Finally the vaccine dhamaka is on as more and more people are joining the vaccine parade. It began very slowly but within a week has taken off. Getting vaccinated will soon become as infectious as the virus itself. Soon, we shall have more vaccinated people than not and then the tide will turn. Meanwhile the number of dead is declining and so are the infected. All good things. So what has sin city done to deserve such a break?
Nothing much except that it has survived and refused to die. Dhaka really has no reason to continue existing except for the faith of very faithless millions who call it their home, some temporary, some permanent. But even if it’s a temporary stopover, they live and they die, hating it and unhappy. In so many ways, it’s like the US band Eagles’s song, Hotel California. “You can check out anytime you like/ but you can never leave.“Some good, mostly bad and all entirely indifferent to each other, it’s a city like none other. It’s Sin City.
The converted Vax
Vaccine is already the most popular item on the Facebook and topless politicians have become the rage. Meanwhile, a number of deep philosophical debates are raging and I was party to at least two. Reporting with all honesty.
The religious theme is well known. The vax is made in Hindu India with Jewish support which will turn all good Muslims into Hindus or worse Jews carrying liquefied chips mixed with cow urine. This could be doubted perhaps but this is produced in “Sri Ram“ Institute which makes it almost a declaration of faith of another kind. One drop and the skin starts grafting back you- know- where.
I was told all this by a senior relative of mine who of course never prays regularly or even irregularly but does fast though its probably more motivated by the iftar his daughter-in-law makes. Anyway, she called up and said, I should have a word with him since I had taken the vax. He is elderly, unwell and not wanting to lose his faith.
So I called him and informed that he had no problem at all with the vax. The GOB had fixed the problem. It was Muslim vaccine for Muslims.
“How do you know? you journos are always making stories?
“The PM called me and discussed the matter with me. “Listen, he is 80+.
“What ? The PM calls you?”
“Of course. Hasina is an old friend.”
I wasn’t actually fully lying, only half lying. I do have a friend called Hasina and PM probably means a Post Master. OK I was fully lying.
“What did she say?”
“She said that all vaccines were converted by the Maulvis at the airport and so it’s safe.”
“But what will happen to Hindus when they take Muslim vaccines?”
“Oh, Hindus get the non-converted vax so none have to change faith.”
An immensely relieved man is going to be much safer soon. I am such a good preacher
The Gay vaccine
The gay vax has however caused much more anxiety among a section of people who are sexually active. Some of my mid-20s friends are very concerned. Not only are they concerned but their GFs are more concerned too. Since girls, women are less infected anyway, vax is heavily tilted towards males. So this young girl calls me up and in a nervous voice asks if it’s true.
“Of course it’s true. Most are turning gay after taking the shot?”
She begins to weep. “What will I do then?”
“Well, you have to get used to GF not a BF, that’s all?”
“But I am not taking the vax, it’s him. I don’t want him to be gay when we are married. What’s the use of marrying a Gay?”
“Well, he will be cheerful. Gay, happy , cheerful.”
“Sir, please don’t joke. This is serious. How can we have children if we are not having sex?”
“You can always adopt.”
“I want my own kids.”
“I hear the vax effect wears off by the time one turns 40.”
“But that’s 12 years from now ? What will I do till then?”
“For one thing, get some common sense. If he is 28, how can he get a Vax. Its only for over 40 years moron.”
But the relief heard in her embarrassed giggle was worth all the stories I made up.
Masked beggars don’t sell well
As I walk every evening I feel like I am in a new city where people can’t show their face and I am a stranger here. Yet I forget I wear not one but 2 masks as I foot the pavements. There is a bigger stream of walkers now as many avoid public transports or maybe they are not on the road.
Many of the walkers now include ladies on the move. One can see the change by looking at their footwear. So many ladies wear walking pumps instead of fancy shoes resolutely pushing forward on their way home after work.
The beggars have also changed, wearing masks and sitting on the pavement hoping for donations. As the city has normalized and the sense of fear weakened, people have learnt not to bother about what’s on the footpath.
More beggars than ever now but somehow much less successful. There is less time to be charitable, lesser time to feel like earning few surplus bonus pious points. But are beggars seeking vax ? A vaccinated beggar would be worse. Nobody cares if beggars live and if nobody cares if they die, it might just be not worth being kind then.