Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dear Mr Minister, we're all in this together.

I'm so bored.

Everybody around me is reacting in a way that's making me want to strangle them.

Last night, I didn't even twitch a muscle when I came to know about the Mumbai bomb blasts. 21 dead people is too small a number to panic about. Maybe it's my journalism degree that's making me think that way?

But wait, that's not entirely why I'm bored. It's probably the reactions to the bomb blasts that I'm bored of. Mumbai has been fucked again by faceless terrorists.

The hullabaloo and cacophony on social media is so predictable. The chest-beating, the discussions about how our government does nothing, politicians are corrupt, we need more security...

Which is why, I did not log into Facebook and Twitter. Not until midnight.

Bomb blasts produce predictable reactions, especially from people in Bombay. I can close my eyes and visualize exactly how people will crowd outside shops selling TVs, mouths hanging open in shock, looking at hysteric TV news anchors reporting ground zero. The anchors will be under pressure to extract uncomfortable sound-bytes. Arnab Goswami will run out of breath in the Times Now studio. Big, bold captions will announce the number of people dead.

And there'll be raging debates on Twitter. "Hang the politicians, our ISI is a failure, I want a change of Government", etc.

Annoyed at having so much bullshit coming my way, I should have ideally switched off my laptop and gone off to sleep. But I made a mistake. I asked a woman on Twitter to shut up and stop making the netas a punching bag, everytime somebody bombs the city. She said sarcastically, "Arcopol, like every non-Mumbaikar, you can only judge. Good goin". I did not reply to her. I don't intend to argue with people who do not know proper English.

Some things I don't understand. Like the difference between the words 'judge', 'observe' and 'opine'.

"I'm not judging you, I'm just giving you my opinion", "I don't mean to be judgmental, it's just an observation"...


I'm so absolutely bored of this hashtag-based activism that's clogged my Twitter time-line yesterday. It's become clear that people generally are choots. Very confused about what they want. Very weak, very sensitive. The milk they consume at breakfast curdles if they see some gory pictures from the blasts in the morning newspapers. They think the media is full of assholes. They think Barkha Dutt is incompetent.

Dear Viewer / Common Man / Whatever-the-fuck-you-are, why don't you change the channel or switch off your TV? Or, for chrissakes why don't you run a TV channel by yourself?

People are hypocrites, and this point gets proved everytime an incident of this nature takes place. They'll curse television channels, the news anchors, the media, but they'll continue watching. If they continue watching, the TRPs will boil, frothing to an extent that editors of news channels will tom-tom, "THIS IS WHAT VIEWERS WANT!"

And then, dear Viewer, more hysteria will come your way. Which brings me to mention, that I was pleasantly surprised when some journalists pointed out that there was far more discipline in the way aftermath of the tragedy was handled by the cops, hospitals and the ministers who held the press conference. It's the only thing I'm cheering for, in this entire mayhem.

So while ministers and government officials have grown up, We The People have a long way to go. An idiot on my friend list wants all of us to 'Stand Up' against terrorism. Sure, I will stand-up. I'm standing right now. And I notice you're standing up too. But oh look! There goes off another bomb. Oh there's one more. We're all standing up - who doesn't, Miss? - but why don't you get this straight: the terrorist will just find a way to do execute us. Bring on the security checks, bring on the security cameras, make the Intelligence more intelligent, but just like rodents looking for food, the terrorists always find a way. That's why they are called terrorists.

Another idiot on my friends list wants me to put up an absolutely black profile to show that I condemn the blasts. You fucker, who doesn't condemn the blasts? Everyone does. I get so fucking annoyed everytime there's a story in the paper saying, 'PM condemns blasts, guilty will be punished'. Fuck off, Mr Prime Minister. You've spent crores to punish Ajmal Kasab and the bugger thinks death is sweeter than the chai served to him in prison.

My bet is he will make his debut in Bigg Boss next year. Maybe he'll land a role in the Indian version of Harry Potter, where he'll be called as The Boy Who Lived.

I blame Twitter and Facebook for all this boredom, this frustration, this annoyance with what's happening around. Had I not logged in, I wouldn't have seen all these pseudo expressions of concern floating all around. Just because people have platforms to express themselves, means the innards of their brain are exposed and boy, oh, boy - what an eyesore it is.

Why don't you put a hand on your heart and apologize to your favourite punching bag: "Dear minister, we're all in this together. We're all fucked."

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