News hounds...and a sliver of hope...

Reading the newspapers has been depressing. I am tired and sounding tired when I go on about how news is portrayed. 
I have desisted from commenting on the two murder cases. One a ‘crime of passion’. Maria Monica Susairaj and her boyfriend J M Mathew killed Neeraj Grover. Maria went shopping for knives, bedsheets etc to cover up the crime and then Mathew chopped Neeraj into bits, burnt them and buried them somewhere.
This is gruesome. What is worse is that these two had sex twice after committing the crime and went out to restaurants for dinner. 
The fact is that Neeraj was found naked in Maria’s bed. So, where is the passion? Whose passion? If Mathew was possessive, why did he spare Maria?
The vultures are already swooping in on the story. Film makers want to capitalise on the real-life incident. Why do they have to announce it? A lot of films are indeed made on real subjects. The noise is to get some pre-publicity and free publicity. It is sick. 
I won’t say anything more. 
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The other is the murder of a teenager Aarushi. Her father Dr. Rajesh Talwar is under suspicion for having killed her and their servant because he found them in a compromising position; other reports suggest that the girl knew about her father’s extra-marital affair. Whatever it is, I do find it surprising that the mother, Nupur, is appearing on several television channels to save her husband. 
She should be in the lawyer’s offices, with the police. Not giving sound bytes to the cameras. I am afraid I feel no sympathy for her when I watch her. Besides, they say she was in the house when the murders took place. 
Now comes the part about the media. Aaj Tak channel had a story in the initial days titled, “Papa yeh tu ne kya kiya?” (Papa, what have you done?) What is this? Some soap opera? And when the mother was mentioned they played the track of the song “Maa…tu sab jaanti hai…” from the film Tare Zameen Par
Is it any wonder I prefer watching game shows?
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Even the Gujjar protests have begun to look like some old feudal filmi stuff when the issue is so frightening. City clickers are sitting and judging the village voice.

I got an invite for a special screening of a film that makes me feel there is hope. I am not sure how the movie will turn out to be but Summer 2007 is at least trying to examine the “sharp schism between an Urban India which believes it is “SHINING” and a rural India which is in the grip of one of the worst economic crises of all time”.
The story revolves around a gang of well to do Medical Students who are studying in a capitation fee college. Due to some circumstances of their own making they land up in Vidharbha right in the midst of the pathetic economic and medical service scenario. The film studies the disconnect that urban India has with rural India, and the coming of age of our protagonists when confronted with the dismal and bleak situation in the villages.

The only thing that often worries me (and I felt the same with Rang De Basanti) is that coming of age often results in too much cynicism or too much of a disconnect. I would be interested in finding out what happens a few years down the line.

I too had this dream of working in a village. Was I equipped – physically, emotionally and even intellectually? Was it merely my idea of ‘doing something’? I don’t know.

And in this lack of ‘knowledge’ lie several answers to many unasked questions. In cinema. In social mores. In life.

1 comment:

  1. FV:

    We live in an age of conformity much more confining than the Victorian era.

    The biggest change is that contemporary media has shifted from fact to opinion and speculation. Instead of showing viewers how to approach controversy coolly and intelligently, the media partake of the zealotry and intolerance of many of the personalities they cover.


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