Tag Archives: coronavirus

Musings: Reading and Working during Isolation- A Litany of Thoughts by PRERNA KALBAG & NISHANT SINGH

In this personal essay, Prerna Kalbag and Nishant Singh muse about the changes in life post the pandemic and how reading and working has changed during isolation.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The world has halted. The clocks have stopped. Perhaps for the first time since the advent of the Enlightenment, humanity is in headlong retreat. Every experience of going outside, even for such mundane things as getting groceries, is tinged with the terror and the superstition that the first Men who sailed the seas must have felt. An invisible Gorgon stalks us everywhere, her evil eye is warded off by a diligent ritual of cleansing and sanitization. This fails many times, as people still succumb to the horrid unknown, un-understood illness. Yes, the promise of Enlightenment, which was deemed to have been a mirage a century ago, has finally, completely disappeared, as humanity has once again embraced the irrationality that had been deemed by smug college professors as “medieval”.

Yet, we live. We must live, and we must work. If only because we have absolutely nothing else to do. 

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Quarantine Poetry # 13 – Ummeed (Hope) – Written & recited by Simran Sidhu

This poem, with a very positive message for change, has been written and recited by a young talent, Simran Sidhu. Simran is a passionate creator and performer. She is a Y2 student at SOTA pursuing a literary arts degree.

Simran has been performing since the age of 3 and has performed at a variety of events including the National Day Parade & a women forum for President Halimah & Child Aid to raise money for the school pocket money fund. Her dream is to use her passion for a social greater good.

Dr Eleine Ng reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare

Shakespeare scholar, Dr Eleine Ng (Singapore) reads from Tabish Khair’s Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare.

In powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The Kindle edition of the ebook is available at https://tinyurl.com/quarantined-sonnets

Essay: Homecoming by Karisa Poedjirahardjo

It didn’t sink in until the grocery store, staring down a $9 jar of pickles. And it was only when I got to the candy aisle that I turned around and said, “I graduated!” out loud, defending the non-essential purchase. After that, I said “I graduated” to everything. Organic apple cider from Atkins, an extra bottle of Arizona, recipes from home via BooksActually’s free international delivery for any 3 local titles. 

The family Zoom celebration spiralled into politics: crackling voices fighting for the same cause, but to be louder about it. When the lack of a Premium plan ended the conversation at precisely 40 minutes, nobody was dismayed.

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Editor’s Pick: The Week that was…

Apart from the pandemic, globally we seem to be battling on so many other fronts as well. From floods to forest fires, the natural calamities around us are scary. Every day as we wake up, our hearts pray for some good news amidst all the chaos that surrounds us. And it is this positivity which has helped us stay afloat. Positive stories of humanity, compassion and love show us how together, we will come out of this stronger and better.

“In times of this corona pandemic, people often ask when the world will return to its normal days! Don’t wait for normal days! Assume that abnormal days are normal days! Today’s abnormal normal is now our new normal! The world may not return to its old days; the smart person is the person who adapts to the changing world! All days are normal as long as you adjust yourself to the changes no matter how dramatic these changes are!”

Mehmet Murat ildan
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Quarantined Times of Hope and Despair – Readings by Shabana Azmi

Noted actress Shabana Azmi, reads a short-story ‘River of No Return‘ written by Tabish Khair.

In words of the author,

“The story she reads out here is a story of violence and despair, but the fact that she found the time to make this brilliant recording is also illustrative of the other side of our human crisis: we are not just prisoners in the cells of our devastation. Not during the pandemic, and not afterward. There are ways to connect. There are ways to organize. There are ways to hope.

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Kitaab publishes the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis

Kitaab has published Tabish Khair’s anthology, Quarantined Sonnets: Sex, Money and Shakespeare, in support of Singapore’s Migrant Workers

In this ebook, in powerfully original rewritings that combine humour and satire with acute social and political commentary, Tabish Khair uses William Shakespeare’s sonnets to paint a memorable and moving picture of the world in corona quarantine. This is arguably the first major work of literature to come out of the corona crisis. With iconoclastic humour and intelligence, it runs the readers through a gamut of emotions. It is also a clarion call for change. These 21 sonnets range from initial humorous riffs on the foibles of our age but grow progressively darker and more acerbic, while always playing with Shakespeare’s original works. A must-read for our times!

Profits from this e-book are being donated by the publisher and author to Migrant Workers Centre, Singapore, helping migrant workers to cope with the current economic crisis complicated by the Novel Coronavirus pandemic. Read more

Kitaab TV: Top 3 Things to Help Startups Survive the Coronavoris pandemic – Sidhi Dhir, TiE Singapore

“Either you do the time or the time does to you.” (Cole Sirucek)

In this exclusive interview, Sidhi Dhir, Executive Director of TiE Singapore, talks about the unprecedented challenge that all businesses are facing today arising out of the Covid-19 crisis. Funding has dried up and startups are trying to cope with the situation by pivoting and re-inventing themselves on a week by week basis. There are three things that Sidhi mentions that all startups must pay heed to in order to survive the pandemic.

Sidhi Dhir serves as the Executive Director of TiE Singapore. TiE is a global non profit organization which aims to foster entrepreneurship. Sidhi has been instrumental is forging deep ties with government bodies, corporates, investors and founders to create a robust startup ecosystem. Her main focus has been to assist growth stage startups expand their business beyond Singapore. Sidhi’s diverse skills include sales & partnerships, board management, and product development. Prior to TiE Singapore, she was the co-founder of a cleantech e-waste auctioning platform, ran a family owned-manufacturing firm and created e-commerce solutions for the hospitality sector. Sidhi has 15+ years of experience in Technology and Startup ecosystem, across Singapore, India and Silicon Valley, She is an advisor to tech startups in growth strategy, market & capital access and to help set up their advisory board.

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