Mixed Shots
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Serpents Are Out For Cobra

Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP at a massive rally in Calcutta on March 7, ahead of this summer’s state elections. It was quite an entry/spectacle, with a silver screen star spouting punch lines that left seasoned oratory ninjas speechless—“Marbo ekhaney...lash porbay shoshaney (I will thrash you here, your body will land at the crematorium),” from his 2006 hit MLA Fatakeshto, and “Aami ekta cobra, ek chobolei chhobi (I am a cobra. One strike and you will become a photo)”. Bollywood’s undisputed Dada instantly became “Mithun Cobra-borty”. But the BJP lost, Bengal coursed through post-poll violence, and someone reported to police that the actor incited the bloodbath through his incendiary speeches. The case has reached Calcutta HC and Mithun wants it quashed, saying the filmy utterances were for recreational purposes. We thought as much.

Socialism Weds Mamata

Socialism and Mamata Banerjee got hitched in Salem, Tamil Nadu. Don’t rub your eyes. We are talking about the June 13 wedding of A.M. ­Socialism—son of CPI leader K.A. Mohan—with Mamata Banerjee, daughter of Congress loyalists K. Palaniswami and P. Neelambal. The Leftist veteran has three sons, in this order: Communism, Socialism and Leninism. And a grandson he dotingly named Marxism. Mamata Banerjee was a natural choice for Palaniswami (not to be confused with CM Stalin’s predecessor) when his daughter was born—the firebrand Bengali leader was with the Congress then. It’s all about brand loyalty, you know, a less rare but still uncommon practice of parents naming kids after their first love: politics. Socialism, who trades silver jewellery with Leninism, is happy to find a “chief minister” to rule his home ministry. Aha, don’t try RSVPing future kids’ names. Brother Communism is a lawyer.

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Bendy Baba’s Backflip

Yogist Ramdev has an elastic mind, it seems, and it complements the shape-shifting calisthenics of his super-bendy body. Days after he inveighed against allopathy, called it “stupid science”—and that he doesn’t need a Covid vaccine because ayurveda and yoga will protect him—he did a backflip. He recently waxed eloquent about allopathic doctors, saying they are “god’s envoys on earth”. He even appealed to all to get vaccinated. That he could bend over backwards is well-known, but for what is the mystery question. The old jungle saying is that the glazier likes throwing stones…makes perfect business sense.

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Cats Got the Bite

It’s time to pull the cat out of the bag. According to the Kerala health directorate, more people in the southern state suffer “cat bites” than dog bites and seek treatment—kittens scored at least 28,186 as against 20,875 for canines in January this year alone. Data from eight years reveal a spike in people getting anti-rabies shots for cat attacks since 2016. Surprised? Well, dog my cats! Cats are not known to bite humans like dogs do, especially strays, but they have sharper, pointy claws and teeth that leave unintentional scratches, requiring medical aid. Such scratches go into the records as “bites”—makes purr-fect sense about the spurt in cat bite cases.

The Best Shot Possible

He was born with a missing gene that caused his muscles to deteriorate and lose motor movement— Ayaansh Gupta, 3, has spinal muscular atrophy, a rare genetic disease that bound physicist/cosmologist Stephen Hawking to a wheelchair. It’s a life-threatening condition, the known cure is Zolgensma—the world’s most expensive drug, and a single dose intravenous injection imported from the US costs Rs 16 crore. The doctors told the boy’s father Yogesh Gupta that he won’t live more than four years without the shot. The parents raised hope and money through a crowd-funding campaign since February—and the Indian government as well as nearly 65,000 people answered to their call, including Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma, Anil Kapoor, Ajay Devgn and more. When Ayaansh rolled up his sleeves for the jab on June 9 in Hyderabad, he did it with a lot of help and prayers.

Brevis

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Illustrations: Saahil, Text curated by Alka Gupta

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