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Sunday 8 October 2017

# 54 - Of Insans, aunties, blue whales, and X years of the iPhone

TV reporters have never had it better, the last couple of months have provided enough fodder for news channels to pick and choose. 

No need of 'JUST IN: Amitabh Bachchan catches a cold' type of news tickers, there's Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan, Blue Whale, Ram Rahim Insaan and his recently arrested daughter, Omprakash Mishra, and last but definitely not the least, the iPhone X.

No, scratch that, given that stellar list, the iPhone X is least likely to grab the eyeballs, despite the Face ID.

Rest assured that this is not an exhaustive list, regular features continue to occupy their slots – the complaining politicians, the ‘y we need this tho’ of the month (this month it’s the Bullet Train), Arnab Goswami, the Mumbai rains, the Mumbai trains, and so on.

But back to the main highlights.

Dhinchak Pooja is last season’s stuff, it's Omprakash Mishra who's raking up the YouTube views counter.

And I have to admit, ‘Bol naa Aunty aoo, kya’ is catchy. 

There was some hullabaloo about the song dissing (main bhi rapper) the concept of consent, and therefore, open letters were written, effigies were burnt and trolls (from both sides) activated.

And of course, activists made their own videos saying that trends such as this should not be encouraged. 


Sure, the song is crass, has little or no production values, and is probably sexist.

But I swear on my rapidly receding hairline, I didn't even care for the lyrics or tried to decipher them until I read the article about it.

And on second thoughts, are your sensibilities on personal leave when the Honey Singhs and Badshahs of the world release their tracks? 

Bas sab campaigning mere Omprakash ke saath hi? Am I going to be the only one to stand up for the underdog with the 2 megapixel camera and the 30-day free-trial of auto-tune? 
Speaking of underdogs, remember the time when Apple used to be one?

Me neither.

I have written about iPhones in the past, and like every year, this year too, hundreds and thousands have written it off even before it’s released, and I am confident that like every year, this year too, millions will go on to purchase it. 

But, how much longer? Sure, you are rewarded for staying in the Apple ecosystem, I love the Apple Watch but I can't have it since I use an Android (also, I am saving my kidney for something really special).

Let's face it, the phones are still good, but ‘good’ doesn't cut it anymore, especially when you were the one who set the bar so damn high in the first place.

Talking poop and clucking like a chicken is great, but that Face ID faux pas right after dollops of self-praise and the repeated 'you've never seen anything like this before' would have made Steve Jobs a very, very angry man had he been alive. 

And what's with the X being pronounced Ten? Remember that Doordarshan goof-up when the anchor referred to Xi Jinping as "Eleven Jingping"?

I demand she be reinstated!
I wish that was the only case of terrible nomenclature, but they have come out with something which they call 'Air power'. 

And I thought OnePlus was unfortunately named.

Air power sounds like something I produce after I have had a can of beans.

Do better, Apple, Your-die hard fans deserve it. And while at it, they deserve bundled air-pods and fast-chargers too.

And now, to address the elephant in the room.

I, of course, refer to Dr. Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan (hereinafter referred to as ‘Dr. S’ for the sake of brevity and levity).

I had seen the first MSG movie at a PVR with a friend whose name I shall not reveal, but Anand (Okay, no surname then) and I knew that we were witnessing cinematic history being created in front of us when Dr. S turned a bullet threatening to blow his brains out into flower that matched his lungi. Not content with this feat, he followed it up by breaking the fourth wall and telling us viewers, “Koi hum e sant kehta hai, koi kehta hai farishta, koi kehta hai guru, toh koi kehta hai bhagwan ... lekin hum toh hai sirf ek....insaan,” (Some call me a saint, some call me an angel, some call me a teacher, and some call me god ... but I'm just a....human).

Pavitra Rishta

Yeah right! You didn’t fool us for a second, Dr. S. We knew there was something off about you then, and it was only much later we came to know that your crimes weren’t just restricted to creating the MSG Series and ‘Jattu Engineer’.

But that’s been discussed enough already, I am curious about a different phenomenon altogether.

