Rahul da Cunha: Fake deaths, flicking films and a feeble no

Oct 01, 2017, 06:52 IST | Rahul Da Cunha

So Remo Fernandes died last week. Music fans were devastated.

Illustration/Uday Mohite

So Remo Fernandes died last week. Music fans were devastated.

And, while tributes were paid on the Internet, the musician was actually holidaying in Portugal. Matlab, he was not dead in person, just online.

Remo's is the most recent in a line of 'deaths'. Tiger Woods was 'killed off' last month. Dilip Kumarji has been declared 'dead' so often that he could be renamed Resurrection Saab. Rowan 'Mr Bean' Atkinson 'died' some years ago in a road accident. Sly Stone was exterminated between
'Expendables 1' and 'Expendables 2'. And, Arnie Schwarzenegger was terminated.

These are called 'fake' deaths, created to get more traffic, hits, views and likes on the Internet. (Many are secretly hoping that Trump and Kim Jong may breathe their last, at least in the virtual world.)

In other social media news, Twitter feels it needs more people to tweet. So, it has doubled its character limit from its present 140 for us to express our feelings in more detail. It's going to be tough, particularly for teenagers and trolls. (I will not explain further for fear of being lynched.)

In other news, the Rajkummar Rao movie, Newton, is our official Oscar entry. Predictably, there are claims that it's a copy of an Iranian original called 'Secret Ballot' from who else but a bunch of envious indie filmmakers. But, the question has to be asked — what's the difference between a copy, a lift, an adaptation, and 'inspired by'? From what I understand, the worlds of 'Newton' and 'Secret Ballot' are the same, even though it is no 'direct copy', not like, say, many of Pritam's Bollywood songs. Or 'Sarkar being 'inspired' by The Godfather', and Kaante a lift of 'Reservoir Dogs'. And of course the issue of credits. Why, for example, didn't Sholay credit the Magnificent Seven for its inspiration who in turn didn't even mention Kurosawa's Seven Samurai?

Which brings us to the larger question, does originality truly exist? Mark Twain once famously said, “There is no such thing as a new idea. We simply take old ideas and make new and curious combinations.”

Elsewhere, a Delhi court has declared that when a woman says a feeble 'no' what she means could be construed as a 'yes'. I'd like to meet this incredible vocal expert-cum-legal whiz.

Your Honour, what is a feeble 'no', viz-a-viz a firm one? When a woman is pinned down in the back of a moving bus, or in a massive abandoned mill, by one man, or by several brutes, what, Sir, is a feeble no? She could have a thin voice, a sore throat, her neck could be in a vice like grip… And, in that moment, when she is faint, half in fear, feeling these could be her last minutes alive, a law is passed that says, her feeble no, could actually be a qualified yes. I rest my case.

And, finally, Hugh Hefner died with a smile on his lips. There was certainly a smile on mine. All through the seventies. RIP (Rest In Playboy).

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com

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