The Drift Memsaab returns from India assured that HeeNee is in good hands there.
I recently undertook a whirlwind tour of India. Having read much about the panic surrounding H1N1, I packed surgical masks and antibacterial lotion. Once in India, I read every bit of news on the H1N1 virus. To my surprise I found that India was far ahead of the rest of the world in terms of making friends with this virus and getting rid of it.
The Swine Flu has been lovingly nicknamed in India. It is called "HeeNee" by many. This is a rough abbreviation of H1N1 if read as HiNi. (Ok, get it now??)
HeeNee fear was everywhere. And where there is paranoia - there are profits! Seen on hoardings was this ad: “Swine Flu DETECTION for Rs. 4500/- only. Call today...”
But while we are still waiting for the vaccine in the US, India is waaaay ahead of us. Thus this ad: “Swine Flu TREATMENT for Rs. 4500/- only. Call today…”
Also noted in the Delhi Times: “Increase your body’s immunity to H1N1 by drinking a concoction of ginger, tulsi and black pepper.” Now I am all for Aryurveda so this was fab advice! But the recipe for the said concoction was missing from the newspaper article! Go figure…
The World Health Organization has heaped praise on India’s approach to controlling the HeeNee and advised other countries to do the same, i.e. closing schools to decrease spread of the flu. Deliriously happy kids are healthy kids! Now this is one brilliant prevention strategy that has “Made in India” stamped all over it!
And finally, unrelated to H1N1 (or is it?)…how can one resist bathroom jokes after the India visit?
The Times of India noted that Delhi is developing “Seven Star Toilets.” These will be stationed at major markets and will cost Rs. 2 per use. To prevent people from hoarding two rupee coins the authorities have ingeniously decided to create Toilet Debit Cards. You swipe your card and do your business in Seven Star style!