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Monday, April 15, 2019
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Victory of the day

Tiger Woods won his fifth Masters title, and his 15th major tournament. It marks the end of a decade of struggle—which included the very public and embarrassing collapse of his marriage (and the first celeb sexting scandal), and more recently, a debilitating back injury. Bonus read: New York Times excellent read on Woods' path to recovery, ‘Tiger at Twilight’

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EVERYONE'S TALKING ABOUT...

The biggest news story today, explained.

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Jet Airways’ Last Cry For Help

While everyone is fixated on the election, India’s leading airline is on its last legs. A critical meeting to be held today may well seal its fate.

 

First, some background: The bankrupt airline has been struggling to stay alive over the past six months. Failing to find any investors, Jet founder Naresh Goyal finally stepped down last month, paving the way for an immediate Rs 1500 crore bailout by Indian banks, led by State Bank of India. Except Jet hasn’t seen much of that promised money. It is now operating just nine planes. Last week, the company cancelled all its international flights, and many of its domestic routes, including those to Bangalore. And its 1000-plus pilots are threatening to go on strike because they haven’t been paid in over three months.

 

Ok, tell me about this meeting: As a last ditch effort the airline management will meet with SBI officials to demand the immediate release of the promised emergency funds. Airports have already given away Jet’s gates and slots to other airlines. And aircraft leased from other companies have been repossessed. Many of its pilots have fled rival airlines like SpiceJet at a 30-50% pay cut. As one Jet employee puts it, “If lenders had no intention of saving us, they should have let us die earlier. Giving false hope and then reneging is playing a cruel joke on people who are about to lose their livelihood.”

 

Why the delay? SBI is going slow because of the election. According to Mint, “[The] government is busy with Lok Sabha elections and officials are cautious about taking decisions in an environment of political uncertainty.” Also: Taking exceptional measures to bail out a private company may offer ammunition to the opposition.

 

Also expected soon: is an official announcement of the approved list of investors interested in buying a stake in Jet. There are four firms thus far on the list: TPG Capital and Indigo Partners, NIIF and Etihad Airways. But on Friday, Naresh Goyal put in a surprise bid backed by a US-based fund. But it is unlikely to make the final cut—especially since his departure was a precondition for the lenders’ bailout.

 

The bottomline: Expert opinion is divided whether Jet Airways is worth saving, or if the government should just let it fail. Nor is it clear that new investments or even a new owner can revive its lost glory. But that call should have been made last month. This, however, is like rushing a patient to the hospital and then dawdling about putting him on life support.

 

Learn more: Mint’s front-page story on why Naresh Goyal is unlikely to be allowed to bid on Jet. Economic Times reports on why this is a make-or-break moment for the airline. Times of India explains why 12 airlines in India have gone bust in 21 years. These older stories from Quartz trace Jet’s fall from glory under Naresh Goyal, and why the bailout can turn into a Kingfisher-sized nightmare for the bank.

Broadsheet’s ‘Great Election Swayamvar’ in Mumbai

We held our first event ever in Mumbai on Friday, and it left us walking on air. Here are the many reasons why.

 

Reason #1: The group of incredibly smart, thoughtful women (and four men!) who engaged in a lively and thoughtful discussion about the elections, issues, and the future of our nation.

 

Reason #2: The incredible feeling of warmth and camaraderie in the room despite the wide-ranging views on the election, voting and the candidates. Also: despite the seriousness of the subject, there was plenty of humour and laughter. It was a rare breath of fresh air in an election marked by toxic politics.

 

Reason #3: The appreciation of our swag, i.e. the first edition of Broadsheet tees. Folks loved the look and the message (check them out here). Yes!

 

Reason #4: The response to our event. The words and phrases used included: “Such a great format, the way you guys did it”; “Really useful, gave me a new perspective on voting”; “So helpful in how it broke down the issues”; “Please do more of these before every election”.

 

Wait, there is more! We are doing it all over again this evening at Church Street Social from 6-8 pm. So don’t miss out if you’re in town. Come, bring friends, and get ready to enjoy an inspiring evening of wine, nibbles and good company (and our ‘thank you’ swag).  Spaces are limited so please RSVP here.


