Posts Tagged ‘Entertainment


Breaking News!!!!



News and newspapers have always been central to my daily life, but it wasn’t until I started working for media houses that I began looking at the process of delivering news as a form of art. There is speculation, quite often followed by a conformation, followed by fact gathering and then the delivery either in print form or in audio visual form. Now, that is the basics of reporting – speculation, conformation and fact gathering – or at-least that was what I was taught and that is what I have practiced all this while. But that form of news reporting is on the wane. That form of news delivery is now classified as boring and often mundane. What people want is action, breaking news – sansani tez khaber!

The sober and classy act of news reporting over a period of time has undergone a sea of change;gone are the days of idealism, intellectualism and sincerity. Gone are the days when journalists wore ragged clothes and sported a beard and toga/jhola. Gone are the days when journalists made a hand to mouth living. Gone are the days when confirmation and fact gathering was done. Everyone’s an expert.

News reporting is the next big thing after bollywood, every failed actor/actress who knows a word or two of English makes is making it big in media. And why not, even though they are dumb they look good, and they are confident – they can hold a mic, face the camera and speak in English. Well that’s not all that has changed, the art of news delivery has undergone an even drastic change, news rooms are no longer sober looking rooms, they’ve gone hi-fi – big plasma screens, hundreds of acrobatics trained camera men, lights, computer generated graphics, music directors, choreographers, art directors, script writers and what not. News delivery is turning out to be even more difficult than making a B grade bollywood flick and leading the pack are India TV, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today and Times Now.

Its hard to believe that a crucial and perhaps the most powerful and autonomous pillar of democracy, the media, is undergoing such drastic degradation. I mean what is the logic of showing tantra vidya on news channel? Of showing the existence of a goat who people claim is the descendant of some long dead emperor? I mean for days I been seeing news anchors predicting Islamabad being captured by Taliban any minute, all this while foreign security experts politely call these claims stupid. What shit are these guys on? What on earth have they been smoking?

I have always held a firm belief that reporting ought to be dispassionate and in such a manner that the reporter’s opinion are not reflected on the report that is to say that a news report should not in any way be biased, it is the public that ought to ponder over a news report and formulate its own opinion. Well, what we see here is a bunch of uneducated, superstitious freaks on a drug trip of their own. I mean, what are they contributing to the society if not their own fears and beliefs, with exaggerated fears. They are as dangerous as the Taliban or Al-Queada. Look at this, every Muslim to us is a symbol of terror. Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia are terror centres.

We often say that one thing that the British left behind when they left India was the divide and rule policy – a policy that we often associate with political parties and politicians. Its not just the politicians who have been using this, media too has been using this, for quite some time now.

Media has created stereotypes – you can identify a Muslim with his beard, a Hindu with his right hand, a christian by the manner of his speech and what not. I was denied two houses on rent because the owners were wary of my beard and because I spoke Hindi.

Muslims are terrorists, Hindus are black magicians and trouble makers, Christians are loose characters and Punjabis are gossip mongers and trouble makers. What kind of idiotic shit are we being told? And why are we taking this shit?

The once forgotten concept of ghosts and evil spirits are back in fashion. Why? Well where else do all these evil spirits go? After-all villagers no longer want them. Everyone talks about nimbu mirch. Chicken pox is mata ka aashirwaad and family troubles is padosi ka jaadu tona.

Where the heck is our rationale? Where is our intelligence?

Oh! I am sorry, intelligence’s death is what we’re celebrating here. Sorry.

Well, ladies and gentlemen due to the untimely demise of our dear friend Intelligence, we have but no choice, we are heading back to the good old medieval times and you, each one of you, is heading this journey.


Jai Ho!

And the Oscars went to AR Rehman and Resul Pookutty. Indians across the globe are celebrating and Irfan Khan feels Indian Cinema is on it’s way to make a mark for itself in the world cinema. India’s first Oscar. What perhaps many do not realize is that this isn’t an Indian Oscar, just like Har Gobind Khorana’s Nobel wasn’t an Indian Nobel. This is a cinema made by a Briton out of an average Indian story by an average Indian writer that had been gathering dust in bookshops across the country. It took a Briton to realize the genius of the plot and again the average Indian author wasn’t found good enough for Indian taste so he was given a South African award and considered for awards by the Brits. And now that the average Indian Story has won the reconisition of the average world Indians are finally waking up and shedding tears of joy as two Indians won the coveted Oscars. I mean how hypocritical are we Indians? Real art has never found many takers in India, except for the high chinned snobbish Indian elite and the shabbily dressed Indian intelligent.

As far as Irfan Khan’s comments are concerned I believe it’s too far fetched, mainstream Indian cinema has to die and be born again before it becomes a truely effective art form.

Nevertheless, while the world celebrated the genius of an unknown Indian author, Vikas Swaroop, this worm of an author was working on one of his another dark short stories about death and guilt set in the scenic environs of a loo. And by mere coincidence I found myself in place of my protagonist, reading and crapping and by the time I finished I realized there wasn’t any water in the pipe and had to use toilet paper instead. And it was then that I realized how much paper we waste making something as genius and wondeful as toilet paper. I mean how many books can be published from all the paper that goes down the loo. I was reading Rushdie while I was in the loo.Rushdie happens to be an author I will always go ga-ga about, for his sheer ability to paint beautiful pictures out of words, be it Midnight’s Children or Haroun and the Sea of Strories or Satanic Verses. I dread reaching the end of his books beacause they end way too soon, I fancy being in that magical land of finely crafted words and brilliantly painted images a bit longer, perhaps that might explain why I reread Rushdie.


Oye Lucky Slumdog Millionaire!

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences will unveil the Oscars in a few hours from now and I don’t know about the world but Indians are surely excited and keeping their fingers crossed. Afterall Slumdog Millionaire, a master piece, as some would call it, by Danny Boyle has been nominated in 10 categories. While many in India argue about the greatness of the movie scores of others, hardcore patriotic Indians are cheering for the movie, afterall it’s the Oscars and Indian cinema (what the fuck!) is on it’s way to make a mark in the global cinema.

When was the last time an Indian film got nominated for the Oscars, lagaan was it? Bloody heck. It always saddens me as to how Indian media and Indian Cinema industry always overlooks regional cinema when it comes to awards and recognition. I mean people went ga-ga over Om Shanti Om and something like Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, which is I would say a masterpiece, was overlooked – I mean look at the kind of mature cinema that marathi, malayalam and tamil cinema (Jeans was an exception) have produced over the years, movies like shwaas, vanaprastham and subramaniapuram are way better and way ahead of most Bollywood movies ever made and comparing them to bollywood box office hits would be trying to compare B grade Bhojpuri movies to A grade hindi movies.

Meanwhile Freida Pinto aka Latika has run into a controversy here in India and her PR agent says she would not talk to the media until the Oscars are announced. Apparently the moral brigade in the country is up in arms against poor Freida for having dumped her (now former) husband Raon Antao. I am quite surprised at this I mean no one raises this kind of noise when a man dumps a woman, the latest case being that of Chand Muhammad and Fiza. Why does the woman have to do the answering always? Why doesnt the Indian society realize that women are in no way the only ones solely responsible for the up-keeing of Indian Morals!
Going to pubs is a taboo, dumping your husband is a taboo, wearing clothes is a taboo, venturing out in the dark is a taboo and what not.

Anyway, I still think Oye Lucky Lucky Oye was killer.

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