Monthly Archives: December 2004

The whirl this week

Life has again been a whirl, this week. Clocking late nights in office so that I could take leave *at least* in the last week of this year, was a part of it. It took my maid to remind me that today is christmas. That awareness keeps slipping out of my mind. She asked me if today was “bada din”. It took me some time to gather all those hindi synonyms for Christmas et al. Those hindi hymns featuring “Yesu”, that we sang as kids came rushing back.

This week, Delhi has finally seen the “first day, first show” of “Dhundh – The fog”. Now I can say that winter is here finally. Somehow gradually, over the years, the winter season has been shifting further down the calendar year. But when it arrives, it makes sure you know that it has. I have been driving down late at night with some fog (or was that smog) blurring my vision. Constant dew on the windshield makes matters worse. My sympathies go out to all those who are stranded at airports at these times. Last night at 11 pm, when I had to leave from the office, the fog was literally flowing like thick smoke. Thankfully, I chose the office cab service instead of driving myself. I would not be exaggerating when I say that I could barely see the driver in front of me, from the backseat :-|. The fog required a whole lot of daring to drive straight (or wherever) ahead without knowing where you are heading!

Inspite of the foggy season, there was one exceptionally clear, dark and inky black night, few nights back. The place where I stay now, has a much clearer sky than Delhi. I could see *so* many constellations when I looked up. The sky looked much different from what I knew it. There were zillions of clusters visible to the naked eye and so many hazy stars which didn’t twinkle as brightly but were there nevertheless. I felt like I was in a planetarium. It dawned on me that the “artificial” sky that planetariums have (and which I found so unnatural) are actually closer to the real thing. I almost wished for a blackout so that the few street lights would also go out. With Haryana govt who needs to worry about these kind of wishes. My wish was instantly granted in an hour. I got adventurous and headed out into the cold at 12 in the night, with my handycam in tow. The sky was amazing. I just kept gazing at it. Sadly and as I expected, my handycam could not capture a single star. (I wish to click a snap like this someday). A few minutes later, I realised that the constellations had shifted majorly in the sky. That was quite a whirl, which I barely felt!

Here’s wishing everyone a merry xmas and a happy new year! Have fun snowballing, skiing or maybe imagining these activities, while I get myself a hot cuppa coffee.

Reality bytes 2

What’s with all TV channels joining the rat race for making the most “realistic” TV show which would fetch them high TRP ratings? They can’t even be original to say the least. I have seen just one episode of ‘Indian Idol’, where the 3 notorious judges – Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam (not looking like the apso that he looks now), dissect the personality of the so called participants. In case someone doesnt know, they are notorious for being rude. Anu Malik is the rudest. He doesnt need to make an effort. Venom spills from that forked tongue of his and he kind of takes pride in being sarcastic. Farah Khan looks as if she’s got it on her mind to be rude. She thinks, pauses, and then lets out something that would make a participant wince. Sonu Nigam is quite spontaneous &jhatpat to give an opinion and mebbe because of that he’s the least vile of the three.

When I watched it, the city where they had conducted this farce was by chance Delhi. I call it a farce because it appeared quite stage managed and certainly not reality the way they claimed. There was an assortment of participants. Some sang well, but were ridiculed by the judges. Some sang so-so but were accepted by judges on basis of their looks or because the participants were sucking upto the judges. Some were really good and were taken (but of course, it was supposed to be a talent hunt all along). Of course, some were *really* really bad and they did need to be questioned whether they were even aware of it. There was some guy who came and did some weird exercise of touching his own feet and various parts of his body in a yoga manner. The judges got really flustered (mebbe because they were jealous of this yoga flexibility) and snapped at the guy to hurry up. The guy tried a little emotional dialogue by saying that he had some problem in his body because of which he needed to do all this before singing and that they should not make fun of his problem. Beats me, how all this had any connection with his throat. Anyway, the judges didnt buy it either and snapped at him to start. The guy sang a new classical rendition of the “Nirma” ad and sang it well (mebbe his exercise worked), but he was told by all three judges in a very rude manner that he was a misfit & his choice of song was outrageous. The guy got pretty angry and started fighting with them on camera. He told the judges that he thought it was pretty rude of them to have behaved the way they did and they could have been more polite certainly. Kewl reality this.

