Last week, the drama around one of this decade's most keenly watched international events reached a sudden manic crescendo, and everybody watched with lurid fascination, as one of the world's most wanted men finally fell. You watched it unfold, and I know I did, as it happened; at long last, Prince William married Kate Middleton.
Predictably, the folks on TV went a bit nuts. The BBC ran a pre-wedding special on how it all came together ("The fondant marquaise at the post-wedding dinner will be crafted from chocolate hand-picked by Belgian virgins, soaked gently in the tears of laboratory-grown orangutans"), CNN had a (I kid you not) "wedding expert" standing outside the abbey, who, unsurprisingly, was an Indian woman, and the YouTube live-stream of the wedding had over 100 million hits. To put that in perspective, the entire population of the United Kingdom is 62 million people. The hysteria was unprecedented, and stopped just short of an India TV special asking "Kya Kate Middleton alien hai?" (Correct answer: "I don't know, but damn that sister of hers is HOT!")
Which begs just two questions; one, how bored are we, that we'll sit down and watch somebody else's wedding live just because their family members happen to be on the United Kingdom's currency? And two, given that the queen's face is on their money, it's probably best that they don't do the whole circle-money-around-couple's-head-before-tossing-it-at-them thing we do at Indian sangeets, no? ("THAT'S MY GRANDMOTHER YOU BAS***D!") And while we're at it, three; why weren't the dabbawallas invited?
And by virture of their now-formalised association with the crown, the poor Middleton's have been sucked into that vapid cult of celebrity where they're famous because they're famous. All the TV channels and the papers want to know how "Kate" (like they went to Hindi-tuitions with her) got so thin, panel-discussions poured over why Prince William chose someone of "Common stock", never mind that the Middletons have a fair amount of that stuff with the queen's picture on it, and now there's uproar over leaked photographs of Pippa Middleton on a cruise some years ago, where she's in (shock! Horror! AWE!) a BATHING SUIT! NO! HOW DARE SHE WEAR A BATHING SUIT ON A YACHT! How
she not be clothed in an evening gown? With a burqa on top for good measure?
And I feel worse for the Middletons because they can't respond. If they'd been Kardashians, Kate (okay so maybe I did go to Hindi-tuitions with her) could sell diet-books for one million queen-photographs a piece, and Pippa could have drunkenly slurred her way through a reality show, but alas, you can't do that when you've just been appointed Duchess of Cornwall.
I fear that if the media's got to keep this hailstorm of coverage going, it's got only one option. You can have this awesome new reality show idea free of cost, India TV-people; "
Kya Dabbawaalo ka
nahi hona ek
Writer Rohan Joshi is also a Comedian, Bombayite, Grammar Nazi, Bengan, LOST fan, Astronaut, Nobel Laureate and slight-stretcher-of-truth. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MojoRojo