In the current days of COVID-19, one of the items in high demand is face masks. After all, a virus that transmits through droplets and attacks the lungs, would be best kept out if your nose and mouth are covered.
While the N95 face mask is touted as having good filtering efficiency, the commonly available face masks are not fool-proof. This means that they are not a guarantee against the virus, but they obviously would offer some protection to you (if you are well), and to others (if you are unwell), rather than nothing at all.
Face masks are an integral part of Japanese life. It is common to see people of all ages, on the streets and on public transport, wearing a mask if they have a cold or cough. It is not so much for themselves as for the people they come in contact with. The intention is not to pass whatever infection they have to anyone else.
COVID-19 has put the Earth in a situation it has never seen before. With many of the countries having closed their borders, many people are stranded in places that aren’t their “homes”. If you are an Indian citizen in the United Kingdom who couldn’t make it on that last flight, don’t despair. You’re probably a student whose college has been shut, or a visitor on a short term visa.
Indian National Students Association (INSA) UK, has set up a volunteer team on Indian based in the UK. My friend Arun Patil is in this team, that has multi-lingual capability. They’re in touch with the High Commission of India, UK, and the National Health Service (NHS), and in a position to give you reliable advice and guidance.
A few weeks ago, for Shivaji Jayanti actually, one of our building helpers, Mangal, was looking for a child’s white shirt. Her 8-year old son had been selected for a dance that was going to be a part of the birth anniversary celebrations, and white shirt with white dhoti / pyjama was the costume specified.
Our neighbourhood Lokhandwala Foundation School’s uniform has a white shirt so getting one of the right size was not difficult. I just needed to ask around. The only problem was that the pocket of the shirt is customised, with the school name and logo. This wouldn’t look good in the dance, so we decided that the pocket had to come off. The seam ripper is a really useful tool to have, but it still took a while to take out the stitches without damaging the fabric. Now the shirt was just right for the dance, and Mangal was happy that she didn’t have to shell out a hundred bucks to buy a new one.
Why 8th March? It seems that in 1914, 8th March, a Sunday, was the day that women in Germany demanded their right to vote. In 1977, the United Nations asked members to observe 8th March as as International Women’s Day, and this has been done in many countries of the world ever since. (Source: Wikipedia)
With 8th March falling on a Sunday this year, a few of us jumped at the opportunity to try our hand at knife painting at Pradnya’s Art World.
With the festival of Holi a fortnight away, the balloon battles had begun. These days, they’re not balloons but small Made-in-China plastic packets filled with water. Not even the COVID-19 is a deterrent. Fill, twirl, knot, aim and throw with all your might to hit the target with enough force so that the balloon bursts on impact. It’s a lot of fun, but if executed well, it could be a most painful sting that could last a while. And if the balloon lands on an unintended target, well, God save everyone!
The children of Riviera Tower and Alica Nagar (in Lokhandwala Township, Kandivali East) are separated by a weld-mesh fence that provided just the right battleground. Things were getting out of hand. Balloons were confiscated and there were firm orders to call a truce. With this entertainment snatched away, the adults at Riviera were looking for something productive that could engage the children.
An afternoon at Phalgun 2076 was an afternoon well spent. It was an interesting display of expression and talent, by a diverse mix of trained and self-taught artists, doing art as a profession, hobby or passion.
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