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Posts Tagged ‘TV

Why this whole thing is just so wrong

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These terrorists put in so much of effort, time and money into planning something so elaborate – all so that they could go and kill people. Not people of a particular group or ideology or country, but just so that they could go and kill people. It was like they weren’t satisfied with your typical FPS games and needed something more exciting to calm their whacked-out systems.

They killed innocent people. With glee. At CST, they killed a female who was shreiking as she ran towards the door. Then they killed a small child which was presumably disturbing them with its crying. They shot at people who were running because they were running, and then at people who weren’t running because they weren’t. They killed 57 people in this manner.

They then got into cars and went on a killing spree, specifically targeting policemen. They said (those who got captured later, that is) that they were ‘trying to avoid’ people who seemed Muslim. Clearly, they succeeded spectacularly at the former, and failed miserably at the latter.

There was one T actually hiding with a group of hostages until they were calm, and then opened fire and killed them all. And felt pretty proud doing this, I’m sure.

There were these 2 people who were holed up in the storage section of the Taj, and one of them was unfortunate enough to have his phone ring just as he was peeking out to check whether it was ok to run. He never answered that call as  a bullet shattered his skull. His friend stayed hidden with his corpse for hours after that.

I had to subject myself to torture of the highest degree thanks to the craziness going in South Mumbai and the constant stream of ridiculousness and absurdity being beamed into my living room by the ‘exclusive’ reports. The only sane channel was DD News, and that was only because all they were doing was counting off the number of countries who had sent in their condolences. I’ve had a long standing disrespect for the media, especially the Indian guys, and this catastrophe has strengthened my disdain for them.

I was moved when Mr. R. R. Patil, the Dy. CM of Maharashtra, showed emotion and a genuine resolve while talking to reporters. This was of course on a lesser watched Marathi channel because he was not a savvy or sweet-talking ass like most of the people who were hogging MY TIME on the top news channels. On being asked about the nationalities of the terrorists, he just couldn’t continue with the facade of diplomacy and political correctness, and yelled out – “They were Pakistanis. This is a conspiracy of the worst kind, and I will personally do something about this. I promise. They will pay.” This was followed by a vehement “Mera Bharat Mahan” addressed to a particularly loud section of the crowd there. It was at that moment I realized how much we underestimate the power of politics- no matter how horrible these folks might be, they have the responsibility (and quite often the ability) to rally a huge mass of people …

… and then came on our Home Minister Shivraj Patil followed by our Prime Minister Dr. Singh, who assured us that they were very ‘distressed’ and ‘appalled’. They conveyed defeat, confusion and helplessness so effectively, that in one stroke they managed to crush all my hope and optimism. I was led me back to the well-trodden path of cynicism and disgust. Gah.

– I was astonished to find people complaining about the long time it was taking for the rescue operations to complete. As if they couldn’t had been greater asses, these people then went on to crib about how they still couldn’t see security elsewhere in Mumbai. OMFG. I would had lost it then and there itself, but my sis told me about the story of some hostages who were rescued by an NSG soldier. His assurance made me forget the braying going on on TV – “Don’t panic. Don’t fear. I’m here to protect you. The first bullet will have to pass through me before you are harmed. I WILL get you out.” And it was all ok.

– I have always had a fondness for those trivial, insignificant things which make everyday an interesting day worth living and which distract you at least for some time from the humungous problems currently besieging us. These attacks made me guilty about being interested in trivial things. It made me feel immensely dissatisfied with all that I have done so far, am doing currently and I will be doing in the short-term future. I felt like the the stray dog below (from the Big Picture, #28), who suddenly realizes that he’s in unfamiliar territory – it looks and smells like the same place he’s frequented all his life, but something has changed irrevocably. And that pisses him off as well.

Because nobody except us has the right to change anything in our country. Nobody.

Written by sujaybedekar

November 29, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Posted in india, Mumbai, news, politics

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What an Idea?

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Most advertisements these days are often fairly unrelated to the product they promote but people like anyway. The product ends up as an ‘oh what was that ad for? oh yes ___’ thing, which is quite alright I guess. But sometimes, an ad makes you think – not like introspect and all but they make you wonder as to what exactly it is trying to say, especially if there’s a social message thrown in and it is beamed all the time on all channels always.

Take the latest Idea Cellular ‘What an Idea Sirjee’ campaign going around on TV these days. Abhishek Bachchan is a father/ priest in a village who hits upon an Idea to promote primary education, which by itself is a noble cause. Very commendable, very nice indeed.

