I do not know whether the citizens of United States take Mr Trump literally or seriously, or both, and I am glad I am not subject to that trilemma. But I was thrilled when he called the Chinese Virus a Chinese Virus, as in calling a spade a spade, which none of the governments of the countries being barbecued by the hellfire had the balls to address as such, including ours, which has only begun to taste the embers.
I prayed it was more than a covfefe moment of the mighty POTUS, and that it would last till the culprit is squarely stamped and labelled with the ‘V’ word. Blessed be the immortal soul of John Keats, that uncrowned prince of Romantic Poets, who recognised the fragility of joy and beauty and expressed it in poem after poem. In this case, my happiness was so short-lived, Mr Trump trashed the christening ritual before I could count all the vowels in coronavirus, and his brief whatchamacallit resolved itself quickly after a chat with Dear President Xi. But then he has had a penchant for friendship with the diabolic dictators of the orient.
I wonder how many of us remember Wang Weilin? Truth be told, I had the luxury of combing the server farms of Google for the uncouth secrets of the wicked world before I tossed that one at you. I am confident not many have heard of that name, leave alone recalling it with a degree of certainty. Wang Weilin was the man who brought the juggernaut of tanks to a standstill, no matter how temporarily, about thirty years ago in Tiananmen Square, before the protectors of the Middle Kingdom went berserk and mowed down over ten thousand protestors. Ever pondered where could he be now, this fearless Tank Man?
Perhaps the name of Dr Li Wenliang will ring a bell though, related as it is to an ongoing cataclysm. The ophthalmologist who as early as December 2019 messaged his friends about the clear and present danger of a virus on the loose, one that had made seven people seriously ill in the hospital he worked at. He reckoned all of those patients were linked to the live animal and seafood wholesale market in Wuhan. As soon as the screenshots of his WeChat message became viral in the medical community, he was summoned by the authorities and handed over the Chinese equivalent of third degree. That, Dr Lee contracted the fatal disease himself, is an expression that we are free to embrace or take with a gunny bag of salt. He ceased to be alive on the evening of February 06 and the smarting crowds burst in a rare rebellion. Voila, he was brought back to living by the redoubtable Chinese administration and put on ‘life support’, and made to die the following day, if BBC were to be believed. Such a Wuhan moment! Such a Tiananmenesque end!
Quasi-quarantined in my home, the diminishing neurons inside my skull are grappling with more conspiracy theories than there are strands of hair on the top. Being a peaceable human, I have learnt to focus on the virtues of both situations rather than tormenting my soul with the same. I have discerned the demonic capability of the Middle Kingdom to roll the scourge of Tiananmen down the streets and households of Lombardy, Tehran and Madrid, and New York too. Except that these tanks are microscopic and invisible, and made in Wuhan, perhaps in a live animal and seafood wholesale market, or maybe that is an euphemism for a strategic scientific laboratory. And while we are at it, permit me to confide in you that Chinese researchers appear to have developed the Neuralyzer, the electro bio-mechanical neural transmitting zero synapse repositioner, used by the Men in Black to wipe certain portions of memory from the brains of selected subjects. Maybe that, or Mr Trump expects some input from Beijing for a mission close to his heart.
Meanwhile, an Armageddon is unfolding on the streets of Delhi where thousands of migrant workers are flocking the roads, even as India enters the fourth day of a comprehensive lockdown. There is no denying the predicament of the odd bunch walking back to their villages hundreds of kilometres away, gripped by the uncertainties, but the explosion of clueless legions is the handiwork of none other than the broadcasting media. Need I remind the planet the role played by our over-vigilant, livewire television channels during the 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai? The live broadcast helped the terrorists inside the hotel under siege strategize and ambush the commandoes. The woes of the marathoners during the current lockdown could have been easily addressed by the local administration in the larger interest of saving us all from the contagion, but the media had to jump into the rat race of beating each other in dramatization of the exodus. Quickly enough, recriminations were flying thicker than the virus and the flummoxed leaders had to arrange for food and transportation, feeding and fattening the vicious circle. The bitter truth is more than lack of jobs and rations, these migrants are terrified of meeting their end in the pandemic and want to escape to the perceived safety of their rural homes. With this humongous charade, the lockdown goes for a toss! How many of these migrants could be bearers of the virus? Is India ready for what these masses might unleash in its rural underbelly?
Yet again, such a Wuhan moment!