The media world is on fire ! The wildest and weirdest rumours are doing the rounds, about the unlikeliest of people ( I want to believe them all - that's what rumours are for!). Let's call it 'Silence of the Lambs - Part 2' . Or better still, 'Sleeping with the Enemy's Enemies." But mediawallas have suddenly turned coy and principled about delving further into the dirty controversy ( potentially bigger than 'Watergate'), even though by now it's a khullam khulla' affair. Let's just call it an 'Open' book ( take a bow, Manu Joseph!). It's out there in the public domain - and nobody has denied the contents of the (planted?) transcripts so far. Amazingly enough, even the usually belligerent and\or shrill tv anchors are soft peddling the issues raised ( senior journos pimping for corporates and political parties ). But... worse, much worse than anything on those incriminating tapes ( how I love that Roberto Cavalli gown tid bit!) is the scarey scenario involving wholesale and entirely illegal\unconstitutional phone tapping of citizens. Despite the seriousness of this scandal,suddenly, scoop hungry mediawallas have discovered a conscience and claim to be hugely conscious and aware of 'ethical' issues while waiting to 'authenticate' those damaging tapes. No such reservations in the past while going ahead with other sensational exposes involving non-journos. Could it be a case of everybody being nanga in the hamam? Who will bell the cat? Who can afford to ?
This appeared in the Bombay Times on monday.
Forward March…. one- two, one-two…
Here’s the good news first …. to my vast and eternal relief, after my FB column last week, I have been ‘unfriended’ by loads of people who weren’t my friends to begin with. This week I plan to lose a few more internet pests…. the ‘Forward-wallas’. I’m sure there are many of you reading this who feel the same way about those infernal ‘forwards’ that crowd the inbox and eat into precious time – forget about reading the stuff, deleting all that unsolicited rubbish takes hours as well. Besides…. It seriously affects my blood pressure! I definitely don’t want to read idiotic, mainly sexist jokes ( which jerk thinks them up?). I don’t want to acquire instant ‘knowledge’ through processed info, I have zero time for nostalgia and listening to a compilation of songs from the ‘sixties, I feel totally bugged when someone sends chain mail featuring kitschy images of Gods and Goddesses ( “ forward this to 15 friends and wait for the miracle”), my stress levels cannot handle alarmist faux medical stuff ( with grisly images of shredded heart muscles, pulped brains, mashed up limbs), warning me about all the stuff that could go horribly wrong…. if I didn’t pay close attention.Morbid and badly written poems ? I’ll live. ‘Then and Now’ homilies? Keep them. ‘This is a good one’ – generally isn’t! ‘Don’t miss this one!’ screams , “ Hit ‘Delete’ instantly!” And to think most of these useless emails are sent by people you know! Maybe, even like!! Admire!!!
I am all for setting up a ‘Ban those Forwards’ Club. I wonder about the compulsive ones who send out ten or more of these nuisance value mails per hour. Don’t they have a life? Worse, do they think you don’t? Do they also have nothing better to do but hit those keys? Would they bother to send out these horrible, intensely annoying communications if they had to pay for them? I doubt it. Bhejo, bhejo… because it’s free, boss! In my experience, men are guiltier than women in this department. Perhaps it is their way of bonding\ flirting… but there are far many more men out there, spending valuable time, effort and energy forwarding and re-, re-, re- forwarding junk. The same chaps recycle gyaan from all sorts of obscure sources and bombard the unwary. Male columnists more than their female counterparts, carpet bomb the unsuspecting with their pearls of wisdom week after tiresome week. There is just no escaping the onslaught. Come X’Mas and remote acquaintances from across the globe begin the annual torture – sending a month-by-month newsletter informing mainly indifferent, unfortunate recipients about Cathy’s tooth extraction and Uncle Eddy’s prostrate problem. Do we want to know? Do we care a rat’s err… bum? The time for making New Year resolutions is upon us. Come on everybody… let’s be nice to one another. Let’s stop this nasty anti-social activity in the coming year. But I am making one exception : Rajni jokes. Keep them rolling.Why? Don’t you know? We are, because Rajni is. Mind it.
It’s all about timing. I’m talking about ‘Guzaarish’. I’m sure it’s a terrific film – deep, dark and allegorical. But give us a break, Bhansali. Had it been pitched as a ‘X’Mas release ( Hrithik as Jesus, Aishwarya as Mary Magdalene ), at least the believers ( in and out of Goa) would have watched it, curiosity ke vaastey. Euthanasia? Most people can’t pronounce the word, much less understand what it means. Tough subject to pitch to an audience still high on ‘Golmal -3’. Brave man, our Bhansali. But he needs that magic wand more than his hero for a box office miracle to happen.