What’s a Minister of Loneliness?

You might be thinking that such a position doesn’t even exist. But, surprise, it does exist. Not in India ofcourse. But in Japan, the government is so worried about their people and their loneliness, that they created a whole new position to overcome this ‘serious’ issue. Only if all the governments were so caring! But why would a developed country like Japan need to appoint such a minister? Is loneliness such a serious problem? The answer is yes. Because last year Japan saw a increase in their suicide rates for the first time in almost 11 years.

But why this sudden increase in the suicide rate? And what is more shocking is that 70% of this statistics includes women. That means women the rate of suicides in women is tremendously more than in men. But what’s the reason? The COVID pandemic! As if the virus wasn’t already taking enough lives. The Japanese government saw a huge rise in the suicide rate because of the isolation people were faced to live in due to the lockdown. Loneliness isn’t a new issue to Japan. It has been in the country for a long time. Many people tend to live in extreme social isolation. Either due to personal reasons or other unknown reasons. And it’s not that the government never took any measures to solve this issue.

For example, a robot was designed to hold hands of the people whenever they felt lonely. Even new jobs were created because of this. People would pay other people to do nothing other than keep them company.

However, these measures were not enough during the lockdown. Especially for women. Most of the women in Japan are either divorced or not married and most of them live alone because of their job. Some of them don’t even have job security. And in this pandemic all these problems took a turn for worse. And the result was more suicides than ever. Even more shocking was the fact that the number of deaths caused by suicides were higher than the number of people died due to COVID. 2,153 dies due to suicide whereas 1,765 people died due the virus. And out of 2,153, 879 were women. This was the data collected by the government till the month of October.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto as the new and the first Minister of Loneliness. He is also the Minister for controlling the declining birth rates in Japan. The Prime Minister hopes that Sakamoto will figure out the major causes of Loneliness and take effective measures to improve the quality of life of its people. Other governments like the UK have also appointed such Ministers and even the government of Australia is looking forward to this step. One can only wonder when the Indian government will realise the necessity of such measure


Is there really going to be a second season of Pitchers?

Last night, the highly celebrated and loved YouTube channel The Viral Fever (TVF) released a 2-minutes long teaser of all the shows that the platform will be releasing in the year 2021. Most of the content made it very clear that there are going to be sequels of the shows released in the last two years. But what has really gotten people talking is the last scene in the teaser which probably points towards the most awaited sequel of TVF’s best drama till date, ‘Pitchers’. And if this is true, then the wait will be over, almost after 5 years!

Lights. Camera. Experiment. :

The trailer is filled with scenes, scenes that will leave you wondering, from the sequels and also from some of the original that TVF will be releasing this year. And this time, TVF has gone one step extra to make originals in different languages. It is mentioned that the shows will range cultures from North to South. And even make an in-between stop in Central. Some of the sequels shown in the trailer have already been released in the beginning of this year. The season 2 of Gullak was released on 15th of January on Sony Liv. Its season 1 was highly praised and people were eagerly waiting for the sequel. And as usual TVF didn’t disappoint. Other sequels like that of College Romance’s and Girls Hostel’s have already been released and already garnering pretty good reviews. 

The Most Awaited Sequels :

Some of the best shows that were released last year by TVF included Kota Factory, Cubicles, Hostel Daze, and Panchayat. All of these shows marked the comeback of the amazing TVF who had been down for a while. All of them received favourable response and few of them even made to the top ten list of IMDB.

Panchayat was one of them. A simple representation of a village’s day-to-day life with quirky humour easily won the hearts of everyone. Everyone is expecting big things from it now.

Kota Factory was another show on the list. It quickly garnered a tremendous loyal fan base because of its apt depiction of the life of students in the city of Kota. And call it a coincidence if you want, but both these shows featured our incredible Jitendra Kumar in lead roles. So the expectation is obviously high. Sequels of Cubicles and Hostel Daze is equally anticipated.

