The Supreme Court ruling in the 2G case marked a watershed moment for India. It proved our judiciary has teeth, and it isn't afraid to bite. It asked the same questions about governance in this country that the average Australian bowler asks of the average Indian batsman; are they at all competent? Are they fit to represent our country? What goes better with a fine chianti, emmenthal, or gouda? The 2G verdict has set the cat among the pigeons. I have no idea what actually happens when you put a cat among pigeons, but it sounds cool. The 2G decision has sparked debate all over India, and it's left me with just one burning thought; I need a new home-theatre system, and I have no idea which one to get.
It's not as easy as I thought it would be. I thought I'd walk into a store, tell a man I wanted 'Home Theatre', and he'd say right away sir, and he'd give me a sweet deal with free installation and a 2G licence. But as it turns out, there's more than one kind of Home Theatre System, and the choice I make will directly affect where I stand among my friends. I could buy a cheap one where all the speakers come out of a DVD player and that's the end of that, except, as it turns out, on the home-theatre food chain, that ranks somewhere between protozoa and amoeba. Algae would laugh at me and even mussels have Blu-Ray.
So as it turns out, my friends will only talk to me and re-add me on Facebook if I get one that has an "amplifier", which is a device that makes everything louder, clearer, and better. And scientifically speaking, how it does this is by costing an arm and two legs. Remember when all you had to do to be cool among your friends was drugs? Me neither, apparently it's a side-effect. So I looked for a system with an amplifier, and as it turns out, there's about 600 kinds of those too.
Problem of Plenty: The several thousand options to choose from
for a home theatre system makes the buy a more complicated
one than acquiring a 2G licence
So I could choose between the Denon AVR211CI or the Onkyo TX NR609. Or the JBL BDS 300, or the Chrysler R2D2 MBA 3.142 with IIPM Laptop. And if you've had enough of the alphabet by this point, you may want to look away now, because I also needed to make sure that it had enough ports for HDMI, Component cabling, and something called SPDIF (non-contagious, I'm told) to "uncompress the 5.1" sound. It is roughly at this point that I sat down in the middle of the store and started to cry.
It gets worse though. After wading through the abbreviations, EMIs, and astronomical costs of friendship, as it turned out, you can't just take one of these home, stick it in the socket, and sit down to watch something at a volume that causes most of the hair on your face to melt off.
No, then you're warned about the fact that if you don't set these things up correctly, they will explode and kill everyone in a six kilometre radius. I have to make sure (and I am not making this up) that "the cross-balancing from one horizontal V-capacitor doesn't overload the whole system" and my "splines need to be articulated along the axis of the acoustic carrier signal" and all sorts of other rubbish they say when rescuing aliens on Star Trek. All this because I want to watch Transformers with my friends, and not alone and friendless.
I think I may however have come to a decision. After a carefully measured analysis of all the options available to me at this moment, after making sure the V-Capacitors align with the splines and the orbits of Saturn and Mercury, and after ensuring that I have the right "receiver" and cabling that will prevent a nuclear apocalypse, I know what I'm going to get; A 2G licence. I hear they're much easier to acquire.
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo