Hello! Given that this is my first column for the good folks at Brunch, I wanted to make sure I wrote something insightful, something that deals with life's grandest themes, and indeed its smallest ones. Something that puts the world, and your life, in perspective. I wanted to make sure I served up an intellectual gourmet.
But then they rang and told me to write about Indian television, so that's the end of that. To be fair, nobody is more qualified to write about Indian television than I am. This is for two reasons:
1) I do not watch it, and
2) I do not often produce it. (Though, in the interest of full disclosure, at age 6, I was "Excited Child #3" on a Doordarshan musical called Phoolwaari Baccho Ki. Maybe you remember it. I pray you don't.)
|Dolly Bindra akaThe Bigg Boss House.|
Which brings me to the problem I have with Indian television. Where on earth did all the writers go? We're the country that wrote Malgudi Days, Hum Log, Buniyaad even. How did we go from that to "You know what we should do? We should make that child-bride come to Bombay to search for her child-husband who ran away! And when she finds him, she should get shot. In the face."
The last time I saw a fantastically plotted script on Indian television, 11 Sri Lankans went home disappointed and Sachin Tendulkar got carried around the field by Virat Kohli. Indian fiction on TV is for the most part, mindless, soulless, plotless drivel. Only some of it, like the Lok Sabha, is genuinely gripping.
The sadder truth? You can't even blame the (non) writers. They built it, we came. In droves, even. The drivel rates well, and night after night, families sit down and continue to get their fix of it. Why? I'm not sure, but I have a (not necessarily scientific) theory.
|Do not adjust your screens. I'm really this creepy.|
So come on then TV writers. Engage me, thrill me, challenge me, enthrall me. Or I'll lure you all to Bombay to search for your child-husband. And then I will shoot you. In the face.
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