Monday, May 3, 2010

Thank You For Watching

I told my friend that I wanted my tombstone to say “She waited and watched”. My friend replied, “No.. it should read - Beware! Still waiting and watching!”

That got me thinking. I think I’m too much of a poker face to be spooky but I like watching TV. I liked it even when Anjan Dutta came out with his misty hill station number, “TV Dekho Na” (Don’t watch TV). He sings well but not very persuasively. (Otherwise wouldn’t Bela Bose have answered when he called her up on 2441139 or not ditched him for some other guy?)

And when the Galerie Romain Rolland at the Alliance Francaise hosts a photography exhibition by Olivier Culmann with snapshots of TV Viewers from all over the world, I went over to stare right back at my fellow couch potatoes.

The photograph above is of one of them.

I also like staring at the bottom right corner of my laptop and the desktop clock says 12:13pm. I like to believe I notice these things in particular. Google might like to believe that I have apophenia. Look it up.

I don’t know what kinds of obsession with numbers count as numerology. I did buy a book for my Mom called “One to Nine” written by Andrew Hodges which was touted to be about the inner life of numbers. It was supposed to be a connection between her and me. Like those fingers touching each other in the Nokia ad. And when I watched Jim Carrey in “The Number 23”, it got real personal.

It’s great to know Grey’s Anatomy is back. Season 6. Zee Café. I know the character of George O’ Malley didn’t make it which is why the rest of characters are dressed for a funeral in the promos. And Detective Monk is back for one last season on Star World. I like his obsessions.

What I didn’t like was the play “Broken Images” at the India Habitat Centre’s Stein Auditorium on Labour Day. I got myself a ticket in the nick of time and the stub tersely declared:

Written by: Girish Karnad

Directed by: Alyque Padamsee

Cast: Shabana Azmi

It was a solo act. A conversation with her conscience. There was a string of names called out in the beginning about who’s done the lighting and who’s done costumes and who’s done set design and that just seemed so the wrong way to do it. Couldn’t they all have just come out on stage and taken a bow? It sounded a bit like those advertisements in which they say “Contains no fruit. Contains added flavour.” Or “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health” really, really fast.

I told you, I like watching TV.

I like getting thrilled sometimes. A loud laughter coming from our usually quiet drawing room. A thunderstorm. A dark cloud with the promise of showers. Watching the white zoo zoo in the commercial breaks when the IPL cricket matches are on. Or when I keep things to myself and sit on information and shock the onlookers and my father scolds me. I like making the decibels shoot up in the house where people mustn’t go beyond a whisper if I’m watching the sitcom Friends on Star World but where it’s okay for the volumes to go up when my parents have the remote.

I like watching romantic comedies. Period films. And psychological thrillers. I like watching Jodie Foster and Anne Hathaway. And Julia Roberts. I belong to a world where the tagline for a Scorpio is “Nothing Else Will Do”.

I watched The Silence of The Lambs today.

I don’t like the food chain. I don’t like the concepts of strength and weakness. I don’t believe weakness means death.

Sunday evenings make me want to cry. Especially when I fall asleep in the afternoon and it’s dark when I wake up. Its like I have lost something and I don’t really know what that was. And not even chicken steamed momos from Kamlanagar’s Momo Point or Keventer’s cold coffee or homemade black tea or Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl can make things better. Dried leaves asking to be raked and rustling on the paved roads outside can’t bring the old times back. The temple bells can’t take my prayers through and the gym cannot help me shed this baggage.

I like my room.

I like the possibility of there being a lady poltergeist boarding in here with me and occasionally camping on or under my bed. I don’t know about the white saaree but she was pious and died a natural death. I like thinking that she was there with me through all the waiting and watching. January 2006. March 2007. July 2009. February 2010.

And I believe I left out 2008 because of one very simple reason. I didn’t have the remote control that year. I wasn’t a viewer.

Now who would want to write about that?

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