The followup to this one has a phoren-returned dude getting stunned by a Marathi village kid’s English. Very funny. After all, who doesn’t like to see smart-asses given a polite ‘up-yours’, eh? I do ūüôā

And then you have an old Marathi grandpa saying grace (in English) before a spartan meal because his granddaughter now goes to school. Bravo, I say!

I probably would have left it at that had these ads not been hammered all the time (and at times in succession). The sustained exposure made me think, and making people think when they don’t want to can be quite dangerous. I wondered –

1. Is primary education about teaching English? Rather, is English proficiency a proof of literacy? Wouldn’t you be better off educating the rural kids in their native languages and leave the English for later?

2. I like to believe that I belong to a family of literates, but I never recall saying grace ever at the table. All I remember is my dad saying some mantras on certain special occasions to invoke our forefathers I think. I do recall Christians, though, thanking the Sweet Lord for putting food on their table all the time- especially in movies and soaps when they’re trying to be all happy and family-ish. I suddenly notice that Abhishek Bachchan is a church father in what is clearly a Maharashtrian landscape (a fairly improbable occurrence, btw). The mind suddenly harks back to the whole reason why Christian missionaries came to our shores hundreds of years ago. <pause> Is this ad campaign about educating the young, or is this about ‘converting’ them to the other side? Did I just type that out loud? Oh My (God)^340 million

I’m surprised that no one has noticed this yet. One might say that I’m being all Raj Thackeray-ish (or 90’s Bal Thackeray-ish) but the Marathi manoos of today has got to err on the side of caution these days. Maybe this is what is called overkill or what being cranky and nitpicky is all about – or all of the above.

NB: Given the absurdity of statements one gets to hear these days, I unfortunately find it necessary to clarify that I am actually kidding. If you can’t joke about religion, what can you joke about? Politics? Bah.

Written by sujaybedekar

August 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Pick up the phone, you crazy hip-hopper

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What would you expect from a gathering of around a dozen of the ‘brightest minds‘ of the country (Note: quote-unquote AND¬†italics)¬†when they gather in a dorm room of one of the best Indian MBA institutes? (Note: No¬†quote-unquote-italics)? Do they think/ speculate/ ponder? Do they solve national, if not global problems? Do they contemplate the fate of Indian politics, or better still – contemplate the fate of Indian cricket?

Well, think again.

Your surprise is understandable if you see the aforementioned group (+ moa) sitting in Room 231 (i think) in Dorm 21 (i think) in IIM-Ahmedabad and watching¬†with full concentration and in an infinite loop one of the most absurd songs to have ever surfaced in the Indian pop music industry in the past decade. Each one of these guys has a different facial expression – if one guy¬†is grinning sheepishly (omg! i can’t believe i actually kinda like this), another one is gaping in amazement (this is¬†so ridiculous, it is frikkin’ awesome), while another fella is just plain aghast, as¬†he nostalgically thinks back to the time when people danced around in white shoes and tight pants around columns made of fancy pottery.

The song starts off with a petite dehati-types (villagerish) servant girl dressend in a french-maid outfit calling out to her master –

Naashta taiyyaar hai sir‘ (Breakfast is ready, sire. Come hither).

After that, the breakfast is entirely forgotten, and all the song focuses on is the ‘come hither’ part.

Watch and learn –

Don’t read further unless you’ve watched the song, else most of the hindi references might seem vaguer than they actually are.

It came as a real shock – kind of like the shock I got when I learnt that electrons don’t actually revolve around the nucleus in cute little ring-a-ring-o’-roses- when I came to know that this song was sung by one of India’s premier female playback singers¬†Sunidhi Chauhan. I had to go through the¬†five stages of dealing with grief (i know – i too thought there were just four stages, apparently there are five!). And then I had to go through a sixth stage of¬†lingering astonishment (I think I’m still in it).

What could have possibly possessed Sunidhi to agree to being a part of this song at all?
> I like to believe that I know Sunidhi personally (hence the¬†first-name usage) because she went to the same tenth standard tutions as a friend of mine; although it is true¬† that we never really met and also that she kind of left the tution classes within a couple of months of joining to go and sing. I unintentionally let it be known here that she hasn’t cleared Xth grade.

Anyhoo, because I know Sunidhi so personally, I simply cannot fathom what hold the the ‘Ishq Bector’ fellow had over her to force her into doing this.

Maybe she wanted to do something dumber than her elopement and subsequent ditching of her marriage (I told you, i know her very well :P).

