 24 hours at Goa Medical College because its oxygen stock dried up. Well, try as he might to change the subject, Rane can’t escape the coronavirus. All along the way, more than 3,100 people sick with the coronavirus died—many of them because of oxygen shortage—since Goa recorded its first infection last year.

Double Gold For Friendship

The Italian high jumper leaped into his rival’s arms, then belly-flopped onto the hard track, rolled around a few times and screamed. Gianmarco Tamberi was just getting warmed up, too. It’s not every day you tie your good friend for gold. Tamberi and Mutaz Barshim of Qatar agreed to the tie at the Tokyo Games in a competition settled not by clearing the top height, but through a subtle nod. Edge definitely to Tamberi, though, for the degree of difficulty in ­celebrations. This was that crazy an ending. In a huddle with track officials, the athletes were given the option to settle the tie with a jump-off. Barshim had a better idea: How about two golds? The official said that was possible. Barshim nodded and Tamberi instantly accepted, slapping Barshim’s hand and jumping into his arms. It stressed sportsmanship, too—or so they hope. “This is the message we deliver to the young generation,” Barshim said.


Illustrations: Saahil, Text curated by Alka Gupta