Not much to talk about this week, so I’m trying to stay current with good news
Bad news. I need to write about something current, otherwise nobody will read this, and then nobody will post it to Twitter and Facebook with notes like “#ShameOfIndia Do Read” Thus, my artistic desire to write 600 words about the fun I had redecorating my house was trumped by my need to be loved and validated for three seconds by the Internet. And so here I am, trapped in news cycle hell, looking for something current to laugh at. And this is a terrible week to have to do that.
For starters, the biggest verdict this week involved the death of a 14-year-old girl. Unfortunately, that’s roughly as funny as the death of a 14 year-old girl, so that’s the end of that road. And then there was the murder of a woman in Assam, who had her eyes gouged out. And page 43 of the writers’ handbook specifies that eye-gouging is funny only when it’s in the context of Andaaz Apna Apna dialogue. Coverage of the Tehelka case meanwhile has reached a level of farce so sublime that Monty Python reunited for a show out of insecurity. Because now the law is taking its course, so for a while it’s going to be solemn men and women in black coats using words like ‘perusal’ and ‘cognisance’. They’ll debate boring things like facts and the law, and all sorts of other soya bean nonsense.
This gives the media nothing to work with, which is why for the last few days, coverage of the Tehelka case has had the cadence of an infant’s bedtime book:
TARUN TEJPAL GOES TO GOA
Tarun Tejpal has decided to go to Goa. “I will go,” he said. Look! Tarun Tejpal has reached the airport. First, he goes to the check-in counter. Then, he goes through security check. Then, he goes through the humiliating gaze of his fellow citizens, all judging him for not flying business class. See now! Tarun Tejpal has boarded the plane (*insert image of plane with eyes, a smiley face and red nose*). Wow! The plane flew! In the air! On the plane, people trouble Tarun Tejpal. “What are these people” he asks. “They are goblins,” says his nanny. “Am I a goblin too?” asks Tarun. “Err, not for another six months at least, according to your own email,” says nanny. And they all burst out laughing as the plane lands in Goa.
(ALSO BY THE AUTHOR: Tarun Tejpal Goes To Court, Vijay Jolly Goes Painting, Krrish: The Mystery of the Exploding Box Office Numbers)
On a side note, if we could put an infamous Indian on every single domestic flight, we could crowdsource our entire flight schedule for free. But my endeavour to stay current was met with sunshine at last when I discovered some good news; like an American couple who celebrated their 81st wedding anniversary this week, making them the longest married couple on record. The couple’s marriage has outlasted several presidencies, the entire life-cycle of Newsweek magazine, and most buildings in Mahim. If they can keep it together for another six months, they will also have outlasted LK Advani’s prime-ministerial hopes.
And in another bit of good (and current!) news, a man’s life was saved by beer. Yes. A man drank so much beer that the alcohol in his body kept him alive when he fell into the freezing ocean in the middle of the night. It may have been the beer that put him in the ocean in the first place, but that hardly matters when you consider that that’s what brought him back alive.
The man was most certainly not drinking responsibly, though luckily he was drinking what seems to be a very responsible drink. This story makes me so happy that I can’t wait to read the children’s book the Indian media will release about it.
Rohan Joshi is a writer and stand-up comedian who likes reading, films and people who do not use the SMS lingo. You can contact him at www.facebook.com/therohanjoshi