Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The television reverberates from morn till night and more night

Jalsa , Mumbai                 March 5/6,  2012                  Mon/ Tue  1 : 11 AM  



Leena's birthday tomorrow March 6 , 2012 … she has had a tormenting last few months .. we wish her a happy birthday and years and years of happiness and joy only to follow ..


 The television reverberates from morn till night and more night, on the elections for the Assembly being held in some of the more popular and populous States of the nation. Debates arguments exit polls, their views and objections, each party playing well and giving passionate support to their candidates, all day throughout. And tomorrow is another day, the final … the counting shall begin and the vocal anchors shall strain their throats to gain attention for their program or their assessment, with the odd ' our exit polls were the closest remember ' line thrown in to legitimize their earlier claims …

It is an interesting exercise for an actor to observe these episodes. A learning graph for the many students that undergo acting tuitions. The expressions, the comments, the rebuttals all done with such finesse that it would fill an entire bank of knowledge on the craft of performance.

Its a field day for the channels and their TRP's. It is something they wait anxiously for. Their vociferous involvement going beyond the purpose of information at times. The Election Commissioner, appointed to oversee that the election process goes through without any hiccups, came out with a ringer today … " all exit poll assessments should be confined to Entertainment Channels " .. or words to that effect .. a stinging remark !!

I would imagine it is a process that attracts viewers all over the Democratic world. Perhaps Russia and Mr Putin would be the most talked of in that part of the universe, as would now soon enough, Mr Sarkozy or even Mr Obama.

Knowing before, what needs be known, before the time of its knowing, has been the culture and hidden attraction for all humans. What shall happen tomorrow ? Or the days and years to come ? Tell me today !! Natural obsession, one that cannot be easily set aside. What does it do to us ? Prepares us to take in the worst if that be predicted. In what manner may I ask ? We would fret and worry and fear each step in anticipation of what will come. A way to live ? I dunno' …

The abolition of capital punishment in certain sections of society, often argued with the same temper. A man kills and is sentenced to imprisonment to be hanged until dead. How long before the the hanging shall take place, is not known. There are formalities and legalities that need to be followed in civil societies. The murderer waits in his cell, not knowing when the time for his death shall come. This, argue the anti capital punishmenters, is more torturous than the torture that the victim had to go through, because, they argue, the victim did not know he or she was going to be murdered and the killing was therefore rapid and sudden and less torturous than waiting to get killed as in the case of the accused !! Valid ? Invalid ? Difficult to say. Perhaps the Human Rights Organizations would have something on this too.

My own Human Rights department, domestic in its nature thankfully, proclaims I sit for long and sleep for less. They demand justice for rehabilitation of the ailing body and have serious and very commanding arguments on my bed time. I defy them at times. Mostly after they themselves have fallen victim to what they propose for me. Saved by the bell …!!

Watched some films between last night and tonight. Some drew appreciation, others drew strange silent glances among each other .. not much was spoken ! The attention time span of the viewer has reduced so rapidly that it is a dangerous exercise to be seated in a multiplex in anonymity watching your own film. There is constant chatter and an exchange of  observations, not necessarily pertaining to what unfolds on the large screen in front of them … scary ! More often it is the attention given to the mobile, its rapid messages and its attendance, despite the warning slides that request that these handy inventions be put away, switched off, or put on silent mode. There are frequent movements too – a migration to the stalls outside for that fizzy or the corn on bubble. Be blessed that this be so. Many that migrate midway, either forget their way back in or have shifted to another screen another film !! Many … and there are quite a few … await the moment for the end to be able to finally find immortality on Telly by the patiently waiting PR machines of the film wanting opinions so they could broadcast the positive ones in the promotions to follow …

And many anxiously wait for the freebies to come by – coins and plastic whistles – to throw and blow, in order to create excitement for the film within the theatre. Word of mouth of the event garners support for the next show ticket sales, they say …

Planning to see a South star film in the South ? Get there after a couple of weeks ! The fan club would have bought out all the shows for those 14 initial days … and it would be impossible, even if you did get in, to follow the film or the dialogues, because there is excited mayhem each time the hero appears … irrespective of what he is doing or saying. The love and the following and the fan frenzy is just incredible !! Its sheer devotion !!

So where was I …?? ah ! yes domestic Human Rights …

Good night !!

Amitabh Bachchan

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