Illustrations of hands with a bar of soap surrounded by scared germs

‘Twas the most unusual of gifts — a hamper full of different soaps! Now don’t make fun of me, dear readers, for receiving this gift. I’m sure there will be many who will say, ‘Bob, you must have raised a stink with the speech you gave for them to have given you soap! Or maybe you used too many four-letter words, and the soap was to have your mouth washed so you would talk clean next time?’

I’m not sure, dear folks, but twice I spoke in the same school, and twice I got a hamper of soaps! There they lay all wrapped and lying in my cupboard, looking quite forlorn, as day after day I used sophisticated shampoo instead, and handwash and body wash from the U.S. and ignored those lowly soaps lying in my cupboard.

Till the Coronavirus came along!

Oh yeah, she came, and the whole world went into panic because the whole world, which was sending rockets to the moon, making driverless cars, and 2G and 3G and 4G and 5G hadn’t prepared to see to a betrayal from a virus belonging to their own earth!

And suddenly as the people died, and as they found no cure in labs as they experimented on mice and rabbits, they found one in soap!

“Use soap,” they said, “and keep the virus at bay!”

“Aha, my soap!” I say, as I look with pride at my treasure that lies in my cupboard, and that slowly and steadily fights the virus, “Aha, you are now the cornerstone that the builder rejected!”

Wash, soap, wash, soap and the virus, it slinks away!

In a crisis you have been crowned king!

There are many like the lowly soap in the world. Men and women who feel they be inadequate against those others who they feel are more blessed.

Today is your day!

Today, while the strong around you sigh with depression, you bring light into their darkness, breathe positivity into the world’s negativity, bring hope and tell them you can see a ray at the end of a Coronavirus tunnel or any other dire situation.

Like the lowly soap, you lay quiet like, while those with health and looks and physique ruled the roost, but with the virus gloom, they lay listless on the ground.

So, dear Soap People, you who think you are useless, remember you are not. Build people up, show them the hope that comes from a God above, teach them to trust the Divine, and clean them soap-like, to face a tomorrow with joy.

Like I said, ’twas the most unusual of gifts, but one that today is most cherished. Be one today; a lowly soap that’s standing in the gap twixt life and death. You be the one that stands between despair and hope!

Robert Clements
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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at and can be reached at