A very eminent professor of economics at Cambridge, of Indian origin, with whom I conversed once or twice, tweeted to an absolute excess on the disproportionate focus on Covid-19, quoting the number of deaths from other causes to make his point. So, I engaged him one day. It was not its capacity to kill, but the anxiety on account of instant contagion, that has brought down this world.

The closing lines of The Plague by Albert Camus's "the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city," just about sum up the attitude of a medicalised society which treats all of germs , pathogens , microbe , lonely, lost strands of RNA are its sworn enemies.

As is customary, when I visited my grandchildren this time round, I asked them for their wish list of books. The younger one, all of nine years, said she wants nothing but Roald Dahl. She has read them all and she thinks that, that is all there is to good writing.

Tulsi Das's memorable line, "Jaa Kee Rahi Bhavana Jaisee, Prabhu Moorat Dekhi Tinh Tasie" (God in his incarnate form appeared to his devotees in whichever image they wanted him to manifest), can be said to be a universal and timeless rule of perception; you see, what you want to see.

Several years back in an article “That Pantomime Artist Known as Police” published in Indian Express (I was fond of seeing my name in papers in those years) I wrote, “The growing ineffectiveness of state police forces in the face of powerful offenders creates a demand for CBI investigation. This occurs even in cases which are well within the professional and logistic competence of the state police. The CBI itself becomes eminently vulnerable to charges of bias once the affairs of the Central Government become the subject matter of enquiry. The state police forces are well on way to being reduced to a level where they will be good for nothing but ceremonial parades and watch and ward duties and a day may come when the CBI too may face an erosion of credibility. Who shall we turn to then? Interpol, the FBI, or Scotland Yard?"

Randhir Verma, I.P.S (Bihar R R 1974) Superintendent of Police (SP) was martyred in an encounter with terrorists who were trying to loot a bank in Dhanbad twenty-seven years ago.

Disclaimer: If I express my less than reverential opinion about Mr. Rahul Gandhi, it does not earn me an automatic membership to Mr. Modi’s fan club. It is not in me to be a 'bhakt', a mandarin, a camp follower, or a palanquin bearer. I am an independent citizen who struts in all seriousness, wearing his cap of sovereignty. The stance of the citizen taking himself seriously, and hanging on to the democratic premise that he is the master, is at the heart of the absurd theatre called electoral democracy: a scene from this Theatre of the Absurd.