Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still more notes from the media

Gujarat EDN
AM  06SEP2012

An interesting turnout of the Naroda Patiya verdict has been the virtual silence by all the cronies of the state government, who are usually the first to cry foul; accusing the ‘English press’ of hounding Modi

There’snodoubtaboutit.Coalgatemaybe the biggest scam to emerge in recent times -- bigger than all the 3Gs, 4Ps and 5Dsputtogether.Unfortunately,it’salso the most boring. First of all, there’s the veryimageofcoal:black,messyandburieddeep underground.Thenthere’sthestrongsimilarity tothetoothpaste,Colgate(whosemanagement mustbecringingeachtimeit’smentionedinthe news, worried about negative association in the consumer’s subconscious). Finally, and perhapsmostimportantofall,dowereallycareany more? Does any scam shock or surprise us any longer, give or take a few zeroes?
    Yet, we’re forced to listen to the same drivel, night after night, because TV channels want to look like they’re doing a fantastic job, as pretentious anchors try to sound outraged, analytical and intelligent; often at the cost of other global news.Yearsago,wewouldbethrilledatthelittle international clip at the end of Doordarshan news, comprising some overseas snippet. Unfortunately, it would last only for a few seconds. Looks like nothing has really changed much. Today,we’reforcedtolistentothesamescandal or medical horror story that can be summed up in three lines: (a) We suck as a country; (b) We will continue to suck as a country; (c) And then we will suck some more. Someone please put on a decent dvd; we know the end to this story. The bad guys will get away as usual.
    So Gangs of Wasseypur has come and gone and will probably be missed. One almost wishes there were a third part in the pipeline, given the upcoming setting of what looks like the Agripada-Nagpada locality of Bombay. After long, here’safilmthat’sraw,grittyandrealistic;notto mention the captivating Bihari voice-over. (Raj Thackeray, eat your heart out.) Also after long is a woman who’s raw, gritty and realistic, in the form of Huma Qureshi, who hits you like the proverbial thunderbolt from the Godfather --with Reema Sen and her smouldering ‘Bong’ eyes following a close second. With her saturninestructure,flamingblackhairandrusticDilli diction, Huma redefines the term “smoking hot.” In fact, next to her, “smoking hot” would be like the freezing point of liquid nitrogen. (Wonder if I can re-take the chemistry viva.)
    It’s surprising that for all the pollyrot one sees on TV, in the form of puerile promos, one didn’t see anything about this film or its talented cast. One is also trying to figure out the logic thatallowstheCensorBoardtopassthechoicest expletives and profanities, while getting all jittery at the slightest display of cleavage. Maybe it’s something Oedipal; maybe one of the officialswasn’tbreast-fedasababy.AsAzhamKhan would say in GOW, “sab ke sab saale @#$%&$#% hain!” Also, given the doldrums that Gollywood constantly find itself in, maybe someone from the Gujarati film industry can come up with GOSKAD (Gangs of Shahpur, Kalupur and Dariapur).
An interesting turnout of the Naroda Patiya verdicthasbeenthevirtualsilencebyallthecronies of the state government, who are usually the first to cry foul; accusing the “English press” of hounding Modi and refusing to see his “progressive” vision and “developmental” work. Perhapstheyarecoweddownforthetimebeing, seeingthegravityofthesituationandthestrong nationwide tide in favour of the verdict. While not advocating Maya Kodnani’s innocence, it’s hard to imagine someone that mousy looking, lustily yelling for blood, leading bloodthirsty hordesonwardto“kill...kill...kill!!”Theverdict, whilehavingstoppedjustshortofbeing“toolittle,toolate,”couldeasilymorphintothat;ifnot followed up with more convictions for the rest of the guilty. It still remains to be seen if any of thisislikelytoaffecttheverdictintheupcoming polls. Given the highly communal and polarised fabric of the state, probably not. After all, who cares about justice for the minority, when oneoftheirown(whocandonowrong)isinthe dock? Muslim prayer caps, anyone??