Parannoyed!

Updated: Jul 19, 2020, 07:09 IST | Rahul da Cunha | Mumbai

But now, fear and dread have lodged themselves firmly in my DNA, I have to do some serious thinking of the life beyond

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

Rahul da CunhaWear, wear, wear your mask,
Walking down the street
merrily merrily merrily
Covered from head to feet

So, we're closing in on 150 days of isolation and counting. I have used this time, well, to learn many simple things—like truly mastering the art of jhadoo-pochcha on your haunches, watching how ducks move, put on Discovery Channel.

On a deeper level, like most of us, I have been waiting to get out of the house since March—and every month I've been asked to bang utensils, light diyas, sing 'Achey Breaky heart' in the rain without an umbrella and many other things. But, the lockdown continues, with cases increasing on a daily basis.

But now, fear and dread have lodged themselves firmly in my DNA, I have to do some serious thinking of the life beyond. A vaccine seems some time away, so it's each man to himself in finding ways to cope with the world outside. I flatly refuse to wear a mask, it's just not a style statement, and I wish people to see my full face when they speak to me, and I wish to see theirs, none of this "I wonder what this person looks like. He's laughing but his eyes aren't twinkling." Or, "her eyes are beautiful, but can't see her lips!"

Anyway, dear reader, you will ask what else have I been doing, during these lockdown days. I have been busy inventing several mechanisms to prepare for the the #NewNormal that awaits us.

At some point, restaurants, malls, movie houses, will all reopen, and I aim to cease being a recluse. I wish to attack life with much gusto and some gadgets.
So, here's what's being created at my home laboratory.

1. Green Goggle Virus Vision (GGVV)—for the record Ray Bans want to buy the patent from me—similar to what the FBI wears for night vision in action movies. I have designed these, to detect the virus in people. The X-ray vision enables me to look into the anatomy of my fellow man and detect if the person is COVID-19 negative or positive.

There is also a premium range called the GGVV+, to identify people who are asymptomatic.

2. Cough Busters—this is a small gadget to be worn around the neck—when a person coughs, in a restaurant, in a movie house, or in a gym, the machine tells you immediately if it is a smoker's hack, bronchitis, asthma, a kind of bored cough or the first symptom of COVID-19. You can then take appropriate steps as you see fit.

3. The 'I've Gotcha, Dude'—this is a killer machine—it is like catching a Pokemon, hovering around the atmosphere. It consists of a band, worn around the wrist. You press it every five minutes and it emits a puff of invisible smoke, allowing you to see the Coronavirus dancing an airborne bhangra, or just hanging out on a door knob.

I'm working on a more sophisticated machine, called 'You're Dead, Dude', which I'll be sending to WHO quite soon.

Okay, dear readers, I'm off. Rohit Bal is designing a special PPE designer suit for me. I've got to go for a fitting. See you next week.

Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahul.dacunha@mid-day.com

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