Sense over Sensationalism please !

It’s sad news for the entertainment industry again. Mere days after the shocking demise of colossally talented director Mr. Rituparno Ghosh , the country woke up to the news of the passing of the actress Jiah Khan. More shocking was the manner of her death, for it was not  because of a disease or accident but sadly it was suicide. It was sad to know that a promising young actress who serenaded us with her vibrant presence onscreen would no longer grace the big screen with her charming smile and lilting voice.

The very word suicide was enough to put reporters and journalists all over the country in a tizzy. There were speculations about her actions (even though her suicide note was discovered days later), stories were run on every other news channel about her life as an actress, panel discussions were held on the ‘dark side’ of the entertainment world and so on. Obituaries were written and condolences were made.

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And then came the shocking revelation behind her suicide- her suicide note was discovered. That finally put to rest to the horde of conjectures made about her decision. But then it gave the news channels some new fodder to hold discussions over. For the reasons listed in the suicide note were nothing less than appalling . The reason which she gave for committing suicide were problems in her love life. Although she did not name the person, there were explicit references to her (unnamed) boyfriend in the note. The note in question was made public and later the boyfriend was taken into custody. And thus began the petty TRP- hording tactics of certain ‘news’ channels. It is not a hidden fact from anyone living in the country about the ridiculous measures certain hindi language news channels take in the name of news and journalism. A particuar channel, notorious for the rubbish it churns out, took things to an all new level. They had a full-fledged enactment of the suicide note wherein they had a hapless distressed girl playing Jiah and delivering  the lines of the note in an over dramatic fashion, reminiscent of a daily soap cliche. She clawed at walls, shouted her lungs out, flung things all over the room, pulled at her hair and whatnot. The performance, needless to say, was uncalled for and disgraceful . What may I ask was the need to enact the whole letter adding theatrical angles to a sad event that brings forth serious issues of increasing instances of suicide and harassment ? Maybe they found reading out the letter, as was done by other channels in a very dignified manner,  was a tad bit dry and thus decided to dramatize it to garner more eyeballs and stand out from others, however petty may be the means to do so.

A news channel is supposed to bring forth hard facts and not to sensationalize news, specially the ones dealing with really sensitive issues.  We have plenty of entertainment channels for that You want to stand out amongst your competitors ? Well bring in quality and sensibility rather than sensationalizing matters. or else drop the “news” from your channel name.

 

Book Review : Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Summary :
“They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life–steady boyfriend, close family–who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident. Will has always lived a huge life–big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel–and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy–but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common–a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? “

Okay so here’s a situation : you see a book, grimace a little at its tacky cover, declare it as a typical mindless out-of-the-world chick lit but pick it up anyways because you are in mood for trashy novels. Emphasis on the word trashy here. Fast forward a few hours. You are sitting at the metro station, missing train after train and knowing full well about a certain class that you are supposed to attend. But you don’t pay attention. Not even to the fact that you have just 5 minutes left to leave the station else you’ll be bound to pay a hefty fine. But these things are trivial for you. You are busy wiping tears from your eyes and can’t suppress a sigh every now and then. A kind faced lady with a green bag and a concerned look on her face comes over to you and asks about the tragedy you are facing. Hearing the word tragedy you gasp in horror and look at her with incredulity because you can’t imagine a situation any less tragic than this. This is one of those rarest of the rare moments of your life wherein your satisfaction knows no bounds. It’s like you have seen the sun after months of depressing rain. It’s like you have finally managed the top grade after repeatedly dismal results. Yes, it is one of those moments where, had you been in a movie, you would have whooped with joy and waltzed with strangers. Because it is after so many months that you’ve finally come across a book that has blown you over. A novel with so blatantly real characters that you wouldn’t be surprised to find one of them walking past you albeit with a different physicality. They have flaws. And even these flaws are extremely realistic that they sometimes remind you of real people in your life. It’s a love story with not a trace of corny romance where the two individuals move beyond drooling over the other’s hot body. Their relationship us what a healthy relationship should be. Where one helps the other grow. And all this without a trace of banality or boredom creeping in.

 
But you can’t say all this to the green bag lady. Instead you just smile and point at the book with the hope that one day she’ll realise. As you turn back to the novel you realise with a sudden bout of philosophical insight that this is the kind of fairy tale that can happen in real life. That you would prefer this over a knight in a shining armor.

P.S. The novel in the girl’s hand, dear reader, in case you hadn’t realized is Me Before You. And this girl could very well be you if you plan on reading it in future.

Book Review : Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

 

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After days ( months really) of gorging ya novels, i finally sought to give the genre a break and switch to reading something more serious. It’s hard, you know. YA is addictive atuff. It’s quick to read, easy to relate to and works wonders for depression (well there you go! my secret  antidote for depression). After laboriously going through my to-read list, i finally got my hands on Moloka’i. It’s running theme, about the plight of leprosy patients in the late nineteenth century, promised to enrich with knowledge of the events which i was sadly unaware of. Yes, i  am quite ashamed to admit that i knew nothing about leprosy camps or about the history of the disease. And thus enlightenment came in the form of this novel by Alan Brennert. It was informative, very much so, and very well researched. 

The story is about  a young girl, Rachael, who is taken from her family and sent to the Molokai leper colony in the 1890’s. She’s one of the youngest inhabitants of the colony. She spends most of her life there until a cure for leprosy is discovered. The novel takes us through her life and how she experiences loneliness, seperation and desperation on having been taken away from her family, finding friendship and solace in fellow  and growing up to become a woman of extreme tolerance. 

The novel as i mentioned previously is abundant on knowledge and takes us through an era when scientific discoveries were abundant and orthodoxy was at its peak. It gives a very detailed and sometimes exhausting description of the islands which sometimes breaks the pace of narration. The story in itself is quite interesting and there are parts where your heart goes out to the characters and their predicament. It’s heart wrenching at places. The residents share close friendship with each other and you can’t help but sigh in delight at their camaraderie. 

It’s a sentimental novel full of heart wrenching moments but it’s not perfect. Some of the tragedies seem forced and work as mere incidents to pile on to the sentimentality. Read to know more about historical events that many of us don’t pay attention to. But nothing spectacular here.

Hello world!

Okay so here i go. The first post. THE FIRST post!!! I created this blog around 2 1/2 months ago, promised to be the religious blogger ( one of the types which make me I-promise-to-write-atleast-once-everyday inspired), even had a few ideas in mind about THE FIRST post but as this shit blank blog page signifies, i didn’t do as i promised myself. After a couple of months of procrastinating, in the  middle of my final exams, here i am trying to come up with the inaugral post of my blog. And while i am doing this it makes me think: why do all creative inspirations and ideas come at a time when you can’t afford to spend even a minute on them? I have this biiiig exam 3 days from now and needless to say  got  to seriously revise for it but hey, i got this inexplicable urge to write in this blog today when i could have done it 2 months back, when i had all the free time in the world. And whenever there’s an exam, i feel all the more frantic to just go and bring  the ideas out of my head and turn them real. Inexplicable as it is, i am just glad that the ideas come at all nevermind the time, good or bad.

So here’s presenting the debut post, the one and the only one that’s going to acquire the status of the launching post in the history of this blog.