Tuesday, January 09, 2007

India Pois(on)ed

We all woke up to a brand New Year. We had wished all our near, dear and fear (bosses, in-laws, wives etc) ones a very blossoming and prosperous New Year the evening/night before. As far as I can remember, this New Years was my best one. My wife and I drove off to Nainital. She had a long awaited, much deserving and very badly needed break from office, domestic chores and TV aka the lazy ‘yours truly’. A TV freak as I am, I was glued to the TV on New Year’s night. Many like me, after watching Mallika Sherawat do, what she does best, live on news channels, am sure, started hoping the current year is ending on a super ‘step’ and the New Year will usher in ‘dancing’ like her. I was simply amazed looking at the guys standing right below the stage who were pinned to their places, posturing like Netaji - right hand index finger pointing to the future. Only it was their mobile cameras recording every step Mallika made, capturing the passing year in the form of oomph.

The first day of the New Year, an amazing morning with a brand new feeling suddenly halted on a blank. CAS was operational. All my favorite channels (except ofcourse FTV, which is FTA) passed away with the passing year. I only had the news channels and the Aasthas and Sanskars of the world for my satsang! The first couple of days did not hurt, though. Infact, they were a boon in disguise. Big Boss was not bothering me. I was among the lucky people who were spared watching India loose amazingly to South Africa. As I mentioned, I had FTV to my rescue. I still had a travel channel, which took me to atleast 10 places in 24 hours, sitting in my room. There was a music channel, which actually aired the latest bollywood songs much before the established music channels. To keep me amused, there were these special programs on news channels, which tried to create ‘sansani’ and ‘tehelka’. They were equally adept at making me laugh, as The Laughter Challenge although still funny is getting predictable. I was still having fun.

As the number of channels had reduced to almost a single digit, my wife was ecstatic that I was actually entering the kitchen to give her a helping hand in cooking, without her shouting at me and snatching the remote to switch off the TV. In these two days without a set top box, I had actually learnt to cook dal, a simple capsicum vegetable and even make chapattis!! (OK, chapattis was only visual learning). But CAS had actually prepared me decently enough to eat well and sleep well when my dear wife was not around in town. For this, I should certainly thank the Information and Broadcasting Ministry.

But 48 hours later, it became really painful. It actually got torturous. Any button I press, any channel I view, I could only see the face of Mr. Surinder Koli and his Mr. Moninder Singh Pandher. It turned ugly, then cruel and finally down right disgusting. They were murderers, then became serial killers and finally turned man-eaters! If not the monsters, there were scenes of killings in Assam, lathi-charge in West Bengal.

I was left wondering, what’s new this New Year? There was no respite from the demons of society, the evil actions of humans around and atrocities coming to us much faster than ever before, thanks to the ‘sabse tez’ news channels, showing everything almost live.

They say, India Poised, Your Time is Now. To me it looks like, India Pois(on)ed, Your time is Over.


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