Thursday, January 25, 2007

Yeh Galat Jawab!!!

Once a lecturer made us cross our fingers in class. Which thumb was above, he asked. I had the right one over the left. Then he asked us to uncross out fingers and re cross them so that (for me) the left thumb comes over the right. And he asked to notice the distinct discomfort we experience. Yeah, I felt uncomfortable. Well, why am I saying this?

The above exercise actually illustrates how we humans are uncomfortable accepting change. Be it in our environment, lifestyle or anything, it takes us time to move. And same is the case when a very famous TV show makes a very drastic change (Ha… I get to the point now!!), that of changing its highly successful compere, the very face of the programme.

I am a huge SRK fan and was waiting desperately for the new KBC with him at the helm. But, for the very reason I quoted above, I was badly disappointed. Here are my observations:

SRK was not looking natural. He is one actor who completely redefined the persona of actors. From an exclusive category, he brought actors to the level of commodities. From endorsements to dancing at weddings, SRK was a master. And the result of all this was that SRK became a normal human for fans like me. There isn’t much unknown about the Star, the ‘Star’ had lost its enigma and come down from a high pedestal to reside with us.

So it was disorienting for me to see SRK looking like he is trying to be the Big B. Well, the Big B cant be duplicated, and, for that matter, neither can the King Khan!! So why this change in voice pitch to become baritone – ish like Amitabh? Why the forced looking phrases? Why the artificial looking jokes? Why not just be the lovable SRK, be it Raj, Rahul or even Vijay (Don)?

On second thoughts, maybe SRK himself is a fan of the Big B… and all these observed mannerisms are a result of some unconscious response from the mind of SRK. Probably, being too harsh on him at this stage is unwarranted, as even he will take time to adjust into the boots of the Big B.

But above all this is the fact that people do not take well to changes. Why no ‘lock kiya jaye'? Where is that endearing ‘Computer ji'? Why KBC has suddenly become a product placement vehicle for Compaq? Why so many changes in the lifelines?

As my blog says. ‘The only thing constant in this world is CHANGE.’ But another thing that is constant is ‘Resistance to Change’.

And whether the SRK edition of KBC will be able to overcome this is anybody’s guess.

Hai koi jawab???


Monday, January 22, 2007

Celebrity Big BOTHER!!

It has always been said that ‘An actor is as good as his last film’. And it is true that, in India especially, this saying holds good. So what does an actor, 31 yrs of age, with no memorable releases (not speaking of hits here) at all in the near past do to keep herself alive in the minds of the Indian junta? Well, join a very popular celebrity reality show, and if it is a ‘phoren’ one, sone pe suhaga, right?

That could probably be what a certain Ms. Shetty had in mind, the bounty of 3+ cr rupees being another benefit.

Reality shows, most often inspired by foreign shows, are not new in India. And every time, the policy of audience deciding on the future of participants has been a topic of debate. Audience are very easily guided by emotions. This was seen at the time of ‘painter babu’ Ravinder’s unexpected and meteoric rise in Indian Idol I and also recently with the physically challenged Diwakar in sa re ga ma pa.

So what was behind the whole issue of the ‘Racist Abuse’ on Ms. Shetty? It was indeed highly deplorable of a person to speak like how Ms. Woody did. And it is understandable that Ms. Shetty was left in tears. It is also not surprising that Ms. Woody got voted out emphatically.

But what was completely unexpected was probably the reactions that came to the whole episode. The politicians of both Britain and India were up in arms condemning the incident. The public of Britain was exhorted to vote logically to get the wrong doer out of the show so as to reinforce the image of the nation as a tolerant one.

And the reactions in India… everyone from netas to the MEA was giving statements. Isn’t it odd that the same netas never looked so concerned about dalit murders of mercilessly killed children? Or about any other issue of real national importance for that matter?

Why is it that reactions are so quick when the event involved a celebrity? Particularly when the celebrity was not representing the nation at the show?

The best comment on the whole issue, according to me, came from Mr. Salman Rushdie yesterday. Talking about the issue he said: If you feel the heat in the kitchen, it is better you move out. Definitely Ms. Shetty was not expecting a smooth ride in the show. Then why make a personal comment such an issue of macro level consequences, only to finally say nothing great had happened? And why are the repeated yo-yos happening in both her and Ms. Woody’s statements?

As a PR strategy, Celebrity Big Brother has really worked in Ms. Shetty’s favor as she has not just come into limelight, but also has been shown as a so vulnerable person. But the whole issue leaves one really to wonder: is it time for the netas and the junta to do a rethink?

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

The 'Stink City'

It is not something new which I face. But what is new is that it is happening in a city: supposedly one of the biggest and poshest in God’s Own Country. ‘Stink City’ syndrome is probably new; but believe me, it is really unbearable!!

As a regular commuter in the city of Ernakulam, I have to cross the Edapally signal. It is a crossroad and the traffic signal there has a long waiting time. Well whats new in a busy traffic light one may say. What is new is the syndrome which I introduced: the horrible horrible stench which pervades your nostrils and thereby your senses whenever you have the misfortune to be stuck at that signal for long.

The stench is indecipherable to say the least. Is it a mix of human and animal waste? Or decaying carcass? Or garbage mixed with gutter? Or an unholy mix of all these horrors?? Such is the smell that one really feels faint. As I see the bus driver and conductor close their noses in agony (as do all of us hapless passengers!) I pity them, as they must be traveling through the very route, experiencing the same stench a number of times in a day. It becomes asphyxiating after some time and one cannot but pray to the heavens that the signal turns green ASAP.

Well, why such strong words for just a bit of stench, one might think. Beyond all the passenger troubles is the problem of pollution. I am not aware why that area smells. The left to the signal leads to a posh highway route leading to Kakkanad which is a very upmarket area of the city. Then why this real callousness on the part of the authorities with regard to this area?

Or… is it something which has a solution in the hands of the general public?

Will the ‘Stink City’ always be the same?

Only time will tell!!

P.S. If the stench goes in the coming days, I will definitely post on it!!


Friday, January 12, 2007


I have never appreciated receiving forwards, be it on mail or on sms. But sometimes certain forwards are so poignant and thought provoking that I keep them in my inbox forever. I want to post one very true and relevant forward I received as an sms over a year back: on 03/01/06.

'We Never Get
What We Want
We Never Want
What We Get
We Never Have
What We Like
We Never Like
What We Have
We Live & Love
That is LIFE...!'
June '06 to Jan '07 has brought a lot of changes in my life. As I try to get out of my blogger's block, I make a start with the above lines.
The most common human tendency, common to all ages and both sexes is discontent. Why is it that we always envy our neighbor? Why is it that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence?
Swami Chinmayananda has propounded 'Do the Best and Leave the Rest'. Yes, above all the forces material is a bigger force, the Almighty who takes care of everyhting. And this is just what I have started realising in the past months.
I got engaged in November and thought that a semi colon had come in my Life. Would I be able to achieve my dreams of making something out of my life? With so many constraints, will I get a job of my liking? Would I be relegated to the hearth more due to situation than to lack of ability?
But I had undermined the power of God. I got placed from my college in Kotak Securities, Mumbai; a job and location which I wanted. Now I look forward to a great life... a complete life with job & family. I am content and I wish to tell all who are not content:
Believe; and the rest will just follow!!