Tuesday, October 06, 2009

H1N1: Why India leads the world with HeeNee - A guest post by the Drift Memsaab

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!

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am very glad to hear India is staying true to its customs !!! Thanks Drift memsaab was a great read. I had tons of friends who canceled their trip back home this summer all for HeeNee.

Deep said...

:) Seven Star Toilets opening when? Will plan a trip for that.

Anonymous said...

On a side note, Drift Saab your page is getting really difficult to find stuff. Lots of changes !!

meena said...

Thanks Drift memsaab! I guess the enterprising desi spirit is alive and well :)

Aspi said...

Anon, it is?! What exactly were you looking for? I thought I had it all laid out well so this is good to hear.

D'Memsaab said...

Deep-the ******* toilets will be supposedly running before the Commonwealth Games in Oct 2010.

Earlier people went to dine at 5 Star hotels to see and be seen. I like your idea of going to visit the 7 star toilet. Very novel, contemporary sampling of culture.

Deep said...

D'Mem, if there is one thing we can make money off in india its got to be digestion. so i'm happy that the indian gov will charge for this. even this nomimal rs 2 fee will generate crores.

Anonymous said...

Drift Saab, I think its a personal choice, but I always like how the comments everyone wrote popped up on the right hand side. Then they were moved below to make space for Basanti tweets. But, now they are gone for good. I guess I have to click on comments of each post to see the comments. If I miss post, at first from the comments could read interesting comments, now I won't see that. I guess, to me the attraction was the subject of drift and what people think, but now it seems more like small part is the actual post and more is about connecting with the other stuff in Bollywood....it just a thought.

Aspi said...

Anon, whoever you are: BollyBasanti isn't as important to you. I changed the location of comments and fixed a wierd Internet Explorer bug I still can't understand so that comments show up.

I need to stop using Google Chrome so I can catch these errors. Thanks for letting me know.

Anonymous said...

Yeahhhhhhh, the good format is back. Thanks Aspi!!.
You are right I don't care much about bollywood tweets, but again you don't have to change that for the few, you must have viewer that appreciates that more than me.
I come to this for your way of writing and also to have interaction from drift followers. Its like a newspaper thing, you pick Indian express over Times, because there is a certain thing that appeals to you and certain group of people. So, it becomes a way of interaction...thanks.

Aspi said...

anon, point well taken and thanks for elaborating. I'm glad you like this. I'll publish a post explaining where things are and such.

musical said...

Thanks Drift Memsaab! I am wondering though if these ******* toilets are for heenee prevention or as a part of the plan for Commonwealth games. I have heard from friends that there are a lot of "beautification" plans for the city, including taking street food carts off the streets!!

D'Memsaab said...

Musical--the toilets are not HeeNee related but for, you know, Everyman/woman's Everyday Needs.

Delhi IS being beautified--but it's like getting a wax job done for the sake of aesthetics. It comes with major pain!! Traffic snarls and dust everywhere....

Lin said...

They're taking food carts off the streets? WHY. Big cities in the U.S. have food carts, and great food carts at that. That's part of the charm. Morons.

As far as the concoction, I think they you're just supposed to mix those ingredients up. And user your preference as to how much of a particular ingredient you will use in comparison to the other ingredients.

Aspi said...

Lin I agree. Instead they should beautify the street carts themselves. Which basically means no stray animals within 50 feet of the cart and a trash can next to each one. That'd take care of the most of the problems.

As for the concoction - black pepper in any brew or infusion should be a national crime as far as I'm concerned.

musical said...

Thanks, D' Memsaab :). Dilli badal rahi hai!! I heard that even IGI has undergone major renovation recently. There were reviews in American media saying that the Airport now looks world-class, but there is no Indian feel to it. Wonder if the reporters were playing the exotification game or geuinely meant something.

I know, Lin! For me, street food is one of the best things about Dilli!! I always thought it adds a lot of character to the city!

Anonymous said...

Any ESPECIALLY DELHI STreet CART FOOD. Where else would you find such great Amritsari chole or malie kulfi. Even Amritsar does not make those chole any more, you would have to go to Pakistan.
I agree with Drift Saab the hygiene should be improved, maybe also have one of those 7* Toilets inbetween 10 such carts. Any, yes get a leash for the stray animals, especially the cows that are not even stray !!! They have managed to accomplish that on the highways, why not filter the same program on the streets and let our Chandi Chowk, Ajmeri Gate, IIT complex survive....

Aspi said...

Not to mention if you took carts off the streets college kids would starve to death. There would be no poverty love either because you couldn't take a date out for cheap.

Lin said...

I hope people in Delhi are raising their voices against this the taking off street carts.

And your idea seems like a pretty good, sane idea, Aspi. But too bad the idiots in charge won't think like that.

What the hell? Damage and ruin the livelihoods of less fortunate people, just so some big fancy games are coming. And who exactly will benefit most from these games then? The rich contractors, etc.

I'm not against the games. And I know there's the argument that the games are forcing Delhi to do somethings and attempt environment friendly procedures (though some have protested and said some practices are very damaging to the environment.)

But the more I think about this, the more it pisses me off. Is there no thought to the livelihoods of these people who make their living off these carts? Not to mention all the culture and charm and damn good food that will be lost.

Aspi said...

Too bad the Chinese won't be there otherwise the cart Chinese stalls would have blown their minds :)

Dhakkan Ji said...

The Ad regarding HiNi is not for treatment but testing by a papaji Diagnostic Company.

The other choices were long lines at a few Govt hospitals for the HiNi Swab.

Aspi said...

Well, avoiding long lines are a sarkari aspataal is worth a few thousand rupees if you can afford it.