News to Amuse: A Weekly Newsletter of All That You’ve Missed


News to Amuse: A Weekly Newsletter of All That You’ve Missed

Illustration: Arati Gujar

Hello and welcome to TL;Dr. your friendly neighbourhood timeline doctor who gives you vitamin pills, because let’s face it who wants to eat vegetables? This section has been tagged under “humour” but this week, we are sad, upset, and possibly angry. Unlike Hannah Gadsby who produced Nanette under such circumstances, we’re talentless hacks who will bumble and grumble with many a fumble. So, as we take you through what’s been happening, please hold our hand. Ouch. Not so hard da, what are you the second runner-up from the World Leaders’ Power Handshake Royal Rumble 2017? Yeah, that’s much better. On with the wit-a-mins…

At Home

Flood for thought: Last week when we spoke of the situation in Kerala, it seemed like the worst was over. But boy, were we wrong. In a week of freak rainfall that exacerbated the already terrible situation almost of all of Kerala has drowned with over 1 per cent of the state’s population(!!) in rescue camps as of Friday, others awaiting rescue, and a death toll that’s climbing everyday. Here’s a completely made-up but accurate stat: every Malayali you know would have a relative whose house has been flooded badly and needed rescue/evacuation.

The common people, along with the state machinery, rallied well and rescue operations are going strong. There have been many heartwarming stories, and none more so than the widower of Lini (the nurse who passed away while caring for the Nipah victim in May) donating his first salary to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. The rains have not yet abated and the worst is yet to come, with relief and rehabilitation to follow rescue. Don’t wait for the national (which means Delhi and Mumbai, apparently) media to tell you anything about it, please contribute generously to help Kerala. 

Oh, shoot: How’s your Independence Day week been? Feeling patriotic? Let’s fix that. A university student – Umar Khalid – whose worst crime is that he questioned the government – was almost shot at (remember Gauri Lankesh?) – 200m away from Parliament. What’s more, the assailants owned up to the act and sent the video to cops, claiming they’re proud of what they did. The cops, in turn, said “enh, whatevs”. Of course, Arnab Goebbelswami and his irresponsible fellow yellow journalists found ways to defend this too. Aside: An appeal, please don’t make this column popular. We prefer not to be shot at. In fact, stop reading right now. No, seriously.

Rafail: The INC accusing anyone of large-scale scams seems a little incongruous (er, Incongress?) but the Rafale deal is just that – Rahul Gandhi is crying that the BJP paid more for some fighter planes than they ought to have, and Anil Ambani – who has no experience building planes – is benefitting massively. The BJP refuses to say anything because “national security” (but did manage to bring Pallavi Joshi back into public consciousness after Sa Re Ga Ma). Anyway, with the Rafale deal or Nadal, er, no deal, it’s clear scams are having a, er, Renaissance…

Insattarable: Whee, rupee crosses 70 to the dollar this week, and bhakts who once cursed Congress for letting it cross 60 are justifying it. Shocking. Not as shocking as two Mallus knowing what the Hindi for 70 is and working it into a pun. The real tragedy is not really the rise or fall of the rupee which is mostly dependent on macroeconomic factors, it is that we as a nation were gullible enough to believe a political party that made us think they would be able to strengthen the rupee and got our votes. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled is convincing the world not to delve into the details. Suckers.

Around the world

Hitting the space bar: It’s 2018 and the leader of the free world knows what people want: meme fodder. And so, you might have heard Trump wants to build a “Space Force” – which as it turns out is not altogether a terrible idea. But maybe people would take him more seriously if he started with something other than asking for a vote on its logo? Still on space, NASA shot a solar probe towards the sun that’s going to study it for seven years.

Elor (What do you mean you didn’t get that? Oh come on, put some effort no? That’s role-reversal): Walmart wants to do VR shopping and Google wants to open a physical store!

Bye-gotry?: Ok, now for some happy US news! A transgender, Muslim woman, and African-American woman walked into three primary elections… And won! And you might remember, last year in Charlottesville, there was a massive White Supremacist rally, where a bunch of peaceful counter-protestors were harmed. This year’s rally was a dud, all of 20 racists showed up: Leading to much delight on late-night shows.

Labour Pain: The liberal, Labour Party (the one that’s NOT making the UK the laughing stock of the world by “running” Brexit) has been hit by allegations of anti-semitism, making even Jeremy Corbyn say sorry in an editorial in The Guardian.

RIP: Apart from the rising death toll in Kerala, this freak week also saw the passing of several newsmakers – Somnath Chatterjee, AB Vajpayee, Aretha Franklin, and Kofi Annan.


Get Riyadh of investors: Hmm, wait, Saudis desperately wants to invest in Tesla. Sure. Might as well, now that an emotionally fragile (and very overworked) Musk took to Twitter saying he wants to make the company private.

Made in China: Seek and you shall find, but only if it’s approved by the powers that be. Google has made an inferior version to kowtow to the Chinese government, removing all things they don’t find proper… Tsk, tsk – so much for “Don’t be evil” or, at least, “Don’t do things that get in the way of a happier balance sheet”. Employees are not happy.

Elor (What do you mean you didn’t get that? Oh come on, put some effort no? That’s role-reversal): Walmart wants to do VR shopping and Google wants to open a physical store!

That’s it for this week. But wait, how are you still here after we asked you to stop reading? You beautiful non-conformist you! Let’s see how committed to the cause you are though. Do NOT leave a comment on this page to acknowledge us. Until next week, may the most unexpected people rally round to rescue you from a boring meeting. Bye!