Sunday, June 18, 2006

Interplanetary loose motion

The last few days have been ridiculous. More exasperating than usual. It isn't enough that clouds float by aimlessly without lessening their load. I suppose that being in Bombay automatically qualifies you to have a pained, irritated expression throughout the day, but surely there's some limit to how far things can go? That's what I thought. Clearly I'm not the native I imagined myself to be. No, to be frank, I had what you'd call anti-national thoughts for a while, especially when it came to people's taste in television. I could have changed the channel when I first saw it. But haven't you ever seen something so silly, so unbelievable, and yet so alive and real that it all but hypnotises you? The unrealness of it is precisely what keeps you. One part of your brain goes, "Change it, please change it," while the other's all, "No, don't you dare, let's see how far they go with this one." I hung on, and this is what I saw.

Zee News had Mika and Rakhi Sawant on a split screen. Sawant was at her home, Mika was at the television studio. Sawant said that since Mika had been granted bail, she had received threatening messages. Mika tried speaking several times but Sawant went on, unable to hear him try. The singer had a khanda pendent around his neck. When she stopped, he said he did not send her the messages. How could he have? His phone was off. He visited the Haji Ali mosque after his release. He had also visited the Siddhivinayak temple (He missed the Buddhists and Christians). There was no way he could have sent her those messages, he said.

Now that things were at an impasse and there were no flare-ups, Zee decided to go to a real expert, someone who could fill our blanks, someone who knew exactly what had gone wrong, who knew how to sort things out. So they cut to the expert - the expert to beat all experts. Finally we would see him and have our answer. So they cut to their newsroom, where, on a chair, sat a sadhu. The headline of the segment was called Shani pe chada mangal or something similar. He talked about things that sadhus talk about: planets, timing, unpronouncable words. For a moment, dear reader, it seemed like a different planet. And what to say about the split screen? The sadhu was beside an animation of planets revolving around the sun. There was no dialogue between the two screens, thankfully, but neither of them needed to speak for one to know that we're screwed.

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