Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NEWS with a view

I would have thought that with all the scams, politics (or is that one and the same?), gold medals etc, the newspapers would be infact too full to have any space  for lesser stuff. I obviously do not know the media. One story(?) that caught my attention and held it ( mostly because I could not believe I was reading the headline) was that of Yana Gupta and her errr..wardrobe malfunction. For those who might have missed this tidbit in their quest for real news, it was the front page , almost a quarter of it, talking about how she had got caught on camera without her unmentionables. Then again, it was most mentionable, as the headlines loudly proclaimed 'I am the no panty girl'. Now, I do know that the little extra bit that comes with the regular Times of India every day is more like Masala times than anything newsy, but still.... never thought I'd see this and more importantly in such cheerful terms almost lauding her for being "sporting". I am not a prude (and my children will support me on this), but I think I can do without such NEWS.

The other bit of news (well, sort of ) came to me via email and it was a story that is worth sharing. I am sure we have probably heard about it and read about it before but such stories are worth repeating as they leave a pleasant feeling behind, make you want to do something too. It is simply called "hole-in-the-wall", a concept initiated by Dr. Sugata Mitra, who just put a computer in a wall adjoining a slum area and gave free access to the people around. The children came to it in hordes and learnt how to use it by themselves.No matter how it started and what prompted it, it was a great idea to give children who otherwise may not have it, access  to computers.

No matter how many times I read about stuff like 'hole-in-the-wall'  it seems a great idea and wonderful news that people are getting access to information and technology. Is the other news item really news? I am sure the world can and will survive very well if we hear less about a model/ starlet/ celebrity(??) not wearing something. They make news for that reason anyway. Can we have a little less of that??

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Exchange Value

Give in the old, and take new ones .. happens all the time these days.. Exchange offers.. Tv,cars, cooking ranges, Pressure cookers,... and Parents!. Yes, you read right.. parents as in mom and dad, Janmdatas.. If it were not enough to see Rakhi Sawant going thru the coy motions of choosing her 'life partner' (even after marriage,celebrity partnerships fall prey to so many breaks,  it is advisable to keep them open ended) and see Rahul Mahajan pick his bride and eventually be accused of violence by the blushing bride, you could see Sara, an inmate of the big boss house pick and marry her partner on the show, now you can change another partnership.. the one you are born into.. your parents!

 BIG SWITCH, a show on UTV bindass, which attempts to give parents and children a taste of what the otehr half deal with... bratty kids for parents, chosen by the children who feel that parents complain too much and tough parents  for kids used to easy lives. The idea ostensibly is to give all the participants (and the viewers) a different view of life, different from what they are used to ..

As a popular ad says, 'Next is what?'!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Give and Take

This is a phrase we have all heard all our lives...  "give and take". It has been reiterated in every language that we can understand. It is a good thing too. Life goes better if there is some 'give and take'. We teach our children to share and give. But what is it that we really want them to do?  When we talk of giving is it not in the larger scope of giving to the lesser fortunate, to the world.... to be generous?

But is it absolutely important to balance out every favour, every little gift and every little phrase? I do not know how it goes with you, but every time I give something to someone, I feel that they can't wait to return it. No, no, not the same thing, but in kind. Try it. Give someone a signature dish  and the next day or the day after.. you'll get some dish they made. They borrow a cup of sugar and not only return that but add some fruit to it so they do not feel obligated.

Sometimes it is difficult to keep track where in the cycle one is. They give, you return, they give more and you give back.. till you forget where you are in the cycle. Who has the upper hand? Are you the one who has taken more or given more? Who has given you and whom have you given to? Did you dine at their place or should they be dining at yours? Did they call you or is it your turn to make that call? Did you get the compliment ( not that I mind) because you said something nice? It makes the head spin!!

I am not very good at accounting. So why do I, you may ask. Well, I learnt that if the opposite number is good at this egalitarian give and take, you better be good at balancing the scales too. If not you may be the one branded as the selfish taker.

I admit, not everyone I know is so gift aware. The close friends do not seem to mind one way or another, but in a world that neighbours and locals can get to you faster than any far flung family, you do have to get along with those around you. No one wants to be obligated and returning a container empty is an absolute 'no no'.

So should I wait for someone to read my post, or is it my turn to read another's??!  :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stereotype Damage

Not withstanding the progressive step by the judiciary on the status of gay/ lesbian relationships, the popular opinion may never change. Thanks to the portrayal of such relationships and the people in them on TV and Cinema. Case at hand being a serial called "Baat Hamari Pakki Hai" on Sony. The Serial recently had the lead character called Shravan claiming , under a hypnotic spell, that he was in love with Pappuu, another character. The absurdity is crowned by the adverse reactions of the family, who scream things like "Tumne khandaan ka naam dubo diya" ( you have ruined the family name) , " Aaj tak is khaandaan nein aisa nahin hua" ( this has never happened in this family before) and many such derogatory and regressive lines. In fact whole episodes( more than one) are devoted to this theme with this kind of dialogue. The hero protests his ' innocence' ( really?) and berates himself on such deviant( really, really?) behaviour with lines like' no wonder my father and brother want to turn me out of the house'.

How can a show so regressive be on air? Why are the producers producing it, the actors ready to play these roles and the channel air it? It sets back the clock with the viewers. Any hard won victory in the courts will be forgotten and same sex love will be termed deviant in the court of popular opinion. Do we really need this in the name of comedy and raising the TRPs??
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