Climate concern: The warmest New Year’s Day on record in Britain hasn’t quite set off comments on an Indian winter after an Indian summer, but it has renewed thoughts on global warming, coming just weeks after the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The number of unusually hot days is rising quite suddenly just about everywhere. A temperature of 16 degrees is not exactly warm, but compared to expectations of the dead of London winter, it was mild beyond belief. Almost a summer’s day.
Thinking ‘negative’ thoughts: After the flood of New Year’s Eve parties, the waiting game is now on, to check whether anyone turns out Covid positive. If one does at any party, it’s very likely that many others if not most others will report positive soon enough. Thousands of Indians appear to have found parties just too tempting, and a risk worth taking. They are all praying against a hangover of regret.
Trust factor: It’s a matter of celebration that Councillor Charan Singh Sekhon has been among many of Indian origin picked in the Queen’s honours list on New Year’s Day. As head of Seva Trust UK, he has been particularly resourceful and energetic in community service that has reached out to more than only Sikhs. The award looks set to raise support for the Seva Trust to do yet more.
All in order: The titles of the New Year’s honours appear to have survived waves of political correctness that rise time and again. So Indians are boasting an MBE, OBE or CBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire, Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Order of the British Empire). The empire is long gone, it seems hardly honourable in this day and age to be honoured in the name of the Empire.
Just desserts: Whatever the names, and however unacceptable they may sound, there is much joy over the award of an OBE to Amrit Mann, who owns the Punjab Restaurant in Covent Garden, a quite legendary Indian restaurant in London that was set up by his great grandfather in 1946, when India still was a part of the British Empire, just about. It’s not the history of the place that did it, remarkable as that is. Amrit Mann sponsored more than 200,000 free meals to the needy through the pandemic.