There appears to be a race among almost all contemporary entertainers - actors, singers, composers and even audio/video jockeys to be more jarring and lurid than each other. And the irony is that even Amitabh Bachchan (and many others of 'stature') are joining the likes of Kapil Sharma and Honey Singh. (Paradox: the trio needs no introduction).
It's only sadder that though people are talking about and against it, nobody appears to be in sight to repair the damage being caused to our aesthetic tastes, especially pun, wit, satire and humour we used to be good at locally, regionally and nationally.
The jokes on Jats, Sikhs, Pandits, Bhapas, Baniyas, people's weaknesses, strengths, quirks, habits… PMs, CMs, and what-not, which made us laugh till our jaws and stomach ached, seem to be missing today. Then came the PJs (poor jokes) and witty absurdities which amused us as much.
However, now you may disagree with me, but it is quite a hard test of endurance to view TV or hear the radio as the jockeys annoy me as much as their so-called programmes they call (read fib) entertainment.
And as if songs such as 'Gandi baat' and 'Party all night' were not menacing enough, quirks like 'Babaji ka thullu', too, have been torturous to many like me. And now, a movie called 'Mastram' seems to suggest to people like me that the entertainment business is bankrupt of refreshing good ideas.
One wonders if this is what the otherwise talented Vidya Balan said and meant in her movie 'Dirty Picture' - entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.
Not very long ago, we had big entertainment in all media and bigger scope for the same. Today, entertainment sellers seem to prosper by selling more audio and visual lewdness in the name of entertainment, knowing jolly well that there is a very (verily) big chunk of buyers who would lap it up with audacity and not with a sense of opprobrium.
Also, not long ago, passing on good jokes, quotes or sayings through SMSes was an essential chore of our phone. Today, it is full of vile entertainment (read 'item' songs and sounds) which are less musical than the tables ('pahade') we hummed in our childhood.
Lastly and sadly, the joke manufacturers in the country (especially Punjab and Haryana which were known for their ruthless sense of humour) seem to have downed their shutters and gone on a long vacation or have presumably retired prematurely.
Also fading out seem to be the memories of comedians such as Mehmood, Keshto Mukherjee, Mukri, Asrani and Jagdeep, and legendary singers such as Mohammad Rafi, Manna De and even Asa Singh Mastana, who fondly sang comic songs and left lingering, sweet smiles on our lips.
Miss them. And if you have read this piece till here, I have a reason to surmise you are on my side.