Tuesday, May 27, 2008

And then HE took his day of Rest!

God toiled away for six long days and six long nights, chipping away on his mould till he got his perfect masterpiece just the way he had intended it to be. He had dreamt of his universe to be a pretty place with beautiful things - flowers, trees, oceans, seas, mountains, snow, rain, rainbow, sunshine.... He had dreamt of his world to be intelligent, to be full of life and love and caring...........He had dreamt of his creation to be righteous, to be mindful of the good and the great, to be aware of and responsible for one's actions, be it beast or man.........

God had intended his dream project to be a model for centuries, nay, aeons of time to come.......So He worked hard and He worked relentlessly, with passion and persistence. And then, He took His day of rest on Sunday.

And that's when the Devil came into play. With God off to his place of R&R, the Devil had a field day, a free hand to carry out his will as his whim and fancy urged him to. He brought in the dark clouds, the droughts, the typhoons....... He, with a villainous flourish brought in a deluge of the Seven Deadly Sins - Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride......... - sins that we are beseeched with even today. Sins that we commit with gay abandon, with no care for past, present or future life. The sins that have become our nemesis. That, in the eternal battle of good vs evil, continue to singe our souls and punish our bodies on this planet and in this life itself.

And so when God took His day of rest, the Devil raised his ugly head and created a race that would be diabolical and double faced. A race that would worship both God and the devil. Does this explain why the human race has been a perpetrator of so much crime, corruption and gore from time immemorial and continues to be even today? Is it why a father kills his daughter in cold blood and with clinical precision? Is it why a husband burns his new wife even before the ambers from the holy pyre of their matrimony settle down? Is it why a son, fed on the mother's milk straight from her bosom, grows into a monster and beats her black and blue before deserting her on the street? Is it why parents, who have brought up and doted on their daughter, later kill her in a rage garbed with honour, across the world? Is it why a young, opinionated girl aid and abet the killing of her second boyfriend at the hands of her first paramour? Is it why greedy hands snatch jewellery off the corpses left to decay under an earthquake hit rubble?

Can God show me the reason and give me proof of His BEING and His UNDOING!!!!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Programming without passion, purity & piousness of intent and poise!

We have recently lost Vijay Tendulkar - one of India's best known playwrights and dramatists as he passed onto another world after an eventful and meaningful life on this one.

The Times of India's obit on him mentioned, in passing, the other illustrious member of his family - his fiery, actress daughter - Priya Tendulkar, who the art and entertainment world (as much as the viewers) lost to death a few years back. Priya became best known for her apocryphal portrayal of Rajni in the eponymous TV show that ran to high ratings and very high viewership, I guess sometime in the eighties. What stood Rajni apart, besides Priya's inimitable histrionics, was the content of the show. It seemed to have a compassionate soul, a caring heart and a mind that thought out solutions for a common man's everyday woes. The programme was a true change agent and brought in a wave of reform, as the man on the street took up cudgels against the system and the perpetrator, bringing about a conducive environment denying scope to crime and corruption.

But that was then. When TV was an intelligent medium, the choices were few and sensible and the commercial hunger for space and money had not eaten into sense and commonsense. With more choices of channels and programming fighting for the same pie of viewers, the bastardisation of culture in programming, I guess, was inevitable. A lot of television critics bemoan the loss of news sense in the sacrosanct news as well, that has been whoppingly dumbed down.

While America, a major TV viewing country, where even the Presidential battles are won and lost on the small screen; may still have a TV evangelist in the likes of Oprah (never mind the happy coexistence of Jerry Springer and his ilk), we in India, unfortunately are going down the other way.

Quickly count on your fingertips any programme of real import across the channels. At the risk of admitting that I am no couch potato and do no more than 1-2 hours of TV per day, I can just muster a few names - perhaps "We the People" on NDTV and the other programme hosted by Gitanjali Kirloskar that ran for sometime on another channel. I can't seem to come up with any more names. Perhaps you could do better, if you have a better memory than mine and are exposed to better and more programming than me.

The point I am coming down to is that when we all agree that things are getting from bad to worse (more crime, more corruption, more chaos, more anarchy......), why isn't a powerful medium such as television rising up to the challenge and bringing out something really meaningful and productive instead of the plethora of all that song and dance it makes about well, song and dance in various hues and avatars. Even the news centers on sensationalisation of news with true bollywood touch given to the representation of the facts and the faces that have suffered.

The media is the mirror of its society. When do we stop seeing distorted, exaggerated and unreal images of ourselves as if we were all taking a jolly ride in a fair detached from reality and life.

When does the media retrieve its soul, do some realtime soul-searching and make a trailblazing impact on the mindscape instead of gunning after eyeballs that have become stupefied with the senselessness and unreasonableness of it all.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Nothing to Cheer About :-(

Several column cms of space, decibel levels, words and sleepless nights are being lost over India's latest import - the svelte, sprightly, sexy, energetic and cheerful babes who earn their livelihood as cheerleaders.

When the issues of IPL, cricket teams being sold, their owners from the Indian film industry, Indian cricketers getting more aggressive and abusive like their counterparts from Down Under etc. etc. have done the rounds to death; there crops a new issue - that of the cheer leaders and their attire.

The heckles are being raised against the innocently focussed and unsuspecting girls for the following reasons -

1. It is not an Indian phenomenon. Lets replace it with Bhangra. Or maybe Kathakali, Bharatnatyam or Kuchipudi.........

Do you think Malls, eating out in glitzy restaurants, spending unabashedly on credit, showing off bosom and butt cleavages in Malls and cineplexes, public exhibition of personal emotions in parks and gardens and monuments.........to name but a few, ARE Indian in ethos.

2. The dress is vulgar.

What about the top and bottom cleavages being shown boldly by the young metro girls. What about TV actresses wearing extremely revealing dresses in some of the reality dance shows, what about lewd gestures and vulgar jokes on the comedy shows and what about abhorring gyrating movements and pelvic thrusts done by young and old alike - who may not be at all healthy and appealing and hence an eyesore while making these grotesque gestures - on some other dance shows that rope in the entire families.

Because the TRPs are good, because this entertainment is dished straight to homes and because the channels must have greased enough palms, all this is OK for an Indian's consumption.

But not the innocuous victory dances in the international spirit of things because -

1. They provide an issue to beat around when the other issues have been milked.

2. The voyeuristic politician has to hide his depravity under the shield of Indian culture.

3. The politician would not be a politician if he did not raise his voice against empty issues and did something about the real issues instead. Because then he would be a citizen officer and an honourable gentleman. But he is far from that.

Who am I to complain? Just a law-abiding, patriotic, God-fearing, conscientious citizen.

So lets just go ahead and cover up these beautiful bodies and tone down their enthusiasm.

But please let us also just go ahead and rape, grope and molest our women, play with our crotches openly, piss, crap and spit everywhere and on everything, make out in public places, bastardize our culture on television and beat and throw our old in institutions or on streets. For, that is a sign of globalisation, coming into our own and emergence of a new power.

Viva la New India!