Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mortals and molls

Television manufactures celebrities out of non-descript mortals and molls. So if Nitish Kumar gets a clear majority to form the government, people like Nathu Halwai, his village sweetshop owner, Ram Khilawan, his childhood gilly-danda mate, and Babu Lal, the local grocer, also get their share of stardom when the TV journalists interview them in their bid to get “personal details” about the new CM. And then starts a series of emotional outbursts, which can even make a Sooraj Barjatya die in shame. All of them proclaim to be close to the new CM and all their quotes start with “I always knew…” and end with “may he continue to prosper…”

Here’s what the likes of Nathu Halwai say when the TV journalists interview them. “Right since Nitishwa was a kid he used to frequent my shop. I always knew that one day he will do something really great. He used to cherish the jalebis made by me. I am desperately waiting for him so that he can again come to my shop and I will treat him with some fresh jalebis. I pray to God that he continues to prosper in his political life.” After this sentimental quote a few teardrops will appear on his eyes and the journalist will take over. Then the TV channel will draw its own conclusion that Nitish Kumar is major jalebi lover and Nathu Halwai will add a special Nitish Jalebi in its menu to make a fast buck.

Now that was about the cocktail of politics, TRP and business. Now let’s move over to the flavour of the month Monica Bedi. In the fortnight there hasn’t been a single day when we didn’t hear about the Bedi girl. From her luggage to food, from her relatives to “marriage”, from her tryst with Tollywood to the world of mafia, from her smile to teardrops, each and very detail was closely dissected and monitored by the media. And interestingly, even there ran a number game to find out whether Monica was Bhai’s Biwi No 2 or 3 or 4. Or Was Monica married to Salem? Was Monica Bhai's biwi no 2? And some channels do this quite smart. They just throw random questions at you and never give a definite answer. And the audience is left tangled in all these open-ended possibilities. The same can also be said about the recent Greg Chappel controversy. But for a moment let’s forget the controversy and rewrite a nursery rhyme.

Greg, Greg, Yes, Papa.
Pointing finger? No, Papa.
Telling lies? No, Papa.
See the video.
Ha! Ha! Ha!

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