Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Baboon alert

So I get back online after being away for four days and log on to my favourite Net destination, the messageboard on Rediff.com. The first thing I see is a story about Mallika Sherawat acting in a film about Christ's travels in India, and here are just three among dozens of learned comments:
This is utter non-sense. It is being done only to influence minds of already brain washed convent educated boys & girls of India and also to have them converted slowly in to christian folds
Mallika can work in this movie as she fits into the culture of christianity of exposure, nudity, black magicks (dark ages of europe), immorality, high headness, diva, etc.
Minakumari, Madhubala etc was superb. now new series is big nasty.Cheepst way of popuraty they always finding.
(Sic) (Sic) (Sic)

I think the "new series" in the last one is a way of saying "modern-day actresses". But it's impossible to say for sure, and it doesn't begin to explain the "big nasty" that follows. This is why the comments on Rediff.com are always so thought-provoking and make for such valuable clues to the human condition. We should forget about preserving our heritage sites and instead bury these words of wisdom in time-capsules when civilization is about to end. (Which it probably is right about now.)


  1. Rediff messageboard really plumbs the depths ! Saner comments are lost amidst cacophony of utterly bewildering ones.

  2. Whoa! There are saner comments? Are those the ones that get deleted because someone reports them to the moderator for abuse?

  3. I really envy the job of the moderator there... Such endless entertainment! I started reading it only recently and now I can't get enough. I think I am addicted.

    may be they should publish an anthology or something.

  4. There is a guy called Indra sengupta (on rediff msg.brd)who is a huge Sourav Ganguly fan.

    He writes wonderful Poetry on Sourav.

    I am putting one up here >>

    "The Comeback King

    The King comes back, the comeback King;
    They said the sun has lost its light,
    Cricket is a song, sing all sing;
    Tyger Tyger burning bright in the forests of the night.
    Boundaries? Nations??
    Who cares? Visions of tomorrow cross expectations.
    Barriers of parochial pieces of branding the genius,
    In small petty mis imagination!
    Slap Dada slap!
    Scrub and rub your bat on
    Their nose still they bleed.
    Dada comeback
    Come back Dada the King.
    Shine Dada shine
    Dada shine you bright
    On the mountain top, the sea
    In the meadows, on the field.
    Shame Dada shame
    Shame on those buffoons
    Who your fame cannot digest.
    Make them a bundle,
    Put in a sack
    Hit it hard, hit them tight;
    Send them forever out of sight."

  5. Rahul: that was magnificent, thanks. I take back all my hasty words about Rediff commenters.

    Alok: except that I doubt the moderators would think of it as entertainment the way we do. An anthology is an excellent idea - they could call it A Million Monkeys, A Million Keyboards: An Enquiry Into the Modern Homo-Sapien.

  6. Rediff comments seriously plumb the lowest depths possible. My friend in Bangalore, a freelance journo, reads then once in a while, and says she begins to despair at the future of India. I feel that this phenomenon of message board writing/ranting has let loose all sorts of loonies out into the world.I actually get depressed after a session at a rediff message board.

    I discovered your blog a couple of weeks back.To me,it's like suddenly discovering an unexplored book; yours is a compilation that's funny and fabulous. So far I have written one comment, anonymously, for the piece on the Rs 95/lad-lit books in the market.
    BTW, I'm a mother of young adults, a book 'nd film buff; a wannabe writer who writes all over the net.No paisa, but some satisfaction. Regards, L.S

  7. L S: yes, I never know myself whether to be amused or depressed. What's particularly disturbing is the crystal-clear insight one gets into the thinking of hundreds of thousands of NRIs, especially on any topic involving the Hindu-Muslim divide.

    Thanks for the compliment btw!

  8. By the way.. ever imagined these very people to be the crowd in the roman Colosseum in the movie Gladiator influencing decisions? Might sound irrelevant but that's what comes to my mind.

    Unfortunately, this is the vote bank of India. These our the people who make, break and form governments. Not people who comment on Jabberwock or read Tehelka.

    How scary is that?

  9. Jai: this great poet indra Sengupta has created some more fascinating poetry on Sourav!

    Will put up more of those:) may be on my blog.

  10. Jai, how is it an "insight one gets into thinking of hundreds of thousands of NRIs"? I mean, how do you know that these are NRIs?

    I could look up the messages, but I only get depressed.

    I like the title - "A Million Monkeys, A Million Keyboards: An Enquiry Into the Modern Homo-Sapien"; I am glad you didn't call that "An Enquiry Into the Modern NRI" tho. :)

  11. N: I'm not saying 1) all NRIs think a certain way, or 2) all or most of these commenters are NRIs. But it's fairly well known what Rediff's major audience is, and if you check some of the peak times for comment discussions you'll realise that a large number of them originate in the US. (This is assuming you don't want to take at face value the claims of these commenters, some of whom mention the the town, state etc they live in.) It's also my personal view that many non-resident Indians are more regressive when it comes to topics like religion (or tradition, or culture, or whatever sacred cow you pick) than most resident cosmopolitan Indians are; hence my comment, which wasn't intended as a sweeping generalisation or clubbing all NRIs together or anything such.

    Lalbadshah: sad but true *shrugs in insouciant cynicism*

  12. I see what you mean. I think both sides suffer from the consequences of generalising the other (if there is a side and there is an "other"). And arent there some rather bad examples of columnists making statements in this context?

    Grins as she notices the time next to her own comment!

  13. I hope these types are not the majority, although I fear they are. After all, George Bush is president of my country (and a lot of NRIs voted for him).

    You have to laugh or you would cry. I read Raja Sen's movie review religiously, and then of course can't help but read the outpouring of vitriol in comments after his review. Hilarious!