The Last Five Seconds :

Everything was going good but it went great when at the end of the trailer TVF showed a quick glimpse of the lead cast of it’s original drama Pitchers, which was also the second show from the TVF platform after Permanent Roommates. People are going crazy over it and speculating all kinds of things. Everyone is hopeful that at last their favourite show’s sequel will be released. But it’s not that simple. It is highly unlikely that the sequel has even been made. One of the biggest reasons behind it is that one of the cast, Arunabh Kumar who plays the character of Yogi in the drama, was charged during the #metoo trend and was fired from TVF. So, unless they plan to replace the cast, which won’t be the best idea, there is a high possibility that there won’t be a season 2.

It is a disappointing thought but we don’t know anything for sure. Anything can happen. We can only hope for the best and wait. And while we wait, we can enjoy our other favourite show’s sequel which are going to be equally exciting and heart-touching. 


Who got the big bucks and who got the left-overs

It has been less than six months when we were all just witnessing Mumbai Indians winning their fifth IPL title. The most by any team in the history of the IPL. And once again the buzz, the hype and the thrill is just around the corner. And everyone’s getting ready for the most expensive and the most celebrated tournament around the world. Last night was nothing like ever. The auction of IPL 2021 took place and it shocked everyone.

Big Betting on the Bowlers :

This year’s auction turned out to be in favour of pace bowlers. And mostly in favour of foreigners.

Rajasthan Royals created history by spending a huge amount of 16.25 cr for South African all-rounder Chris Morris. He is by far the most expensive player in the history of the IPL. It came as a shock to many as Chris Morris has not been in his best performance these past years.

The second most expensive bowler to be picked up in this mini auction was New Zealand’s fast bowler Kyle Jamieson. He got picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore after a tough bid-fight with Punjab Kings. But he didn’t come easily. Bangalore shelled out 15 cr for an overseas who has never played in India and has only a little experience of playing in T20s.

Another fast bowler from Australia surprised everyone. Jhye Richardson was sold to Punjab Kings for a huge amount of 14 cr. One of the main reasons behind spending such a huge amount on a young player, is his recent performance in Big Bash League, 2021. He was the highest wicket-taker in the series.

Not only bowlers, even all-rounders like Glenn Maxwell and Krisnappa Gowtham were paid handsome amounts in the mini-auction. As always, most of the teams wanted Maxwell. So it was a tough fight but ultimately Bangalore bagged him at 14.25 cr. K. Gowtham, who performed very well last year with Rajasthan, got picked up by Chennai at 9.25 cr.

Even though many players got big bucks, the auction highlights two sides. Most of the foreign players got paid handsome amount but the country’s very own experienced players got very less than they deserved. Like, fast bowler Umesh Yadav was paid 1 cr and Mohit Sharma was paid only 2 cr. It’s ironic that Indian Premier League doesn’t value its own Indian players.


The Petrol Prices Have Hit Their Maiden Century In India.

At a time when everyone is struggling to keep their jobs, most of them have already lost their jobs and now are just trying to keep their families afloat, the fuel prices are rising on a day-to-day basis. You hope that in these testing times, the government will make life easy for its people, but that doesn’t seem to be happening anytime soon.

What’s causing the price rise :

The reason is pretty much simple behind the rising fuel prices. The government has been increasing the duties on the fuel gradually over the last year. More than 62 per cent of the petrol price is made up of central and state taxes. The reason both the central and state government applies taxes separately is because petrol and diesel prices do not fall under the regulation of Goods and Service Tax (GST). Another crucial reason behind the rising fuel prices is the increment in the price of Crude Oil at the International Level. One barrel of oil that used to cost $40 in June has now reached $66 per barrel. 

What’s the government’s excuse :

The government has successfully justified itself in increasing the fuel prices. The Pandemic has hit the economy which was already on its knees. Now to revive it, the government needs revenue and one of the major and fastest sources of revenue is increasing petrol and diesel prices. Also, the government states that it is high time that everyone starts switching to clean and renewable energy resources. It will not only cut its dependence on heavy oil imports, which the government obviously blamed on opposition, but also decrease the level of pollution. 

