All Your Cakes Are Mine, T.V

How Beyoncé Changes Ordinary Lives


You guys know Beyoncé, right? AKA the ‘unofficial’ queen of the universe. She dropped an album right out of the blue and the universe suddenly exploded (To achieve this level of secrecy, she probably shackled her team to the dungeons or wherever and they haven’t seen their families in months)

Right now she has so much power that if you blinked while watching this GIF, you’d probably get pregnant.

QUEENQUEENQUEEN

QUEENQUEENQUEEN

 

 

 

Anyway, now people around me make her references.

Friend: So he [this guy who’s high like 150% of the time] is like trying to clean up his act, get a job cetera.

Me [dead pan]: Christmas Miracle! Oh My God. I can see the future and it is…NOT HAPPENING.

Friend: No. He’s really serious about it. See, have you heard ‘Halo’ by Beyoncé? It’s like the lyrics are changing –

Me: WAIT. YOU MEAN. BEYONCE IS CHANGING HIS LIFE.

Friend: Wuuuuuttt –

Me: BEYONCE.

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Oh, The Things I Write About, T.V

Sur Kshetra, A Musical War – Well Sort Of


I first heard of Sur KShetra when I was out for a spot of fine dining and came across this massive billboard of Pakistani singer Atif Aslam and his Indian counterpart Himesh Reshammiya posing side by side and the backdrop of fluttering flags of both the countries. There was a bold heading that read: Atif vs Himesh.

In all honesty, the first thought that came to my mind when I saw it was that both of them were going to engage in hand to hand combat or Kabbadi seeing Himesh’s flaring nostrils and that grim pout (we shall see more of the pout later) even Atif Aslam had his arms folded tightly across his chest as a sure sign of steely, silent resolve. Fast forward to a month and several television promos later, it was revealed that a mega musical talent show by the name of “Sur-Kshetra” featuring contestants from both countries, mentored by Atif Aslam and Himesh Reshammiya respectively, was going to light the screens on fire. The mystery was solved, and my hopes of seeing some fist fights were dashed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian reality television is motley of kitsch, sentimental, mostly over the top glitz and glam, and Sur Kshetra is no different, they even tried to add a bit of ferocity by throwing in the patriotic scheme, with an apparent focus on “healthy competition” rather than the hostile state of affairs between the two nations. However, what we get is this – the young contestants sashaying in, spewing out dialogues like how (“InshAllah”) they shall bring the glory home and we love you, contestant from opposing country, and this is totally just a competition but we shall also crush you – Desh ko jeeta kar rehna hay, y’all. Plus, did we mention that we love you? This is only “Suron ki Jang”, okay?  

By the way, “Yeh Suron ki Jang hay!” is repeated every two minutes by the presenter, the judges and the jury lest, God forbid, we forgot the theme of the show at any given point. I almost expect Ayesha Takia – the host of the show – suddenly pulling out a Kalashnikov from her airy, sequined dress later in the series if the producers make anyone say this aggravating line one more time. “It might distract everyone from Himmesh Pouty McPouterson though,” my sister notes.

On a similar note, Atif/Himmesh already have their weapons of destruction –  bad music and Himmesh’s dry lips. Chapstick?

Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.

Speaking of Ayesha Takia, she’s the sweet, sugar coated eye candy in the entire show, and will make any one vomit rainbows with the visual assault of bedazzling dresses, and her constant giggles. On the judges’ panel, there is Asha Bhosle, Abida Perveen and Runa Laila – who’s serving as a neutral judge because she’s from Bangladesh. However, for the life of me, I can not understand what made Abida Perveen decide to jump aboard this bandwagon. She looked slightly uncomfortable and ill at ease at the beginning of the show but quickly managed to give out swift and sweet critique to the participants. Plus, I swear, her fluffy, curly hair has a personality of its own. There were times when I could visualize Abida’s hair as the fourth, silent judge. Insert slow-mo, spinning 360 degree camera shot of The Hair.

Asha Bhosle, unlike Abida Perveen, is in her element throughout the episodes, even singing out snippets of the song after the contestant’s performance to correct them which always lead to thunderous applause from the audience, and awe from the participant. “She should have been a mentor – She’s too enthusiastic,” my sister says. I disagree. That would mean renaming the show:“Sur Kshetra – And Asha Ji Kay Surs Aur Her Anecdotes about Sister and How Awesome Bhaarat Is” I’m not sure anyone can stomach this much of Asha Ji and her sister’s greatness without throttling themselves at least once.

Sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The driving force behind the show are definitely not the contestants because I found them a pretty weak bunch. They are potrayed as Hindustani Surandaaz and Pakistani Jaanbaz (This is for real. I’m not making any of this up, and none of them have Kalashnikovs. Sorry) Also, they have no definite personalities of their own. There is no oomph factor; each one of them sounds the same, to the point that even Atif Aslam’s sullen face becomes interesting in comparison.

While there are overflowing reminders of Aman ki Asha, and Atif’s declaration of how Pakistanis are extremely caring, and Asha Bhosle slyly responding that Indians have opened their hearts and souls to Pakistani artists – a subtle snub at all the moolah they end up raking in their neighboring country[Insert Asha and Atif giving evil aaaez to each other] There is a very prominent tension on the set – scripted or not – and it has also been riddled with controversies. MNS chief Raj Thakray’s threat to disrupt the shooting of the show because of the presence of Pakistani artists in India is one of them.

Anyway, Sur Kshetra is pretty amusing. I wouldn’t be surprised that after this exchange of peace and love, Atif, Himmesh and the gang will end up at Wagah Border and with the power of their sangeet, so God help them, solve the rift between both countries.

———-I was told to write a review on Sur Kshetra for a class assignment, and I came up with this. Will be back with regular posts super soon. 

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All Your Cakes Are Mine, T.V

My Strange Addiction – We Live In A Crazy World!


Yes, I’m going to be revealing what my strange obsession is in this very post.

Psych! I am perfectly normal and capable of basic human emotions. Maybe I should feel insulted if you clicked on this post wanting to read all about my disturbing and sickening habits. May I remind you, having a  mild interest in rampaging squirrels, Katanas and zombie goat apocalypse is not strange behavior.

I shall buy a squirrel and name it “Shakira Van Der Jolie” or maybe “Princess LedZeppelin”
Likes? Decide for me?

Anyway,this post is about this reality show (My Strange Addiction) I literally stumbled upon earlier this week. It’s another welcome addition to the crazy pop culture of this world where delightful individuals with serious untreated mental issues are shown on the telly as they unveil their disgusting  unusual addictions.

Apparently you can guess that these people are suffering from something because they’re practically agreeing to these:  be watched by thousands of people.  Agree to be labelled as a freak for the rest of your lives.

I watched one episode where this woman is addicted to drinking her own urine because y’know nothing is more healthier or “comforting” than drinking your own urine.

I’m preparing for my trip to the Sahara Desert. 

Another one showed a man is in an intimate relationship with his car and then to add more horror and glee, he confesses this to his father on camera. However, I (and many, many others who express joy at seeing parents/guardians exploding in rage on screen) was sorely disappointed. Instead, the father was mystified – or appalled or maybe both. Be glad he didn’t have a stroke or something.

One of my favorite (after the urine drinker, of course) is Shower hair drain collector –  Another young man in desperate need for help. How do the producers find these people? During the episode, the guy makes this harrowing statement “…the game starts when I see the homeowner and I make the prediction that how much hair she has in her drain and then I have to find out.” – This is not creepy at all. Imagine waltzing inside your house only to find some random dude bent over your drain.

This is such an interesting show. Watch it, y’all. Show this stuff to your Momma and Paw-Paw – they would appreciate, for once, how considerably sane their child is, compared to the people in the show.

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Oh, The Things I Write About, T.V

Watch your mouth, son.


But first your mouth, beta.

Since, I’m such a sensitive person attuned to nature’s beckon and call, my ears pricked up like Bambi’s when I picked up the magical, dulcet tones of innocent children in a wrestling match and danced my way towards this ethereal sound-

In actual reality: I was honing my brooding face, to make it seem less like I had a lobotomy, while listening to my mother tell me that I’ll be the size of Punjab once I had unglued myself from the chair. I was drawn to the chatter of children outside my window which overlooked the lawn. Apparently, one of them had misplaced the ball and was now being verbally assaulted by the others.

