Infocus

  • Ugly Grills..!
    Robert Clements The owner of an elegant house stood outside his home, and spoke to the painter, “I want those grills of my house to stand out. Paint them in black, white, silver and gold! Just look at the intricate design I told the welder to make, now I want every twist and turn of those iron rods to be emphasized. Let those grills be a work of art!” And the painter went to work. With clever skill and deft hand he brought out the lines and edges of the grill, blues a
  • A just COVID-19 recovery – not without women’s leadership
    Katja Iversen Inter Press Service  Almost exactly a year ago today, I packed my computer and a couple of necessities in the office in New York, hugged the colleagues, and headed home to what most people thought would be a couple of week’s Covid-19 lockdown. Little did we know. Despite Trump and the blows he and his administration had dealt to sustainable development, women’s leadership, LGBTQI rights, and the right of women to decide on their own bodies and live
  • Clean Up! Clean Up..!
    Robert Clements Every evening, after the twins belonging to my daughter, messed up the full house with their toys and other paraphernalia which little boys throw all over, she would sing, “Clean Up! Clean Up!” with the twins joining in the singing with their three- year old voices. Then they would run all over, cleaning up, what they’d messed up! A few years ago, while Anna Hazare and the nation cried themselves hoarse against corruption, a medical association o
  • Eyeball Your Vaccine Jab..!
    “Bob, here’s a pic of me, taking the vaccine jab!” So many pics floating all over of friends, elderly uncles and aunts, and political leaders getting the vaccine jab, but not one photo, shows them looking at the shot being administered! There’s a smile on their faces, though tension is very apparent, their eyes look at the camera, though eyes also betray their thoughts elsewhere, but no, oh no, we don’t look at cruel needle breaking through sensitive
  • Just Listen to Odette..!
    He was a good friend of mine, and his name was Joe. He was over twenty years older, but I loved being with him, and one day discovered why. He loved to listen, and it was a strange way I found out. I was standing at a bus stop, when a girl who was acting in a play, I was directing made her way to me, “Hi Bob!” she said. I groaned, “Hi!” I said, my mind on the local train at the Bandra station I had to catch. But Odette wasn’t going to let me go. She
  • Law In Motion 27: Cyber Crimes – 2
    Rupin Sharma, IPS However, before coming to cyber-crimes per se, we need to ponder and decide whether there is a preponderance of the ITC interface and the final crime which gets committed. These factors decide whether an offence needs to be REPORTED/INVESTIGATED as a cyber-crime or not. Let me take a few basic examples: - EXAMPLE-I Four persons A (In Delhi), B (In Kolkata), C (In Dimapur) and D (In Kohima) decide to murder Z (In Kohima) over a land dispute. D is finally ta
  • The Milkmaid and the Moos..!
    The hair on the delicate hands of the milkmaid stood on end as she heard her cow moo. “What is it, dear cow,” she said, even as she continued milking, “What is it that troubles you?” The cow mooed again, and the milkmaid whispered, “You are safe! Our fences are tall; no lion can jump in and be off with you. Our laws are strong; no one can butcher you anymore! You are safe dear cow, why the terror in your voice?” On a hill nearby, a sage, deep i
  • Getting Rid of Our Dog Smell..!
    “What’s that awful smell?”  “What smell?” I asked the friend of mine, who had just entered my home. “Can’t you get it?” he asked surprised. It was after he’d left, I went around sniffing at every nook and cranny and finally found the odour came from my old dog, who with age had developed a dry skin. There was a time I would have taken him to the vet immediately, but with that becoming difficult during the lockdown, I h
  • A Very Bad Impression..!
    Robert Clements A rude passenger was on the train Bishop Manning of New York was travelling in. This fellow made a great disturbance as he was about to get off, pushing and shoving and accusing others in a most discourteous way. As he finally got his possessions together and started for the exit, the bishop called after him, “Pardon me sir, but you have left something behind!” “What?” the fellow asked. “A very bad impression!” the bishop cal
  • Afraid of the Vaccine Shot..!
    Robert Clements Since my wife, a doc, has already had her vaccine shot, I decided I would field a few questions to her for my safety and the safety of the people, “Who gave you the shot?” I asked. “A fellow doctor!” she said. “Male or female?” I asked. “Why?” she asked, “Does it matter?” “I would prefer a male!” I said, “Someone who would scoop me from the ground if I fainted! Now, can you desc
  • It’s Saturday..!
    Robert Clements Ofcourse it is! Can’t you see I’m lazing around? There’s no bus to catch or appointment to keep, it’s Saturday and a day of rest! And then I look out, there’s a man at my window. “Hello!” I shout, taken aback, “What are you doing there?” But he couldn’t care less if I shouted or pulled the house down with my wild gesticulations, and then realize why he hasn’t seen me. The glass that comes betw
  • Sedition and Ghostly Talk..!
    It’s been whispered that ghosts of yesterday can mix with the nocturnal spirits of today, as no time bar separates them in the supernatural realms, which is why in the other worldly bar that phantom souls frequent, the late Winston Churchill walked across the spooky floor to join the late Thomas Babington Macaulay for a ghostly drink. “What are you grimacing about Thomas?” he asked lightly, dropping the title of ‘Sir’ which Macaulay would have otherwise in
  • A Squirrel Wearing Glasses..!
    For a moment I squinted through my own spectacles, and wondered if I needed to change my pair, “A squirrel wearing glasses!” I said to myself, as I watched her staring at me through her bifocals. “Lecherous, aren’t you?” she said. “Lecherous?” I asked, not for a moment wondering why I was talking back to a squirrel. “Yes, staring at me like that! Before I wore glasses, I could never see the true reason for such behavior. &ldqu
  • Myanmar: Heroes and Villains
    Myanmar’s State Counsellor was recently deposed and arrested along with other leaders of her ruling party – National League for Democracy (NLD). The Leader of Tatmadaw, the Military, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that elections in November last year had been fraudulent and in an “effort to save democracy” the military would now rule the nation for at least one year, until new elections could be organised. Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of “importing t
  • Wedding Gift..!
    “They clearly mentioned, ‘no presents, only your presence!’ I muttered as my wife came out of our home carrying a huge gift. “That’s what they all say,” said the wife wisely, “but you will always see people slipping in an envelope!” I did see some truth in what she said, because later going through the wedding album of friends, I would notice there were many which did not have my photo, “That’s because you didn’t g
  • Wearing Pink Pajamas..!
    “Pink pajamas!” I roared as I tore opened the parcel and looked at the pajamas that the online store had sent me, “I ordered brown not pink!” “Check whether it’s comfortable!” said the practical wife. “But who wears pink pajamas!” I muttered and then slipped into them, “Wow!” I said. “Wow, about the pink or how comfortable they are?” she asked smiling. “Both!” I said, and realized how
  • How Dare You..!
    Robert Clements As I see more and more youngsters in the country jailed because they dared question, I remember an episode involving my own daughter, who decided to voice her protest. No, it wasn’t about climate change or farmers protests, but something she felt her priest hadn’t handled well. She wrote a polite letter to him disagreeing with him. “How dare you!” was his retort. Which actually mirrored the statement, “Do you know who I am?”
  • Pulling Up A Crop..!
    Robert Clements Very often when I send my column to the papers after writing, I never know who it has touched and what the results of my words are, and I think how often we are so impatient to see the results of some effort we are putting ourselves into, maybe some venture or other! We might have to study day and night and wonder whether it is worth it and if we are wasting our time. “If only we could see our future!” we tell ourselves, “To see whether we are inves
  • Two Minutes to Sharpen Your Axe..!
    There’s a war going on and it’s time we became aware of it, or we’ll soon be destroyed. And it’s not the battle twixt the virus and the vaccine, which even though deadly, still isn’t laying low it’s foes, as the one going on between the latest knowledge and a stagnant mind. Today, technology is changing so fast, that what we learned yesterday is part of today’s history books. You don’t have to go far to see the victims of stagnant mind
  • LAW IN MOTION 26: Greed Crimes - Stolen Vehicles
    Rupin Sharma, IPS I started off with an incident which prodded me to write on stolen vehicles and their links with people in Nagaland – whether as criminals or as consumers or as victims. The past few days have witnessed a series of minor achievements by Nagaland police where Nagaland Police has been able to recover stolen or lost vehicles and return them to either the rightful owners or the concerned police stations. I am sure those are proverbially just the tip of the ice-be