With nothing happening in the world to blog about as such (There is a lot happening actually, but like the gossip-stricken Indian media, I’m more concerned about a spat on a reality TV show, Shahrukh Khan appearing in an item song and Kareena Kapoor inaugurating a jewellery store), I decided to hop back in time to pluck out some of India’s most embarrassing ideas and their even more delirious implementations.
Regional pride and the “Sons of the soil” concept are numero uno in the list. In what is an absolutely baseless, senseless, hopeless, half-mental and three fourth-detrimental school of thought, Raj Thackeray and the MNS have outdone all other embarrassing Indian ideas to actually create a North-South divide that is anti-constitutional, anti-national and all the other anti’s you could pick out from your understanding. God only knows what Thackeray had in mind when he decided to undertake some “noble work” for his “fellow populace”. Unleashed on the roads were wild Marathis who sabotaged “non-local” cab drivers, ruined their hard work and proceeded to showcase the un-Indian paranoia that has gripped them with a demonic clasp.
There was a ghastly, mind-boggling, common sense-defying suggestion not too long ago in the Times of India editorial stressing on why cricket players from different countries should play for another country. The article tried to convince me and other astounded folk of the country who read the same that how exciting it would be to watch Brett Lee put on an India jersey and represent cricket’s most passionately supported team. How exciting, indeed. Our lack of sports intelligence clearly shows as we are willing to go to such extents to ensure maximum entertainment. Entertainment, I said. Not passion and love for a sport. This one wasn’t implemented. I guess, not even considered.
Another appalling Indian idea was the government’s decision to remove hockey and football from India’s list of “sporting priorities”. One is India’s national sport. The other is the world’s most followed sport. To the embarrassment of the federation, the players of both sports produced outstanding Cup tournaments which followed this horrendous decision. The men with the sticks won the Asia Cup after producing a goal fest (57 goals were scored by India. Only 5 were conceded) and an authoritarian display to run amok. The footballers won India’s first trophy, the Nehru Cup, since the LG Cup in 2002.
Some more absurd ideas and their implementations will follow soon. Till then, let’s hope reality and the Indian government don’t throw up new ones.
There would be numerous instances of how prime time TV comprising the baas, the saases, the bahus and four to five of their following generations (and counting), the privilege of which is beyond the understanding of any human being, affects the bona fide baas, saases and bahus of our world.
Firstly, I’ve seen people hold up their hands in incredulous agony when a protagonist in the soap is killed off, albeit temporarily of course. Screeches of “Nahiiiiiii” from the various make-up dolls surrounding the dead corpse on screen and the terror unleashed on people on this side of the TV set make the hackneyed dialogue “Main lut gayi, barbaad ho gayi” sound refreshingly new. This junk is then followed up with ear drum-traumatizing musiiiiiiiiiic (The relay is as distorted and disturbing as the word “music” written in this format and can give rock star-cum-nasal connoisseur Himesh Reshammiya a run for his money.) and split-second snapshots of bewildered support cast in a sequence generated by no particular algorithm.
Later on, our fellow humans scamper for the post-commercial break previews shown at the onset of the break. These will again have sense-flouting tit bits of the horror to follow soon. These commercial breaks see the instigation of two significant events – the mute button being pressed on the remote control and anxious housewives dashing out of their drawing rooms to check on whether the food being cooked for work-exhausted husbands hasn’t scalded, yet still more bothered about the upcoming progression of events on their TV screens.
Finally, as the display of life-defying torment comes to an end, you have a set of events which will generate a massive amount of curiosity and trigger phone calls, nation-altering debates and an assurance to the soap producers that we are firmly seated on the bandwagon and looking forward more than ever to next day’s histrionics.
Life is normal again. Well, at least till tomorrow.
Even as young Indian bowler Ishant Sharma tries to vindicate national pride over regionism (I don’t think this word exists. But we may have just invented it), the parochial nature of us Indians will never cease. Sharma’s fearless (Many of us will again have a different view on his actions. I heard one guy tell another guy “Look at Ishant overdoing it. One of these days, Symonds is going to beat this kid up.” Our first thought as usual is that the white-skinned are magically more powerful, blessed with brute force gifted from the Gods above that is just beyond our scope. They say we bowed down to them till August 17, 1947. But I’d say that somehow somewhere we still do so.) show of aggression is welcome, actually. The ICC chose to focus on the youngster and fine him 15% of his match fees. But if it inspired many of us one billion citizens to stand up to our adversaries, then it is a minor loss.
So, the Aussies still haven’t got used to the cricket world waking up to sledging. It’s true that such displays should be within the limits. But the Aussies never let anyone define the limits. On infinite occasions, the world champions have used their vice-like grip on cricket to win at all costs. The hitch here is that they have dropped bits of respect and sporting spirit along the way, terms that don’t mean much to them you’d reckon. Most of it was lost on that one fateful day in Sydney not long ago.
Coming to regionism, the Tamil Nadu government wants Tamil to become a compulsory language in the state. The difference between compulsory and official here is that non-Tamilians residing in the southern state would be expected to learn it. So what are the reasons for another ludicrous show of 2008’s Absurd Indian Thoughts & Implementations(a post on this soon)? Why is the Supreme Court’s time being wasted in such thoughtless anti-national blow-ups instead of imparting justice in pending court trials? It has been predicted in the past that regional parties could spark a lot of unrest in the national makeup. That means it could get worse than it already is.
Cometh the hour, it is us and us only who make the choice to pursue our own regional interests for the development of our “people” or ensure that national interest prevails above all. Again, for the development of our “people”.
Notice the word “people” in the sentences above. There is no difference. Are we forgetting that?
It’s a weird world. No wait, it just got weirder.
This “weird” piece on DNA India’s website reports about an Argentinean girl who is the mother of seven kids at the age of just, well yes, 16. She had given birth to a boy at the age of 14 and followed that up with two sets of triplets in consecutive years giving doctors something to brainstorm on.
I’d written about my feelings on mob justice in modern India in a previous post. And now we have a second case to reflect on. Two students in Hajipur, Bihar engaged in a fight over a mobile phone which turned ugly when one of them stabbed the other, dragged him onto the streets and was “assisted” in this self-endorsed act of justice by a mob. Our age-old habit of chickening out and turning into mere spectators came good once again. Not just the people, even the police.
If anything improves in the country with time, it is the degree of controversy generated by a syndrome of “we-hate-each-other-so-damn-much” actions complemented by an in-built urge to curb benevolence and go deaf and dumb at malevolence.
The war of words between actor Shahrukh Khan and Union Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss regarding the on-screen smoking controversy reached another level after the minister accused SRK of trying to limit the scope of the word “creative liberty”. Ramadoss directed praise at Aamir Khan and his once-in-many-lifetimes Taare Zameen Par, stating that creativity should be used to improve societal minds and not encourage habits that kill a million Indians every year.
Talking of SRK and Aamir, the country is braced up for a potential Filmfare awards “upset” when SRK takes on the more-deserving Darsheel Safary for the Best Actor accolade. SRK may have produced a decent effort in Chak De India, but no one can rule out the influence that Darsheel and Aamir have had on our lives since Taare Zameen Par and it would be great for him to snap up the honour.
Something right should happen once in a while to continue to keep hope alive. It is on a life-critical support system already…..