Last week, activists from the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) attacked, and blackened the faces of, Raghu Ram, Rajiv Laxman, and Ranvijay, or as you, the TV-watching people of India know them, "those angry women from Roadies."Which brings me to the problem. I'd like to drag out my soapbox and cry myself hoarse about cultural censorship and regressive behavior, except Roadies is about as cultured as a pile of dog-poo. If the Earth is a petri dish and human-beings are bacteria, then Roadies is the point where the bacteria go rogue and become a terminal disease. Roadies is, to put it simply, an indefensibly awful show. I don't even know why they call it Roadies. They could just call it "Stupid People on TV: Chandigarh Edition".
This is a show where contestants are humiliated, beaten, sworn at, abused and screamed at by a pair of judges who look like a malnourished
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More entertaining is the fact that these kids almost seem to enjoy being put through the ordeal, like they think we're laughing with them. This may also have a lot to do with the fact that the average Roadies contestant has the IQ of oatmeal. I mean, you have to be reasonably stupid to take shit from two guys who thought being in Tees Maar Khan was a good idea. How stupid is the average Roadies contestant? Well, one confessed she'd attempted to once kill herself. When asked why, she said it was because a friend did black magic on her. Another, when asked a question he had no answer to, simply pointed at his sneakers and says "Look, I am cool. I have Skechers brand shoes. Just got from US. Not launched in India also." Unsurprisingly, he went far on the show.
And the point is… well, the point is what exactly? If they survive the ordeal, one guy gets a motorcycle, another becomes a VJ on MTV, the one that comes third celebrates by going on another reality show, and two others realize nobody watches MTV anymore, so they go off and make an MMS and become properly famous instead.
In the end though, I'm as guilty as anybody else. I love Roadies. I'm transfixed by it in the same way that I am by the sight of two dogs mating; it's horrible, and yet riveting. It's like watching common sense hang itself live on TV, and everybody loves a good hanging.
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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