After watching TV in the UK for a few years - big brother, x factor, fear factor et al, I had honestly believed I had seen it all. However, a chance encounter with something called "Roadies" on MTV changed all that for me.
I know very little about the roadies - there are two teams and they play different games and there are eliminations and a 'winner' emerges in the end. I am not sure what the winner is supposed to be good at, but he is an MTV Roadie and he gets a lot of money and usually also gets invited to take part in Big Boss, which is India's version of 'Celebrity Big Brother'. One of the essential qualifications for appearing on Big Boss is that this lot were able to block out 90 days from their calendar without batting an eyelid.
I am not sure what career options are available to Big Boss winners.
So, there I was gorging, on lots of chicken tikka and roomali roti at RG's house, where we were all treated to all the roadies getting very excited about someone getting kicked out, a slanging match between two girls (one of them was wearing very large and very dark glasses indoors) and then the game. The game was as follows - all of these early 20 somethings were let loose with Pushkar animal fair in the backdrop, with the glorious task of collecting animal dung. That was the task - collecting shit with bare hands. The dung was divided into two categories - fresh and not-so-fresh, with the fresh variety getting a higher weightage in the final score.
I am not really sure why I am disgusted - quite a few things rush to my mind, but I I will let it be for now.
With the realisation that I had hit a new TV record which would be hard to better, I resumed dividing my attention with RG, SS and Chicken Tikka.
The universe had other plans.
Roadies returned, with its infinite capacity to surprise, with a bang!
This time around, the two teams were participating in a quiz. The questions were to be answered by the girls of each team and correct answers would get them points. In case of an incorrect answer, one of the boys of the team would get hit by a paddle on the balls.
Apologies, but this had to said as there is no other way of saying it.
Oh yes, the quiz questions were about translating words from English into Hindi and vice versa. As you can imagine, there were a lot of wrong answers and lots of bats and balls being connected.
So yes, I know that I have seen all that there is to see on TV. (As long as I dont watch roadies again).
I feel bad when I see such television. I feel worse because I could see that this program is very popular (every commercial break had about 5 minutes of advertising). I will not get into comparing how things earlier, but I think that a few such data points can help us extrapolate where things are headed -
- where TV is headed
- where public acceptance levels are headed
- where education levels might be headed
All we know has been taught to us - from teachers, parents and friends. Of course we read, but then it is our peers and soceity which decides what are the first few things we read, or even that we start to read. Media plays an ever increasing role. Reading and discourse probably leads to opinion and action and so on.
What if an entire generation of teachers, friends and parents are brainless, wont the succeeding generations lose out on a lot and would have to reinvent the educational and cultural wheel? I like to think that such things have happened before - for example, the ruin of the various south american civilisations (I guess we dont even know how long it will be before we understand their abilities completely) and their replacement by the Europeans.(Funny how the Europeans called labeled all these civilisations as barbarians. The sense of humour of this universe knows no end.)
Drastic change of topic -
I also got to see "Luck by chance". I liked it. It is a good movie.
Since SS has threatened dire consequences for talking about it on the blog before she gets to see it, I will just say that a murder mystery of such finesse is very rare to come by.
Also, for all of you who read my blog, please wish me luck. There is something up for which I need all your wishes.