Vaccine Ka Swayamvar! Covishield vs Covaxin: Kisko Pyaar Karoon?

Humour

Vaccine Ka Swayamvar! Covishield vs Covaxin: Kisko Pyaar Karoon?

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Prannoy Da, every Bengali family’s favourite intellectual and almost everyone’s beloved uncle, is looking at me intently as he tells me, “You should be grateful Adar Poonawala bhai found a match for you this quickly.”

I am now desperately looking for a quiet corner where I can puke in peace. Being told time and again how I should be feeling now that they have found a suitable jab for me is even worse than a 12-hour hangover. Isn’t a girl allowed to mull over the choices thrown at her, these days? Ask a few questions about their background without being dismissed as an anti-matcher? Even Sima aunty allowed for some probing and questioning. After all, it’s my effing life and I am not going to entrust it to some untested candidate. What if this grand arranged jabbing approved by family elders gives me hives, herpes, hepatitis, hot tub rash, hibiscus, or God knows what?

Just because I was deemed the most unsuitable girl by the world at large, doesn’t mean I jump eagerly towards any prick thrown my way. My past may have been far from impeccable. I have been labelled an out-of-control wench just because I chose to join the thali bajao party on the streets last April. What could I do, like most Indians I don’t have a balcony? A girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do before she is called anti-national.

Look, I agree the chap Covishield has an impressive lineage, comes with the Oxford stamp and an Adar card. Even Narendra Kaku was all praise of him and said that he could be a decisive turning point in my life. But bro, can we all agree that Kaku is even more desperate than me to flaunt our mostly fictitious atma-nirbharta to friends, especially the ones in foreign lands? I know we are desperate to approve a candidate but it is hardly conducive to making the right choice. Rather, it seems like a rush job to keep up with Sharma ji ka betas around the world.

Being told time and again how I should be feeling now that they have found a suitable jab for me is even worse than a 12-hour hangover.

Tell me, if the so-called guardians of my future and phooti-kismat are 100 per cent sure that Covishield is my best option to survive, why does he come with some fine print that reads “EUA (emergency use authorisation) subject to certain regulatory conditions”? Even worse, having the temerity to tell me if Covishield fails, we have an emergency “back-up”. Meet our 100 per cent shudh desi candidate, Covaxin.

Of course, this is India and before any big occasion, there has to be some mudslinging and name-calling. Now even before I take the plunge, my mind is filled with doubts. I can’t even pretend to look overjoyed, break into a ghoomar in a flowy lehenga, now that I have two half-baked candidates with no glowing testimonials, hardly any female trials and tribulations greenlighted for me. So, can you please stop flaunting these Bharat maa ka ladlas a 110 per cent safe choice?

Truth be told, I can’t stop obsessing over the firang boys Mordena and Pfizer! I can’t decide if I like them more because they are unattainable or because they are deliciously ripped, come with orgasmic testimonials and have been reviewed by peers. Plus, they even come with inbuilt instructions (mRNA)  to fight the creepy types waiting to attack my modesty. Even the Russian bad boy Sputnik who shamelessly copies my firang crushes and is prone to stealthing and espionage seems like a safer bet now.

I know we are desperate to approve a candidate but it is hardly conducive to making the right choice.

I am being told there are more desi boys waiting to land in my lap. Covaxin’s Papashree is already crying himself hoarse and claiming his boy is the better choice but with no PR skills like Covishield. He has even claimed that his opponent’s sizzling chemistry had an adverse reaction on women which was duly suppressed.

Maybe I should demand a swayamwar. Throw a tough challenge at my many suitors. Make them play truth or dare. Or just let them mature a bit? Date a few more willing candidates and discover their strengths and weaknesses.

Until then I’ll remain happily single with my antibodies and my face behind the mask.

Don’t worry darling, this girl ain’t going anywhere. She just wants to be 110 per cent sure when she says yes rather than suffer from shaadi ke side-effects.

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