D for Vir (D)as

Most of the readers would remember Vir Das for acting in a couple of Bollywood movies (Go Goa Gone, Delhi Belly). But what makes him stand-out is the fact that he is one of the first few successful stand-up comedians taking the craft of humor to an international level. In 2017, he was the first Indian stand-up comedian to debut on Netflix with his show ‘Abroad Understanding.’ The versatile performer has hosted shows across different genres, written for esteemed magazines and repeatedly made it to the Netflix platform with shows like ‘Losing It’ and his latest, ‘For India.’

Vir Das - Source:LBB
Vir Das – Source: LBB

Known for his strong opinions on politics, society and human behavior, Das is often seen speaking about the uncomfortable and bitter realities coated with a layer of humor. His bold views have subjected him to trolling but the sassy performer has delivered a comeback in his classic witty style.

This is the fourth post in the Blogchatter A2Z series under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona.’ See you tomorrow as I disclose the name featured in the post for E.

You can read the previous posts here. Have fun watching this clip from Vir Das’ first Netflix special.

C for Captain Nick

Last year, I came across this channel on YouTube called Captain Nick. Content creator Niharicka Singh who runs this channel posts videos of different formats but most of these are hilarious and ridiculously relatable. She plays multiple characters in her comedy sketches, the most famous among this being Mataji. There are comedy videos, sketches, vlogs and a couple of challenges but the intrinsic factor that connects all of these is the underlying humor.

Captain Nick - IWMBuzz
Captain Nick – Souce: IWMBuzz

If there’s one aspect that makes her stand out, it is her straightforward nature and honesty that comes across as her USP in the videos. A former RJ, Captain Nick is ruling the trending list with her characters and content.

This is the third post in the Blogchatter A2Z series under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. I hope to see you tomorrow as I reveal the name of the featured artist in the post for D.

You can catch up with the previous posts here. Enjoy this video by Captain Nick as I leave you with a smile.

 

 

 

 

B for Biswa Kalyan Rath

The first time I watched Biswa Kalyan Rath, more popularly known as Biswa was on the hilarious Bollywood review series called Pretentious movie reviews where he shared the stage with Kanan Gill.  I watched a couple of his videos on his YouTube channel and was blown away by the way he found humor in the mundane things. Next came his stand-up special ‘Biswa mast aadmi’ on Amazon Prime. One look at the video and the introduction is bound to crack people up. He spoke about his childhood, his parents (his father Jagan Mohan Rath became a famous character), regular topics like booking an Uber and managed to keep the audience entertained till the last joke. What was unique about the show was that he hardly took any pause between the segments.

Biswa_Kalyan_Rath
Biswa Kayan Rath: Source – insider.in

He has made a special appearance in a couple of shows like ‘Better life Foundation.’ but it was after he turned a story writer and creator with the show ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’ that Biswa went beyond his stand-up comic persona to showcase the versatile artist within. Both the seasons of the show on Amazon prime dealt with the harsh realities of life but were packed with sarcasm and dark humor. The IIT-Kharagpur alumnus has also been a judge on various seasons of comicstaan and was last seen in his second stand-up solo on Amazon prime titled ‘Sushi’. Biswa’s words have the endearing aspect of being relatable while delivering a punch under the veil of humor.

This is the second post in the BlogchatterA2Z challenge under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’ I hope to see you tomorrow as I reveal the one who gets featured in my third post for C.

You can read my previous post in the series here. Don’t forget to enjoy humor in Biswa’s style in the video below.

Why I recommend vaccination for every child

22nd September 2015 was when I entered into the new phase of motherhood. As I held the tiny bundle of joy in my arms after a difficult c-section, everything else felt inconsequential. In a while, the Pediatrician came for his round of duty and this was when he spoke about the need for vaccination in the case of new-born babies. My husband, also a Doctor by profession, listened attentively as the Pediatrician explained the vaccination chart to us.