Why did the media suddenly get so obsessed about Honeypreet, over Dr. S?
Sure, she was absconding and all, but showing her life history and interviewing anyone and everyone connected to her at the cost of ignoring other insights into Dr.S’s diabolical schemes (allegedly: tunnels from fatcave leading to girls hostel, skeletons being unearthed, etc.) was surely a tad excessive.

And even though you know why, I’ll spell it out 

M-U-C-K. Muck.

We love dirt - on other people. It’s why the media loved going on and on about the Sheena Bora murder case, delving into details and at times creating it, it’s why they are still trying to make money out of the Nanavati case, and it’s why shows like Bigg Boss sell. 

Why does this shit sell though? I am not sure, but I am as guilty as you are, I can tell you that - I am trying to get you to read my blog by using similar tactics, ain’t I?

Now the last one, promise.

The first time I heard that 'Blue Whale' is a dangerous trend that's going viral, I thought it was a Honey Singh song fat-shaming someone.

Then the newspapers gave it more coverage, and the first thing it reminded me of was a Black Mirror episode (‘Shut up and Dance’, if you must know). 

Off-late, India has become a hot spot for these dubious records, most selfie-related deaths, most blue whale-related incidents, rape capital of the world; we have built quite a reputation.

I am not entirely sure how the blue whale thing works, but from what I have read, it involves tasks that one has to complete and prove to some unknown entity on the internet. 

The tasks include, getting up at the middle of the night, drawing a blue whale on one's hand by making cuts, watching a horror movie at 2am, etc. etc. culminating into....suicide.

Wait, what?

The guy who claimed to have created the thing had been arrested quite some time back and he's said that we should be thankful to him for his service because he is cleansing the society by getting rid of 'biological waste'. 

Sounds like a villain straight from the DC universe. 

But every day the news reports get weirder and weirder.

There's apparently a kid who tried to commit suicide and when stopped he said he was promised one crore rupees if he successfully committed the act.

I repeat, this kid was told that if he managed to commit suicide, he would be given Rs. 10000000.

Perhaps understandably, he was unhappy when he was stopped from taking his life. 

I wonder what he planned on doing with the money. After-life-after-party?

But this is not a laughing matter, what the hell is wrong with the kids?  Weren't they supposed to be getting smarter?  

But it's not about being smart, it's about being unhappy, being vulnerable, believing that no one cares about you and nothing good will ever come out of your life.

We all feel like shit sometimes, age has nothing to do with it, but when you have teenagers and adolescents feeling this way, and the people around are too busy playing candy crush, reading the latest gossip about Honeypreet or wondering how Kangana will strike back now, that's when the affected persons become susceptible to games like 'Blue Whale'.

I am no Dr. Phil, but I have a hunch that It's not just 'Blue Whale', emotionally vulnerable people are more likely to harm themselves, 'Blue Whale' is just a push, it might as well be Sharma Ji Ka Beta who convinces the victim that there's nothing left in his life. 

Social (media) validation is as crucial as ever in this time and age, we go to unbelievable extents in our quest for likes and shares - The duck face is too passe, how about a selfie with a tiger instead, or maybe from the top of a building, standing on a ledge. That would surely spike up the likes? 

The Blue Whale game is probably a twisted, f'd up sort of validation - out there, someone or something pretends to understand you, befriends you, promises you rewards when you complete a challenge, and before you know it, you become a slave to it, and then it reinforces your belief that you are no good, that your life doesn't make any difference to anyone out there. That, you are, truly alone and will always be, so why not, just end it all? 

Sounds crazy? That's because it is. But maybe the joker was onto something when he uttered those lines in 'The Dark Knight'.

Madness is a lot like gravity, all you need is a little push.

Take a good look around you, ladies and gentlemen, it's a mad world out there, and if anything, it is only getting worse. 

Don't believe your friendly blue themed social media site that gives you the impression that everybody except you is leading perfect lives, we are all miserable in our not-so-unique ways. 

So the next time you see a teenager pouting, or flaunting a perfect smile for the camera, take a moment to consider how happy he/she actually is,...

And yes, look out for the cuts.

See you when the next fad hits the fan....

Video from here, image from here.


  1. Although I am not a fan of Omprakash or his song, but I must say that those people dissing him need to realize that they aren't being forced to listen to it. Don't listen if you don't like it.

  2. This post is a bit too long. You can make them shorter. Try it.