Two ‘touching’ scenes comes to my mind: One is a national leader going round the world intent on touching everyone he meets internationally by hugging them, and another, again a national leader but in the opposition going round the country, first in a walk across the nation and otherwise just visiting the poor, the broken and the grieving, reaching out and touching them, with an embrace and a hug.

By Ajai Kumar Sonkar

One of my friends told me that single use plastic has been banned, he was very happy as if all the problems caused by the use of plastic have now ended. This shows how little we know about plastics and the widespread epidemic caused by them. Micron and nano sized plastic particles are continuously reaching our blood through many channels beyond our imagination. Taking a small example here, you must have used tea leaves kept in a small paper bag which is called a tea bag. I dipped a tea bag in hot water in a tea cup, the colour and taste of the tea dissolved in the cup, I analysed a drop of that tea in the microscope of my laboratory and found that there were countless numbers of micron sized plastic particles in that drop of the tea.

In the good old days when kings sat in their castles and sent their men into battle, quite often, guards from his fort watchtowers would shout, “Lone horseman riding to the fort!” And soon, they would identify him through his banner as one of their own, coming from the battlefield and let him in, where tired and exhausted he would be led directly to the king.

“We have lost the battle your majesty!” he would blurt out and quite often in his rage, the king would in a fit of temper draw his sword to kill the man.

Many, many decades ago, while riding my motorbike as a teenager, I crashed into a car and was badly injured. At least the blood all over made others feel I was terribly hurt and the ones in the car, who were actually mechanics and were testing the brakes of the car they had just repaired, took me to the nearest hospital.

The lady doctor took one look at me, and cried out, “We can’t do anything!”

His name was Kumar and he was my best friend in school. A little fellow, compared to me, who was lean and lanky, he was short and squat.

Kumar was a fighter, he could knock out any guy in class, and most kept away from his tough hands. But one sport he wasn’t good at was high jump.