Then, there was a woman who was blind and had especially come to audition. On seeing her, the judges kind of got overwhelmed and suddenly turned respectful (sympathy with the handicapped). The lady sang a nice number with a lot of emotion and expression and needless to say she got through, though there were several like her or better than her who got kicked out. Her “Sonu Bhaiyya” specifically remembered her from Sa-Re-Ga-Ma. Then, came a painter (prolly from Ludhiana). And no, this was not the MF Hussain variety. This was the hanging-in-some-makeshift-jhoola-painting-house variety. Again the judges warmed up (sympathy with poverty). This guy sang an amazing Mohd. Rafi number and for once the judges were all praises. Then, there was some guy, who was just ok, not really great with a Shaan song (and Shaan songs are what he sang later too), but he kept flashing a sweet (according to Farah) smile all the time. He got through (I feel) because of that.

There were a couple of others who sang ok or well, but got kicked out for no apparent reason. Newspapers mentioned some lady, who took the whole venue by storm because her daughter was ungracefully thrown out of the elimination rounds. I didnt witness this “reality”. One interesting statistic from the Delhi episode – the song which was sung by most participants was “Bheege Honth tere, pyasa dil mera“. Gotta get real, these singers.

Suddenly ppl’s idea of reality is to shock the viewer. “Instant recall” perhaps is the theory behind it. There are lots of reports in the papers too about how these so called reality shows are stage managed, Indian Idol and India’s best being among them. I dont even know the names of the various such clones on every other alpha, beta, theta channel.

US has already started showing reality shows where wives exchange their ‘oh-so-boring’ husbands for a week. In other words, swinging is just a game now. Temptation island was another. Soon this stuff would be all over the country, in desi flavour. “Slurp” would say the couch potato generation. Is it a surprise that they cant distinguish between the real and the idiot box variety of life?

Given a chance, I would like to start a reality show of mine. “The Great Indian Cookery Show”, I would christen it as. Compared to these oxymoronic unreal-reality shows, at least *there*, I would know that if the nymphet-like-cook-with-the-pearl-drop-like-tears is crying, it’s for “real”, because she’s peeling an onion.

Cellphone made a porn star

Not very long ago, Video had killed a radio star. But who ever imagined that Cellphones would end up making *porn* stars! Or that instant (porn)stardom would start having different meanings! For those who haven’t yet got what I am going on about, here’s a snip of this incident.

NEW DELHI: In a shocking incident of abuse of cellphones by children, a student of a leading public school in the city filmed a sexually explicit visual of a girl, from the same institution, with a camera phone, which he then circulated as MMS.
Both the boy and the girl, as well as eight other students of Delhi Public School, R K Puram, have been suspended for carrying cellphones to school, sources said.

The school has also issued a 15-point guideline for parents and children, especially barring the students from bringing cellphones to school, the sources said.

The video clip, depicting the girl in a sexual act, was messaged by the boy to his friends and it got circulated to students in other schools. _______________________________

Frankly I am amazed that those “kids” have *this* as their idea of fun. Class 11th is not “kids” anymore. Our society is fast converging with what were suppposedly US cultural norms. But clearly, the thing that has affected ppl more is NOT the fact that a girl & guy indulged in oral sex at *school*, but the fact that it was recorded explicitly and passed on shamelessly. I just can’t fathom what these students expected to happen after circulating that MMS. It’s obvious that they just don’t know what “Jug Hasayee” (loosely translated, it means, the whole world laughs at you) means! Especially in this era of high speed & wireless technologies, the ramifications of such an incident are much larger than can be imagined. It’s difficult to comprehend how a young adult could have so callously ruined one’s own life with such a stupid thing.

Well, I for one, dont blame these “kids” entirely for this. All that happened can be more attributed to their parents and to some extent – the society. Today there’s perhaps a lot of peer pressure when one is in school, to lose ones virginity or to try stuff that might appear “daring” in nature. Parents can go on blaming the society for problems like lack of censorship in TV, cinema et al. But inspite of these issues, it’s the parents who have a major role in ensuring that their kids *do* have a stable head on their shoulders and dont get carried away, even with this kind of an atmosphere.

School admission in a reputed school – 75 K
Multimedia enabled camera phone – 15 K
The look on the parents face when they see their children’s “act” – Priceless.