The next couple of weeks were about getting adjusted to this new schedule of life. My focus area had shifted to understanding the importance of WHO-recommended exclusive breastfeeding for six months and surviving the state of being perennially sleep-deprived. I was lucky to be surrounded by an understanding and supportive family to help me cope up with this sudden change that was both physical and psychological.

Amidst such a chaotic life, reality dawned on me once my infant turned six weeks. The first vaccination was due and the nervous mother in me shadowed the rational individual that I was normally known to be. It was at my husband’s insistence that we decided to visit the Pediatrician. As I spoke my heart out, the empathetic and knowledgeable doctor emphasized the importance of vaccination in the life of a newborn baby.

He spoke about the functionality of vaccines in protecting babies against life-threatening diseases like Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Viral Diarrhea, Polio and Haemophilus Influenza B.He went on to elaborate how immunization helped in curbing complications related to diseases that could lead to convulsions, meningitis, encephalopathy, and death. While I was convinced about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, the Pediatrician was patient enough to dig deeper into my worries about the pain related to injections. It was at this point that he introduced me to the new concept of an acellular vaccine with less pain.

I was shocked to find that as per a recent report, one of every four child-deaths (high infant-mortality rate) in India was caused by pneumonia and diarrhea, two infections that could be controlled and prevented through immunization. In the last couple of years, I researched to understand how the benefits of vaccination extended much beyond the prevention of specific diseases in individuals to enable a healthy and fit future for societies and nations. Vaccination in the long term indeed saves time and money while also taking care of the weakest members of society.

Every parent wants to protect their child from all kinds of untoward instances. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness and the spread of misinformation on social media often lead them towards decisions that might not be favorable for the child’s health and future. In the course of staying updated with the vaccination schedule for my now 4-year-old son, most of my misconceptions related to immunization have been replaced by research-backed information. Today, I can gladly say that I have chosen a healthy future for my son as well as the future generation by deciding to protect him with the shield of immunization.

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding, and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

A for Amit Tandon

While Ashish Chanchlani would have been a bigger name for the 17 million followers he entertains on his YouTube channel, my personal favorite happens to be Amit Tandon aka The Family Man.

Amit Tandon
Source:tandonamit.com

Amit’s jokes are centered around a typical middle-class family and are generally devoid of abusive language, making him a perfect choice as a family entertainer. He was one of the first stand-up comics to debut with a  show on Netflix and has a huge audience base across the globe. You can catch his hilarious videos on his YouTube channel here.

Here’s one of my favorite videos. Have fun.

This is the first post of the Blogchatter A2Z challenge 2020 under the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’. See you tomorrow as I unravel who gets featured in the post for B.

 

Theme reveal post – Blogchatter A2Z-challenge 2020

This is my third year at the A2Z challenge / Blogchatter A2Z challenge. The first year was thrilling. I wrote on the theme ‘A dollop of Bengal’. I followed it up with my debut Detective Thriller ‘Deal of Death’ that is available on Amazon here. The second-year was a little hectic because my son started school in mid-April. I wrote on parenting with a dash of humor.

This year, I was in a dilemma whether to go ahead with the challenge or drop the idea. I am into my fourth month of an MFA creative writing course and currently, I’m juggling three fiction classes there. At one point, I almost thought of giving up this challenge because I was already writing 4000 words on a weekly average.

But the excitement of participation didn’t take long to rub one me. I started hunting for themes. Blogchatter gave me some great advice. All I knew was that I couldn’t write beyond 100 words per day. So, after ransacking my brains, I realized that I am going to go ahead with the theme ‘Laugh in the time of Corona’.

2badge

Considering the anxiety that all of us are going through, I wanted to speak about anything other than the deadly virus that seems to have brought our lives to a standstill. So, I will talk about Indian stand-up comics on the net, shows that promote humor in the form of a stand-up special or through YouTube channel. As we grapple with the pandemic engulfing our existence, this is my way of dealing with stress.

