January 9, 2008


Oscar Wilde once noted that the best way appreciate your job is to imagine life without the job. Imagine. That is a real strong word. Imagination is a things that has changed many things. Gandhi imagined why should there be discrimination, Mandela survived largely thanks to his imagination while he was on Robben Island, Picasso imagined beauty in strange looking women he painted and John (Lennon and not the apostle) urged us to imagine like never before.

The apparent lack of imagination is being siphoned off as the very best in it. Now there is a TV channel called, what else, IMAGINE. This is NDTV’s entertainment channel that will pollute the air-waves come January 21st. NDTV continues to be one of the most respect news channels (not that difficult if you are one of the four English news channel and also have a first mover advantage!) but if NDTV Goodtimes is any indication about what they think of non-news television then Imagine would need more than just a pretty name.

What can you make of the fact that Imagine (I just love using the name!) will have an updated (their words) version of Ramayana as it’s first mega show. Now tell me something how in the lord’s name can someone update a tale that is older than Dev Anand? And this is a channel that claims it’ll ‘Entertain and Delight’. This channel has Sameer Nair at its helm of affairs. Mr. Nair is the dualy dubious Frankenstein whose two creations- the new Amitabh Bachchan (KBC) and Ekta Kapoor, (in)famous for Franz Kafka as the #1 person who made 'K' fashionable- became bigger than him! Someone who works for the channel says that Karan Johar, one of the partners of the channel, actually had the brain wave of making telly shows of all classic Hindi films without bothering to change anything. This is just the mentality that people like Boney Kapoor had in the 1980’s- if it works in Tamil, it’s bound to work in Hindi as well. He still uses the same logic.

One might want to ask an asinine question-what is wrong with these people? You must know better by now for one look at the advertisements of new shows for 9X and Imagine are nothing but efforts to cash in what’s already pass it’s sell by date on other channels. They have the same shows- celebrity talent shows, regressive soaps, food shows and other ugly country cousins. Many people actually believe that this is what sells so this is what they make but is that really the case? That isn’t something that really, really worries me. What scares the bejesus out of me is that if there is in fact a parallel universe then I’d be enduring the same disgust twice!


PS: Some people have extreme reactions to such non-sense on TV. Sudhesh cut off his cable connection and now expresses himself in a manner most strange!

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