Jayant, the cool dude executive, took a couple of friends to Pappu Singh’s dhaba, boasting, of course, that he has discovered this great kebab joint which may be the size of a hole but gets written about in the newspaper.
Also, at such a place, he could afford a few cheap drinks in plastic glasses sitting in the car rather than paying a bomb in a hip restro bar. Anyway, now that Pappu Singh has started getting ‘upmarket’ clients, he recently became the proud owner of a 14” color TV. He gets 99 channels, no less, and though the fancy Tata Sky’s and Dish TVs of the world couldn’t oblige a place with an address that reads ‘Pappu Singh da thela, main road’, the local cable wallah most kindly did. The other day Jayant got out from the AC car to catch some fresh air and on seeing Pappu Singh groove to ‘Pappu Can’t Dance Saala’, asked him to switch to a news channel.
“Tum log zindagi bhar gaane hi dekhte rahoge, udhar dunia aaj khatam hone wali hai (people like you can only watch movie songs, while the world is coming to an end),” said Jayant, in an obvious reference to the big bang experiment and the brouhaha that doomsday was here. Pappu Singh, dancing to a song that makes fun of his own name, looked up and said, “Sir, jab pralay aani hai to aayegi, news dekhne se ruk jayegi kya (When the world has to end, it will. Watching news on TV won’t stop it from happening.)
His executive assistant Chhottu, who was washing the dishes told Jayant that on their new TV, they watch all channels except news channels, as Pappu Singh feels they show nothing but violence and sorrow, or, sometimes, bizarre stuff in the name of breaking news. A channel yesterday had a breaking news that Mahabharat’s Ashwathama is still alive and wandering around, he said, wide-eyed. Jayant mumbled something about illiterate people not realising the importance of world affairs.
But come to look at it, what wrong is Pappu Singh doing by insulating himself from some crap which is guaranteed to make him either scared or angry or sorry for the world. A 16-year old girl in Indore got so stressed after continually watching the big bang experiment news over all channels that she committed suicide. Need for awareness is not debatable but obsessed with the Aarushis and Sanjeev Nandas of the world, the news channels are now used to blowing the negative out of proportion, leaving the common man in the living room with a distorted view that nothing good is left to know about.
Hey, it’s not all that bad in the world out there. Listen to some nice music, unwind with friends, woo your girlfriend… just switch off the damn news if it starts interfering with your peace of mind. Leave the job to the analysts. Silence the doomsayers. Translating Pappu Singh’s words, “Good news rarely comes on TV and bad news would find you anyway. Why go looking for it”.
(Sonal Kalra decided to quit watching news channels and started watching comedy and laughter shows, till she looked at the top corner of the screen and realised that they were being aired by news channels only. Send your calmness tricks to her at email@example.com )