Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Of Festivals and Body Ka Badshah Kaun…

It’s rather disconcerting: the noise, the pollution, the cracker-burst-paper-litter, loud speakers, the pageantry, the buntings, the banners, the clanging of cymbals, and the cloying sweetness of it all. Another big festival in the Hindu calendar is upon us and there’s no respite from now to December, as festival follows festival in an inevitable procession.

Most disturbing of all is the three-wheeled rickshaw-wallah’s apparent reluctance to ply his much-needed contraption during the festival. Every day there’s a long and tired queue of commuters at CBD Belapur station waiting for the rickshaw-god to show his kindness. No luck! I don’t wait, I start walking.

Khushwant Singh, the venerable editor-writer once mentioned that he is rather disturbed by the show of religious fervor in recent times. Me too! Are we a people that don’t know moderation? I mean, um, when we do something, we do it in excess. If you don’t believe me, take a look at our Bollywood item numbers, and then I will rest my case (by the way, the latest item number is “You are mind-blowing mahiya”). Groups try to out-do each other in the popularity stakes, so, the more the better. Never mind the assault on a poor writer’s senses.

And then Star New went into feminine sexual fantasy in yesterday’s [September 18, 2007] news with their special feature “Body ka Badshah Kaun?” (“Who is the emperor of the Body [in Bollywood]?). The presenter vacuously went on and on about Hritik Roshan's, Salman Khan's, Shahrukh Khan's and John Abraham’s bodies and pectorals, or whatever is making them so popular at the box-office.

Well, hmm, if it was a comparison of their acting abilities, or, even dancing abilities, I would have understood. But “Emperor of the Body”? Come on, isn’t it pandering to the obsession for a six-pack tummy? When offering them a role, do they look at the actor’s muscles and then decide? People with a paunch (such as me) are already feeling so much uglier after the show. Is there nowhere to hide that protruding ugly belly? I won’t tell you who won, I don’t believe in such in-depth analysis of the ventral display of the actors’ gastro-intestinal systems.

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