But, what seems to be the talk of the hour is that the same government that used to criticize its opposition for rising fuel prices back then, is now increasing them and even justifying them. And even the media seems to have turned a blind eye on the issue. Because ultimately, it’s the middle class that has to suffer the consequences, no matter the government in power.


Invitation To An Elite Clubhouse.

Innovation in social media is not a very well-known concept. Social media applications are like siblings, related to one another in some or the other way, sharing more or less the same qualities. But, this new app that has been creating buzz in the market is trying to take social media on a whole new different level. The user experience the application is trying to provide is like never seen before. And maybe that’s why it has reached a stupendous valuation of $100 million within months of its launch.

The New Player :

Clubhouse is an audio-driven chatting application founded by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth of Alpha Exploration Co. in April, 2020. The app does not support text-based conversations. Users can only communicate through audio. The app was launched at a time when everyone was confined to themselves, having no one to talk or having no place to go to. Clubhouse provided exactly that and it was an instant hit. Users could join the ‘virtual rooms’ as per their interest and participate in the discussions.

You need invitation and an Apple product :

One of the major reasons behind the instant buzz created by the new application Clubhouse was its exclusivity feature. Only the people who have an invitation can join the app and benefit from it. Also, currently it tends to high-end customers only. That is Apple users. The app features discussion forums that range from book clubs, fireside chats, debates, stand-up comedy, to many other interesting topics. The application has seen participation of big names like Oprah, Drake, Elon Musk and alikes.

Users can join these virtual rooms, and choose to listen or speak up. But they need permission from the moderators in the room to speak up. Users can raise their hand and if the moderator allows, the users can express themselves.

The Future Plan :

The app is already a huge success even though only a number of individuals can access it. So, when it becomes available to everyone, common people in general, it will probably break all the records. The company said that it is working on creating the Android app and also building the app to accommodate the massive number of users. The application also plans to monetise it by introducing subscription plans, selling tickets or providing an option for tipping. The company stated that it is also trying very hard to create regulations that will monitor the quality of the content.

The application is like a podcast but a live one. And it isn’t the first one to use the invitation-only feature. Initially, Gmail worked the same way. And now it is available to everyone and is a part and parcel of everyone’s life. Maybe Clubhouse will become one too, but for better or for worse, only the future will tell.


Logo Ne Kiya Logo Ko Pareshaan

The year 2020 was filled with weirdness and unexpected things. But since the beginning of the year 2021, it hasn’t failed to disappoint us either. Unexpected things are still happening. Just that now they also have a slight touch of stupidity. The rise of Dogecoin, a meme based cryptocurrency, Whatsapp making claims that they don’t share data, the stocks of some other Signal company soaring, has just proven that the stupidity of people knows no limit. And the latest trend just made it even worse or hilarious. 

What’s the problem? 

So on 30th of January, the NGO Avesta Foundation, run by Naaz Patel, filed a complaint with the Mumbai Police’s Cyber Cell, claiming that the logo of the Flipkart owned fashion company Myntra is offensive towards women. 

What’s so funny?

After Myntra officials were summoned by Mumbai Police, the company decided to change its logo. 

But what followed after this was really funny. Netizens started trending #MyntraLogo by posting their hilarious response on Twitter.

Netizens expressed their outrage by creating loads of memes on the trending topic. Everyone had one common concern. No one had ever before thought of the logo in an offensive way. But now they cannot look at it in any other way. And this perception is not only restricted to Myntra’s Logo. Netizens started pointing out the myriad number of logos that can be interpreted in a wrong way. 

These are just a few examples. There are various other logos that are trending because of this. One of the frontrunners is none other than Lupin Pharmaceuticals.

Saturday’s incident made the weekend for Netizens a very funny one. But there is more to this than just humour. It shows the perspective of people. It is true that every person has a different perception towards the same things. It is also true that it can very well offend some and not others. But the choice to feel offended solely lies with the person. Now since this incident, everyone’s perspective toward logos is influenced. Whenever anyone will look at a logo, the first thing that will cross their mind is if it is offensive or not.