Maybe she lost a bet, and the choice was either to do this or to¬†‘maanj bartan-shartan poochha- vochha in Mr. Bector’s house roz-barabaar‘ (clean utensils-shutensils and floor-vloor daily).

Maybe she had a crush on the Bector guy *shudder*, which made her hope that he would give a ‘zor ka¬†dhakka’ to her ‘dil ki rickshaw‘, rather to her ‘louwe ki rickshaw‘ even if he asked her to ‘foot-foot-foot-foot‘ as he had given her her due bonus.
Maybe she had a bout of what is one of the most popular used defences in all american legal dramas – temporary insanity.

Or – and this is the possiblity where she redeems herself in my eyes, making me want to be associated with her and be famous again by induction – maybe it was all about the money. And the chance to sing ‘Issshhhhh … lo naaaa ……… phoooooone!’

Written by sujaybedekar

March 8, 2008 at 5:05 am

Posted in Entertainment, Music

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Baabul ki dua ka aachar daalein?

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Do I make pickle out of Father’s blessings?

Picture this:Bahu (with saas inset)

You’re a nubile, innocent little phoolsi kali (flowerbud-types) all of 18. Yes you are. You’re very talented too, which basically means that you can cook amazing gaajar halwa and sarson-da-saag and can sing and dance like a professional but very demurely and only when urged on by everyone. For some reason, you decide to get married to this dashing, charming dude, who’s sole purpose in life is to act as a means for you to enter a rich, well-settled family, after which he prefers being like those paintings most people have in their houses – they’re supposed to serve some purpose, but they’re best when they’re always in the background.

In this family, people wear everything from sindoor-in-maang to 5-kilo jewelry to heerein-zevraat ALL the time – when they’re asleep, when they’re awake, when they go shopping for vegetables, when they’re just stepping out of the bath, when they’re doing some loving, when they’re doing some killing, when they’re getting killed- even when they’re being pushed to destitution.

Now that you have got the picture, I urge you to contemplate what would indeed be the equivalent of Sophie’s Choice for you.

<drumroll>

<loud dramatic deep baritone>Babul Aangan byaargh

Saas ki saalgirah ya Maayke mein pooja?” (Mother-in-law’s birthday or Big fancy ceremony at mom’s place?)

Behen ki shaadi ya Nanand ki god-bharai?” (Sister’s wedding or Sister-in-law’s tummy-filling a.k.a. baby shower?)

Baabul ki khushi ya Maang ki pariksha?” (Aged father’s happiness or Sacrifice for husband?)

</drumroll> </baritone>

You would then shake your head in pity, sigh and say “Baabul ka aangan Chhootey Naa“. (Sigh. Why did I get married at all?)

NB: Note how this dilemma is no longer a dilemma if the conditionality in the aforementioned quandaries was tweaked as follows –

Saas Maa ki saalgirah ya Maayke Sasural mein pooja?

Behen Nanand ki shaadi ya Nanand Behen ki god-bharai?

Baabul Maang ki khushi ya Maang Baabul ki pariksha?

Here’s a sample of how things usually look –

This is what the Indian Telly-industry has now been reduced to. Makers of soaps these days are apparently under the impression that people like coming home from a hard day’s work to watch simpering daughter-in-law’s get tortured by evil, scheming moms/sis’s-in-law. They believe that the average housewife’s intelligence cannot grasp the gravity of one tight slap unless it is shown thrice in slow-mo with red filters to convey rage, angst and pathos all at once.

I protest. I protest quite vehemently to this dumbing down of society of which I am very much a part of, and which by a variant of the zeroth law of Thermodynamics implies the dumbing down of me simply by association. This seems to be a classic case of supply defining demand because of a general apathy of the consumer. It speaks volumes about the creativity drought we’re currently being faced with, with the only watchable show (other than ‘Saturday Shuffle with Mia‘ of course) is probably Roadies 5.0 (start from 4.00 min here). Football and the occasional cricket match are all that’s left to motivate me to hunt for the remote these days.

Maybe we should go down the tried and ok-tested route of getting inspired (which I don’t really mind, as mentioned previously). Maybe we should go and linearly execute all Reality T.V. show producers and go telecast this on Aaj Tak, given that they simply enjoy showing random people being bashed up by angry mobs. Maybe we should stop allowing the idiot box make idiots out of us.

Or maybe we should just change the channel.

(I realize that picking on TV Serials is like the easiest of topics, but still …)

Written by sujaybedekar

February 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm

Posted in Entertainment

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