A mishap foretold?

Growing up as I have been, I have rather steeled myself, nothing really except personal misfortune perhaps ever does bring tears to my eye or make me wonder. Except the story of this little girl from Bengal on a reality TV show who was rebuked so by the judges she fell paralysed. Shinjini Sengupta traumatised early in a rat race to get some place, part of a cold hearted society that values success over all else and where people are so desensitised that watching people fail on TV translates into rating points and advertiser dollars. Everyone has a take on it and as the wise have said perception is reality, depending upon which side of a pointless debate that you are on, this is either her own mistake to get where she has, or her parents or the reality show producers. Actor and celebrity blogger – Salman Khan (if you ask me and after this, the only Khan – the rest are just pretenders!) thinks the producers of the show have been callous. Amitabh Bacchan, an icon and sometimes politician from western UP and another celebrity actor blogger, blamed the media, for perhaps bringing all this to light and disrupting his blogging.

Other minor to non existent (lead by self deception) thought leaders felt the parents were to blame and a few of the thinking classes and sadly also part of the media did blame this on the rampant commercialisation, hunt for TRPs (television rating points) et al. In the clamour however some of the real issues got lost. I shed my own secret tears cursing a world gone awry where sensitivity has been lost and a little girl’s depredations are grist for a never ending mill of speculation and money making. Why; the TV channel that hosted this reality show is running a special feature with footage of the girls tears when the judges held fort on her capability this weekend, when it is certain to get the highest viewership ratings. My mother an avid bengali TV channel watcher (I am bengali as is my mom and perhaps this hits home a bit more than usual) and I saw the ad for this segment and I asked her ‘ ma, isn’t this exploitation?’ ‘no’ she said, ‘this is the way of business now’ and there, I thought I was the hard boiled one!

Luckily my little town is host to easily the best hospital of the mind in our country and the poor little girl is there for treatment. There has been considerable improvement as a nation watches and contributes more TRPs. I know in my mind having once lived rather close to that place and my sister do research on electro convulsive therapy as a part of her engineering studies there, that she will recover under the watch of those government doctors, some of who are probably closer to saints than anyone else I know. The smart aleck slick primped out judge with a name reminiscent of a pompadour  – (at least for bengali society) has denied all fault in his trip to Bangalore, caught on TV being rather aggressively defensive. The other woman judges have shown their ability to be slick with their cover ups being what I would characterize as a revisionist recall of the matters. But who am I to judge them, all I fear is the matter will soon be rushed under the carpets and rugs of an unfeeling bureaucracy and will be soon behind us, to hear of the next controversy someplace soon. Till then I know I will pray and every night as I go to sleep thinking of a little girl that just wanted to be better than everyone else and paid the price while we all cheered.

Where The Mind is Without Fear

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the  dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

      Rabindranath Tagore


About Soumya
A technology enthusiast, forever enamored by all that it hath wrought and of course here is an attempt at making sense of it all and perhaps simplifying it!

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