...and then

Monday, 1 December 2008

TV Peevie.

I will say this till I am blue in the face or hoarse in the throat. And I am sure people have been saying this forever. Indian television reporting stinks. Very very badly. If there were awards given in various categories to our Times Nows and NDTVs these would be it.

The Pompous Prick award goes to.... Airbag Arnab

Has there been another face on television that has been so full of himself? A famous son of famous parents comes to mind but after Bombay's terror strike, Arnab Goswami of Times Now wins hands down. From the way he sits to the way he pontificates, he is the original snake that eats itself. (Get it? Eats itself - full of himself? ok.) I had to gag myself and pass out a bit while he finished. (You may ask why I didn't switch channels. I don't control the remote.)

Decider: Just about everything he said but of special note is when he delivered his judgement on what the ISI chief said and how his tone should have been something else.

The Fake Floozy award -- Bekaar Barkha

She used her cracking voice to great advantage and by the end of three days Barkha Dutt of NDTV had almost lost all of it. I am wishing it stays that way. What kind of a complete half-brained cretin asks the brother of someone held in captivity how he feels? And then holds his hands and says contrite things about praying for them? I am sure there are other ways to find things to do on TV while reporting on something like this. And oh, she had time to change those ghastly jackets, put on eyeliner and earrings through it all.

Decider: When she asked Shantanu Saikia - who we now know lost his journalist wife at the Taj. She was still missing when BD spoke to her -- how he was dealing with telling his little children about their mother. The man broke down for god's sake and she says, "I think we've upset him." Really? You think?

Edit: Please go here to see all that BD is about.

The Clueless Chica award -- Simpering Shaili

She's lovely to look at and is spot on with her interviews and news presentation but put her on the field with something like this, unprepared, and Shaili Chopra from NDTV Profit is as clueless as a puppy. From botching up her English to saying the same things over and over again, it makes you wonder how she can be so good when she's in the studio. She absolutely fell to pieces reporting live. From saying exactly two opposite things in the same sentence to completely missing the point, Shaili did it all.

Decider: When she stood against a burning Taj and said "Blah blah has happened in the financial capital of Mumbai (sic) and it remains to be seen what will happen to the finanical markets from this day onwards."

I don't know the names of any of those kids on Headlines Today or News X or whatever other news channels they are but I can assure you everything from exagerrated numbers to calling RR Patil the Union Home Minister was all done.

And oh, please feel free to add any more prize winners to the list. I'll just go back to radio or come to my laptop the next time the sky is falling. Seriously, I can't take any more of Arnab's shoulder and Barkha's hideous jackets.

Goodnight, and good luck.


29 going on 15

It took me years to fit my own age. At age 16, the world went around saying how mature I was for my age. That probably went to my head. Because on the threshold of a new decade in my life and I still feel 15.
Working in the real world, experimenting with relationships, living alone, living in, having a baby -- all that has got to take a toll on you right? Like a mango tree that stops being weighed down by too much fruit with each passing year. But in my head it doesn't feel like I've gone and lived an adult life.
I am still shocked when I meet really tiny kids and they tell me they are in class 12of the school I studied in. I still think monthly facials are for older women. I look at number 30, and it's just that to me -- a number. I don't see the big fuss.
What does drive home the point these days is when people expect grown up things from me. Or when I put myself in my mother's shoes -- which I have done very often since Shyama arrived -- and realise damn, at my age she had an 8-year old daughter. Or when I fill out restaurant suggestion cards that put you in a whole different bracket.


I don't know if it's all the frosty windows and super nice warm clothing that you see in the movies (if you live in India, that is) but Christmas season anywhere is truly magical. (Even in Mauritius where it comes bang in the middle of summer and therefore the Christmas trees there are mostly golden. Yum!) I even imagine the smell of baking when I put on my Sinatra CD of Christmas carols.
This season I hope to recall all the people in the last year that have meant something to me. I plan to write them a note telling them how much I appreciate them or the thing they did for me. My list gets longer each day and I suddenly thank god for giving me such magic in my life.


Ever wonder what happens if you had made a different decision from the one made when you came at a crossroad? I do. Of course I can never see the answer but it's a nice a journey. I see 20 kgs less, I see higher heels, I see more money, I see a different language, I see the sea. Other times I see an empty house, addictive behavior, I see cigarette hair and voice. Both seem romantic, but at the end of that little mind-detour, Shyama smiles and I love being where I am.


I don't know where Bombay is going to go from here. Or India. I hate to think we won't all have normal lives but I hate it even more to think that we will go back to our lives when this mess is cleaned up. That's not indomitable spirit, that's freezing over. For good. That's death.


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