A runner on their own.
A runner on their own.

Colleges will be reopening in about a month. We need a pandemic plan when our administrators have told us implicitly or explicitly that we are on our own. Welcome to the world of essential workers!

In fall 2020, the situation was clear to students and parents, college administrators and teachers: Meet in person and face a significant risk of contracting the virus. Most colleges used commonsense and told students and teachers an in-class option would be available, expecting that few, if any, will be in classes in person, preferring online classes instead. While colleges differed in if or who or…


Having just beaten Nadal at the French, Djokovic is aiming to join him and Federer by winning his twentieth major at Wimbledon this year. He is looking for a grand slam. Soon to be 40, Federer will be in his way, looking to surprise; just like Phil Mickelson surprised the golfing world by becoming the oldest ever to win a major at the age of 50 this year. Who is the men’s tennis GOAT (Greatest Of All Time)?

Every sports fan loves to have the GOAT argument in their sport. For some sports, maybe it is settled: Perhaps Tom Brady…


As a child, I grew up being mesmerized when my dad, a teacher, would bring to life a historical event from a faraway time and place and connect it to a current event that would have seemed tangential at a cursory glance. Juneteenth, a federal holiday now, signifies the end of slavery in America. It should spur us to learn some history. Historical connections help us to understand the cause of societal problems and to develop lasting solutions.

In attempting to solve a problem, be it the inadequate educational attainment of white West Virginians in Appalachia, the gun violence plaguing…


It is the first anniversary of the death of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. How can we make policing better here in America and elsewhere?

There are efforts in many cities, states, and at the federal level to enact laws to improve policing. The general thrust of the laws is that police need to be held more accountable for their actions. There are calls for better training. And there are calls to replace at least in part funding for a police force that is heavily armed to tackle a few potentially violent conflicts with…


Image of vaccination second shot
Image of vaccination second shot

All members of my immediate family in America and India, except a couple have been fully vaccinated. One hasn’t been offered vaccination in his age group yet. Another has decided against vaccination because of medical reasons. Yet another is still deciding. The rest of us, including me, have received our second shots. We have had minimal side effects.

There is so much swirling in the news that I thought I would try to simplify and explain it as I see it. The immediate upshot of vaccinations is the following. We will spend extended time indoors, such as for a meal…


Image of What Would You Do? (Dreamline, Free)
Image of What Would You Do? (Dreamline, Free)

What would you do? At the trial of George Floyd unfolding in Minneapolis, many witnesses agonize over what they could have done differently on that fateful day in May 2020. Simultaneously, we hear about the many who looked the other way when an elderly Filipino woman was assaulted in broad daylight in New York City. Wonder what you or I would have done differently!

When the police officer was kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds in Minneapolis, the few witnesses who had gathered were mostly Black. They saw what was happening to a…


Image of “I Voted” Buttons
Image of “I Voted” Buttons

Democracies are in trouble across the world, in the east, the west, and the middle. Every democracy has its own struggle, from the fledgling democracy of Myanmar to the American democracy of over two centuries.

Because they cannot be all encompassing, laws in democracies are limited in what they can achieve. They set boundaries to avoid only the most egregious abuses. So democracies count on the decency of those in power to interpret and follow explicitly stated laws as well as respect the unstated obvious.

Some threats to democracy are well known. A government elected democratically in a landslide in…


An image of miniature daffodils
An image of miniature daffodils

The tragic Atlanta shootings that killed six Asian women have caught our attention, though neither the violence against women nor the hate mongering against Asians is sudden or new. Is there anything concrete we can do?

While the Atlanta shootings have gripped America, on the other side of the Atlantic, in the UK, the killing of Sarah Everard has got the attention of their citizens. A policeman has been accused of kidnapping and murdering her. The immediate focus appears to be on stopping the vigils for Everard rather than trying to understand how to stop another woman becoming the next…


Image of Ms. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Interview on CBS
Image of Ms. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Interview on CBS

What drove Ms. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the first interracial British royal couple, to exit the family duties? Was it just family disagreements or was it implicit racism? To understand, I was among the millions who tuned in to watch their interview by Ms. Oprah Winfrey on CBS. This Fox News piece is a reasonable summary of what we learnt and did not from the interview.

It was clear. That is how Ms. Markle started her responses whenever Ms. Winfrey pressed her to confirm her comments, such as those concerning her mental health struggles or her son Archie.

The…


An image showing former President Trump and President Biden
An image showing former President Trump and President Biden
We Got Vaccinated. You Should Too!

Part I. The year that was for the virus. A lost year for many of us with many inconveniences. No fun with friends and relations. No dining out or parties. No concerts or sports. No travel and no vacations. We were the lucky ones.

For about 500,000 Americans and many more worldwide who died, it was their last year. Their grieving family and friends mourned in isolation. Millions more contracted the virus and suffered. The more scientific predictions of large numbers of infections and deaths were unfortunately on target, at least in America. The ebbs and flows came and went…

Vijay Violet

I am an American. I care about the planet, its people and animals. I care about the oppressed and marginalized. And I care about the poor, both working and not.

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