Photo by Mikel Parera on Unsplash

The year 2020 was one of upheavals — social, professional, economic, political and emotional — brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. People lost loved ones; they lost their jobs, savings and financial security; and they lost their normal way of living. Many like me were left feeling that they had lost their sense of purpose. In recent months, I have been waking up every morning and asking myself the same question: where is my life headed? I draw a blank each time I try to search for the elusive answer.

For countless people, the events of the last one year…


Over the last few months, Indian citizens have been forced to watch an ongoing media circus in the form of relentless, and often unwarranted, coverage of the allegedly high prevalence of recreational drugs in the country’s film industry (colloquially known as Bollywood). Painting a narrative that projects only India’s elite as perpetrators of what is, in fact, a problem affecting urban and rural citizens amounts to sweeping the dust under the proverbial carpet. What is playing out on television, however, is nothing but a reflection of the moral high ground our society takes to wriggle out of such uncomfortable truths.


“I grow plants for many reasons: to please my eye or to please my soul, to challenge the elements or to challenge my patience, for novelty or for nostalgia, but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.” (David Hobson)

It was early April. Living in the midst of a nationwide lockdown and with nothing much to do, I decided to try my hand at growing plants from seeds. One morning, after treating myself to the sweet deliciousness of cantaloupe (muskmelon), I washed the seeds and left them to dry. The next day, I loosely sprinkled them in one of…


Few people will believe that “toxic” is a word that can be associated with “positivity.” After all, positivity suggests an optimistic, forward-looking frame of mind from which we can draw strength. It evokes emotions such as hope, a sense of wellbeing, and what is commonly referred to as a “positive attitude.” By practicing positivity, we tend to look at the bright side of things. With attributes like these, how can positivity be toxic? The answer may lie in another commonly-used phrase: too much of anything is bad.

“Toxic positivity” is the constant emphasis on maintaining a positive mindset in every…


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.

As of the beginning of May 2020, the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage large parts of the globe. Several countries, which have been under various degrees of lockdowns, are taking tentative steps to reopen either partially or completely. Despite warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the scientific community on early reopening of countries, governments are keen to ease lockdown restrictions to resume economic activity at the earliest. Stimulus plans worth trillions of dollars have been announced to kickstart shuttered economies.

While the world battles one emergency, there appears to be a real danger that two other emergencies —…


Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay.

Forty, fifty, perhaps even a hundred years from now, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will, in all likelihood, be considered a turning point in the history of humankind. Comprehensive scientific studies will be conducted and hundreds of books will be authored on this stunning event which has brought the world to a standstill. As yet, there is no certainty regarding when and how the pandemic will end — much of this depends on the speed at which a vaccine is developed and its aftermath (clinical trials and approvals for human application).

Globally, economic activity across most non-technology sectors has slowed considerably…


Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

While the entire world continues to be ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, some are celebrating its unexpected upsides such as a dramatic decrease in air pollution, immaculate blue skies, and clear waters in rivers and lakes. Many are claiming this as a victory for the planet amid clamors that Nature has pressed the ‘reset’ button. While pollution has indeed reduced and the air has been rendered clean due to the absence of noxious fumes, many are asking: is this respite temporary?

In a recent editorial, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), has highlighted that the positive…


At the time of writing this article, we are on day 16 of the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in India. The federal and state governments are contemplating various exit strategies, including gradual lifting of restrictions in districts with no Covid-19 positive cases, and identifying institutions & establishments (particularly those providing essential service) which can resume operations on after April 15 — the tentative date for easing restrictions. …


Why Covid-19 Will Not Be The Last Pandemic

Zoonotic pathogens — those which transmit naturally between non-human animals to humans — have been the subject of extensive research for decades. These pathogens originate in a host or natural reservoir which is their natural habitat for survival and reproduction. Humans, animals and even the environment (plants, soil and water) are reservoirs of different types of pathogens (infectious agents). When a pathogen is transmitted under natural conditions to humans, the process is called zoonosis.

Over the last four decades, there has been an increase in emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) in humans, and…

Gautam Mehra

Founder at Alum Knight Partners. Writer and researcher.

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