Bacha#1: Yaaar! Aik he ball thee! Ab yahan kahan dhonday! $&*^ Hogae hay!

What caused me to cock an eyebrow, just one, was these boys were hardly 8 or 9 years old. Now, it all seems very normal. This kind of conversation with that particular four letter word being thrown out casually isn’t something out of the ordinary. In fact, I hear it everyday.

Age doesn’t matter. Children say whatever they want, say colorful words that aim to make a person blush or at least throw up their liver in horror and very few parents/guardians/siblings/other humbugs try to actually take this seriously. It’s just ridiculous to see no one gives a flying truck about it. I believe, I see some chubby 7 year olds sputtering delightful prose sprayed on walls here and there, most of them not even knowing what it means and it’s hilarious to see that most people think it’s cute. I’m sure that wouldn’t be cute when she/he’ll burst the bomb around your aristocratic guests while you’ll be sipping whatever noble people drink these days and exchanging stories about how intellectually(and linguistically) superior your children are.

Four year old cousin churned out a complicated Urdu profanity and clapped his hands happily.

Me: You do not say that! That’s bad! VERY BAD! Aunty, ap b kahain, please. Did you hear what he just said?

Aunt Dearest: Hawww! Chalo, he doesn’t know what it means.

Some random woman: Hayay, ainna cute lag raha tha.

Me (assuming my lobotomy face): …

It’s not even my own kid that I’m trying to chastise over this, you know.

The causes swirl around you. Yes, Television is possibly a wild and fecund place where the munchkins can devour all the good (and bad) and then spew the bad all over you but you can definitely limit what they watch and how much they watch. You can blame the media all you want but at the end of the day, if your kid learns something off the TV – you’re to blame. You’re not doing the right thing letting him/her watch this suspiciously rated flick besides you. No, he/she won’t magically forget what he/she saw or heard. In our days, at least we were taught to automatically close our eyes and change the channel – and I’m not that old.

Second cause is something you can do little of. As soon as the kids start to read, you know reality is going to give you a hit. All the unsavory things sprayed on the walls don’t stop children from proudly displaying their amazing reading abilities to you. “____ kay bachay… Ammiiiii, __ kya hota hay?” Awk-ward. Social interaction also has a lot to do with what they and how they learn. Like it or not, we all let one slip (Intentionally or unintentionally) when we’re around children who then make you their lovable idol and try to mimic you.

The point is that since our children are going to take the reins of this world after us. It’s best to impart some of the lingering etiquettes, manners and good behavior that are left, upon them. Maybe some of you might disagree with my steadfast belief in reinforcing positive behavior but if you could please imagine a society, where respect is scarcely given, role models are rarely placed in high positions, people run amok and care is hardly imparted – A dangerous, dangerous dystopia indeed; Hyperbole? I don’t think so.

This post was originally posted in Static and Voice Of Youth.

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Oh, The Things I Write About, T.V

Presenting Another One Of My Ah-Mazing Ideas While Being Sick!


Repeat after me.

 Some rain would be welcomed in my city since this flu/cough season has been around for ages and it needs to go – NOW. I had flu twice over the period of three months. INSANE, I tell ya. That never happened. Someone just put some bad ju-ju on me. All the snot and the trails of tissue paper. My own snot is grossing me out. It’s like Barney is emerging right from under my skin since I sound exactly like the creepy purple dinosaur.
So attractive, your ears would bleed. 

And there is plenty of political drama going on. I swear, I’m so up for the idea that there should be soap operas chronicling the lives of our politicians (Kyunkay Saddar b kbhi masoom tha, Kali tumhari party, PPP say PML(N) tak,  Sharif-Zordari – Aik prem kahani,  Meray bank balance ko mil gaye Roshni,  Humari Partiun ka Vivah)

My idea is awesome, and it would cure the complaints of those, including my mum, who dislike the idea of watching the news channels all the time. You’re welcome.

Mother: Main nay apna drama daekhna hay! (I want to watch my drama)
Father: Okay.
Mother: Ghar anday saath he ay wekhnay beth janday o! (As soon as you come home, you start watching the news)
Father (Very busy staring at some dudes argue over the country’s dismal economic growth rate or whatever) :…
Mother: Why are you watching this? You watched this yesterday night! It’s a re-run!  
 
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