Learn more: The invite to the Bangalore event is here, and there’s lot more detail on its format etc in the April 11 edition of Broadsheet right here.

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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...

bracing to be bored witless by your GoT-mad friends 

 Your ‘Game of Thrones’ update is here: Yes, the first episode of the last season just aired at 6:30 am on Hotstar. Your GoT mania bonus: this colourful street dhol version of the theme song performed for gudi padwa on the streets of Mumbai. Fun fact: It is the most mentioned TV show on Indian Tinder profiles. Another fun fact: AI predicts the characters most likely to die are Bronn (93.5%), followed by Gregor Clegane (80.3%) and Sansa Stark (73.3%). Of course, as ‘never throners’, this is all Dothraki to us. Quartz has the Indian GoT mania story; Quint has the AI angle; NPR has a handy guide to help ‘never throners’ fake their GoT cred.

 

Online trolls are harassing the woman scientist: Katie Bouman whose algorithm made it possible to take the first picture of a black hole. This is what happens when you give a woman rightful credit for her work? Far better to give a man -- in this case, Narendra Modi—hilariously false credit for exactly the same achievement. (The Verge)

 

And while on the subject of black holes: there’s this other theory: “Like a cosmic nesting doll, a universe may hold black holes with other universes inside them… endlessly.” In other words, we may be living in the event horizon of a black hole ourselves. Yup, there’s a scientist who insists this science fiction-like claim is true. (Florida Times)

 

The Congress press conference that never was: Party leader Kapil Sibal held a presser unveiling what he claimed is evidence of that BJP party chief Amit Shah helped launder Rs 300,000 crore during demonetisation. But not one TV channel or newspaper covered it. A gossip item buried in a newspaper hints at the reason for this studied silence.  

 

Rahul Dravid has a problem: The former star cricketer is the ‘brand ambassador’ of Karnataka state’s Election Commission. And his face has been plastered on posters exhorting all and sundry to vote—which would be the one thing he can’t do this Thursday. The reason: he never got around to registering in his new constituency when he moved houses in Bangalore. Do as I say... (Scroll)

 

The World Press Photo of the year: is this photo of a crying Honduran toddler taken at the US-Mexico border as her mother is being taken away. It is heartbreaking.

 

The greatest invention since the wheel: may be round the corner, ie a 'hangover-free' alcohol alternative that still gets you 'drunk'. (Business Insider)

 

The Depp vs Heard war just got very ugly: Johnny Depp has subpoenaed Elon Musk “to explain the avalanche of video, audio, photographic and testimonial evidence” as part of his defamation suit against his ex-wife. Amber Heard, in turn, has filed documents detailing hair-raising incidents of domestic abuse.

 

Spot what’s wrong with this story: celebrating a “heroic dog” who alerted his owner when a fire started in a building in Kanpur. Thanks to him, 36 lives were saved, including that of his owner Rakesh Gupta and his family. The dog, however, died “as it was tied up and no one escaping the fire had the time to untie it.” (Times of India)

 

The most alarming story on Twitter over the weekend: took place on a local train in Mumbai. No one was assaulted or abused. No one threatened to harm anyone. And that’s what makes it truly worrying. Read it here.

 

Weekend reads you might have missed: include the following:

  • This jargon-free interview with Tony Joseph in Quint is a great summary of his fascinating book which answers the question: Who are Indians and where do we come from?

  • Pankaj Mishra’s essay in The Print compares Modi’s popularity and image to that of Kylie Jenner.

  • Sandip Roy’s wry take in Mint on the Western appropriation of many things Indian, the latest being the jackfruit.  

  • The Wire has the shameful (non)use of the Rs Rs 3,600 crore Nirbhaya fund created to strengthen women’s safety. The numbers are truly dismal.

  • Vogue looked at the raging debate over underage models

  • The Telegraph reports on the thousands of ‘foreigners’ in Assam in detention centres—usually poor, illiterate residents who don’t have the documents to prove citizenship.

  • If you’ve ever been curious about Ivanka Trump, The Atlantic has a mega-story that will answer all your questions.

  • Vir Sanghvi in the Hindustan Times offers a lively account of the atrociousness of airports everywhere.