Varun Dhawan’s Biwi No. 1

Everyone wants their childhood love to become their forever life partner. But a common  man’s life is not anything like a Bollywood’s happy-ending movie. However, it seems that the only exception to this are the Bollywood people itself. Love stories of Ayushmann and Tahira, Shahrukh and Gauri have shown that childhood love can stay with you forever. And Varun Dhawan and Natasha Dalal are the latest edition to the list. Their love story is nothing less than a cringy bollywood movie. 

The Slow-Motion Moment :

The first time Varun Dhawan ever realised that he had feelings for Natasha was during lunch break in their school. They both went to Maneckji Cooper. (Don’t google it!) Varun was in House Gryffindor and Natasha in House Hufflepuff. Varun really saw her for the first time on the basketball court. That’s when he knew that she was the love of his life. But like a teenager, he didn’t have the guts to confess his feelings to her.  However, they became good friends. 

Moment of Truth :

The two stayed friends till their late early 20s. Natasha went to New York to pursue her passion in Fashion Designing. After returning, she started her own brand ‘Natasha Dalal Label’. Both of them got in touch again at a music concert. After that, they started going out frequently. But, like every bollywood movie, there came a twist! When Junior Dhawan confessed his feelings, it didn’t go as he had expected. She rejected him. And not just once but twice or thrice. But, as always, the hero didn’t lose hope and kept on trying. And eventually the heroine said Yes! 

The Beginning of the Happy Ending :

The duo kept their relationship private for a long time. But the rumours were already flying around. So, in 2019, on Natasha’s birthday, Varun made their relationship public. On Koffee with Karan, Varun even confirmed that the two were already engaged and are planning to get married very soon. The plan was to get married in 2020 but nothing went as expected. So finally, the two tied the knot on 24th of January, 2021 at a resort in Alibaug. The ceremony was quietly done and not many were invited. 

It is very hard to believe that such stories are real. But indeed they are. And if someone like Varun Dhawan can get rejected more than twice and still find the love of his life, you are no one to lose hope. Keep trying and if you find that person and you know they are the one, don’t let them go. Because they are worth it!


The Meme Currency

Whenever someone utters the word cryptocurrency, the first thing that comes to anyone’s mind is ‘Bitcoin’. The tremendous rise of Bitcoin has made cryptocurrency a lucrative investment option. Bitcoin has made cryptocurrency a very serious matter. But who would have thought that cryptocurrency could also take a turn that would be funny and yet profitable? Well, these two software engineers didn’t just think about it, they actually made it. 

The Start : 

Jackson Palmer, who was working as a software engineer at Adobe, one day absentmindedly tweeted, “Invest in Dogecoin. Pretty sure it’s the next big thing.” The reason behind this was the rising popularity of the ‘Doge’ meme on the internet. The meme consisted of an image of a Shiba Inu dog with various one word statements around it. The meme was an instant hit. After the tweet, Jackson received a response that he should work on the idea. So, he bought the domain in December, 2013. Around the same time, Billy Marker, software engineer at IBM, was also playing with the idea of creating his own cryptocurrency. When he came across the site dogecoin, he was instantly hitched to it. He communicated with Jackson and they both entered into a partnership and created the Dogecoin, which features the same Shiba Inu dog on it. 

The Rise : 

The two engineers created the currency with the open source software project, Litecoin. The major difference between Bitcoin and Dogecoin is that there is no limit to the number of Dogecoins that can be produced in its system. The launch of this new, bold and funny cryptocurrency was an instant hit on social media, especially on Reddit. Overnight, it generated a market value of over $8 million. However, Dogecoin is used differently than Bitcoin. The major use of Dogecoin is tipping. Online tipping is an act of appreciating someone for doing something good or posting good content. Soon, it became the second-most-used cryptocurrency for online tipping in the world. 