So, hop on as I start preparing this joyride beginning on April 1st, 2020. Subscribe to my blog to stay updated. You can also follow me on FB/Twitter/IG @soniasmusings.

In the meanwhile, stay safe, stay indoors and don’t forget to wash/sanitize your hands.

Preservative-free vaccines for a healthier future

In an era of the internet and global exposure, an individual has multiple means of assessing the available options to fathom the consequences of their choices. When my son was born, both my husband and I wanted to check every aspect of the mandatory vaccines that were to be injected once he reached the milestones in life. It was our pediatrician who enlightened us with an in-depth analysis of the need for vaccination in children. But there was a nagging feeling about the side-effects of preservatives in vaccines after we came to know about mercury being one of its components. We carried out a detailed check about the need for preservatives in vaccines before going for a detailed discussion with the pediatrician.

From the available sources, we understood that preservatives were compounds that killed or prevented the growth of microorganisms like fungus and bacteria. In case the vaccine was accidentally contaminated due to repeated needle puncture of multi-dose vials, the preservatives prevented microbial growth. Thimerosal, (approx 50% mercury by weight), has one of the most widely used preservatives in vaccines.

In 1998, there was a study in Britain where a Doctor claimed about the MMR vaccine causing autism in children. Thimerosal was one such ingredient that was considered to be responsible for this hazard. This study led to such an uproar than many parents shunned vaccines. The results were proved to be incorrect due to the small sample size and various other conditions not taken into consideration for a conclusive deduction. Eventually, the FDA, CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine had to declare the usage of Thimerosal in vaccines as safe to eradicate the fear and bring the vaccination process back on track.

Yet, one cannot deny the fact that mercury is known for its toxicity. While there is no conclusive proof for its harmful effects as a preservative, no study has also proved for certain that it is safe. This is what makes the case of preservative-free vaccines stronger.

In the last few years, Thimerosal has been removed from most of the vaccines used in developed countries. However, it is still used in vaccines meant for developing countries. While the lack of awareness is one of the reasons, the fact that vaccines are sold to developing countries in multi-dose vials at a lower cost-per-dose also makes them a preferred choice. It is assumed that single-dose vials of vaccines (preservative-free) are not economical for developing countries, both in terms of the cost of vaccines per unit and cold chain requirements. But these assumptions might not be based on the actual scenarios in these countries.

Multi-dose vials have the added advantage of occupying less cold-storage space per dose. This aspect is overshadowed by a shocking percentage of vaccine wastage. Single-dose vials become more appealing and effective in terms of simplifying inventory logistics and vaccine tracking. In a developing country like India, one of the strongest reasons for switching to single-dose vials in the future could be the process of cost-effective manufacturing of these ampoules which makes them affordable.

Based on our discussion, the pediatrician agreed to our choice of a preservative-free vaccine. It took us an additional week to comply with the vaccination schedule but we decided to stick by our conviction of a healthy future for our son. While the findings of research-based studies related to the effects of mercury in vaccines have been vague and full of conflicts, we consider it advisable to be better safe than sorry. Hence, if the option of a preservative-free vaccine is available for a child, it is always recommended to consult with the pediatrician and opt for the same.

What’s #YourCareQuotient? How much do you understand your child when it comes to sleep patterns, feeding, and vaccination? Take the easy, interactive quiz that guides you and get the childcare guide now.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog content are independent and unbiased views of solely the blogger. This is a part of the public awareness initiative supported by Sanofi Pasteur India. Sanofi Pasteur bears no responsibility for the content of the blog. One should consult their healthcare provider for any health-related information.

References –

https://www.fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/safety-availability-biologics/thimerosal-and-vaccines

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/patient-ed/conversations/downloads/vacsafe-thimerosal-color-office.pdf

https://vaccineindia.org/article/thiomersal

https://ijme.in/articles/commentary-controversies-surrounding-mercury-in-vaccines-autism-denial-as-impediment-to-universal-immunisation/?galley=html