  • This Medium essay flags a new, strange trend called ‘elective sobriety’.

 

Your Monday morning pick-me-ups: include the following:

  • Modi-ji literally getting the wrong end of an arrow at a rally in Tamil Nadu

  • Astronaut Mike Fincke performing the Assamese dance, Bihu, in space.

  • The world’s largest airplane taking flight, which looks like this.

  • A baby polar bear being comically spooked by a seal.

  • This NPR report on the Edible Archives Project which aims to revive hundreds of vanishing types of Indian rice.

  • A rare, upbeat take on an Indian bank—in this case, HDFC—from The Economist.

  • This story of Pope Francis kissing the feet—yes, literally so!—of two Sudanese leaders in order to bring peace to the nation.

  • This must-see, very pink mascot for a Japanese pharma company that sells enemas.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW

The best place for the best advice

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How to handle a breakup

Each of us has to go through our share of separations until we find that perfect union—or not. Here are some ways to deal with life’s more painful rites of passage. (Note: We are re-upping this guide we published in the early days after our launch for our readers)

 

The Break Up: Breaking up is hard to do, but doing it wrong makes it harder still—especially for the person you’re dumping. So please:

  • Do it in person. No text messages unless it’s someone you dated casually for a very brief time.

  • Do it in private. Forcing people to process emotional pain in public is not ok—unless you fear for your safety.

  • Always be honest, but don’t be cruel. This isn’t the time to overshare. And stay away from platitudes—it’s a betrayal of the intimacy you once shared.

  • Don’t ask/agree to stay friends—not until after a three-month break, at the very least.

  • Be open to discussing it further to help the other person achieve closure.

  • Be absolutely sure. Changing your mind later—and most likely changing it right back again—isn’t going to do either of you any good.

 

The HeartBrain Break:  The first step to recovery is understanding the disease. It’s your mind, not your heart, that is broken. When you are happily coupled up, your brain is accustomed to a daily supply of feel-good neurochemicals: oxytocin (love/bonding), serotonin (happiness) and dopamine (pleasure). When love ends, your addicted brain goes into withdrawal, which includes:

  • Obsessive craving for your drug of choice. Hello, social media stalking, drunk texting, disastrous sex with the ex!

  • Casual sex, drinking and/or substance abuse—i.e. partying hard—to replenish the dopamine because you’ve lost all impulse control.

  • Desperate attempts to replace the oxytocin, i.e. rushing straight into another relationship or just plain begging him/her to take you back.

  • Severe grief, anxiety and depression which can actually hurt your heart (See: takotsubo cardiomyopathy).

  • Emotional pain that our brains experience in the same way as we would physical pain. Yup, you are in torture, literally so.

 

The Recovery: Right, now that you know what is going on, time to get to the business of healing.

  • Be nice. Rehab takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself—even when you relapse.

  • Find your methadone. Up the oxytocin (love) by bonding with close friends, family, and pets. Sunshine, exercise, massages and remembering happy events boosts the serotonin. This works for dopamine too, along with eating and sleeping properly. Flirting is good too. A little ego boost is nice reward for your brain.

  • Do something, anything. Yes, that piece of advice is actually based on scientific research that shows the “placebo effect” works just as well on emotional pain as it does on the physical kind. If you truly believe a particular action or activity helps, it most certainly will. So go ahead, rip those photos right up.

 

Learn more: Here’s everything you need to master the art of moving on.

  • CBC has more on the neuroscience of heartbreak, and how to get over it.

  • This one from Greater Good explains why neurochemistry of love is exactly like drug addiction.

  • Refinery 29 covers every bit of advice—from zen to no-nonsense—out there in this list of 22 tips on how to get over a breakup. There’s briefer, but no less practical advice here in Cosmopolitan.

  • Big Think looks at a new psychological theory that sex with the ex is actually a good thing.

  • Man Repeller asked a bunch of women to share the best piece of breakup advice they’ve received. Our favourite: “Either you break up or one of you dies. Those are really your only options.”

  • In the mood for something more profound? Listen to Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat, Pray and Love) on losing her partner in this Ted Interview.

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