The Use :

Up until now, the use of Dogecoin has solely been for good purposes. Dogecoin has a loyal community known as ‘Shibes’. The community uses the cryptocurrency to support good causes all over the world. For instance, in 2014, the community raised $50,000 to help send the Jamaican Bobsled Team to the Sochi Winter Olympics. The same year, on World Water Day, the community raised $30,000 to sponsor the construction of clean-water wells in Kenya. The community keeps doing such good deeds. 

What started as a joke, now has turned into a billion dollar market capitalisation. Recently, the richest person on the earth, Elon Musk, tweeted ‘Dogue’ using the fashion magazine ‘Vogue’ and since then everyone has interpreted the tweet as Musk’s open support towards the meme currency. However, the actual value of Dogecoin converted into dollars is less than even one cent. But, given the recent circumstances, nobody knows what the future holds.


Why Tandav Is Creating A Real Tandav

The secret affair of web series and controversies is now out in the open. Every other web drama now develops a relationship with controversies. Mostly, the relationship is toxic. But, the effects are not always toxic. Both the parties generally benefit from the controversies. The web series gets its promotion and the news sites get its material for weeks. 

So, the latest affair that has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue is Tandav and its supposedly making anti-caste remarks and wrongful portrayal of Hindu Gods.

As if we even know how they look exactly!

About the Series :

Tandav is the first Indian web series released in 2021 by Amazon Prime Video. It released on the 15th of January. It is created and directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, who is also known for giving mega-blockbusters like Bharat, Tiger Zinda Hai, Gunday, Sultan and alikes. The show is written by Zafar and Gourav Solanki, who is also known for writing the Anubhav Sinha directed Article 15. Now clearly he likes to play with Indian political system!

The show stars the great Saif Ali Khan, Sunil Grover, Dimple Kapadia, Mohd. Zeeshan Ayyub and other stunning actors. 

What’s all the Shor in the City about Tandav :

So apparently, according to some highly religious communities and well-educated politicians, the web series has hurt their sacred religious sentiments by depicting Lord Shiva in a derogatory manner. It is also said the dialogues spoken by Lord Shiva, played by Zeeshan Ayyub, are highly inappropriate. Now no one really knows what all the fuss is about. Is it that their beloved god is shown in a stylish, cool and modern way? Or maybe they just couldn’t stand the fact that their god evolved but they couldn’t. 

Another scene, among many others, that has accusedly hurt the sentiments of the Dalit minorties is the one in where Prof. Sandhya, played by Sandhya Mridul, who is also a Brahmin, makes a remark that Kailash, played by Anup Soni, who is a Dalit, only loved her and impregnated her because he wanted to take revenge of centuries of abuse done upon the Dalits communities by the society. Various such remarks have been made throughout the series. 

Who started the real Tandav :

The whole thing started on Twitter when people started trending Ban Tandav for insulting their beloved Gods. But the thing became real when the BJP MLA Ram Kadam filed an FIR at the Ghatkopar Police Station against the makers and the producers. Since then, there have been numerous FIRs filed against the same people in different states. Even the bench of judges went as far as saying that ‘your right to freedom of speech is not absolute.’ 

Even though the creator Ali Abbas Zafar apologised officially, they ultimately were forced by the Information and Broadcast Ministry to take down these controversial scenes. But the problems didn’t end there for the cast and the crew. The chief of Karni Sena of Maharashtra, Ajay Sengar, announced a reward of 1cr for anyone who slits the tongue of those who insults the Hindu Gods. Politicians giving ‘supari’ publicly. But that isn’t controversial, right? The cast pleaded before the court to provide them interim protection but that was denied too. 

And while everyone was at it, they dragged Mirzapur to court too. Apparently for showing the city in bad light. Maybe they just didn’t like the second season but that isn’t enough to file a complaint now, is it?

But in all, it all comes down on to the people. To take offense or not that is the question. Every series is going to have something in it that can be interpreted in an infinite number of ways. What will you choose it to be?