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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Step-brothers: TV and Torrent

When I was young and my mother would cook us a Chinese fare, Vegetable Manchurian was my favourite. It was spicy and luscious, and a particular memory I have is: running to the kitchen and grabbing the deep fried Manchurian balls even before my mother would cook it in the sauce. It wasn't raw, it wasn’t uncooked. It was just another way of having the delicacy. My mother would always let us take bowls full of the Chinese pakoras but if we returned for more, she would wonder if the gravy would be left underpopulated after all!
My brother and I couldn't wait for the dish to be fully prepared: drowned in the spicy sauce it would taste all the better, we knew! But who liked waiting? Patience has never been a virtue with the human race.

With all the TV shows that are becoming popular, I hate how more and more people choose the Torrent way of life. The crew behind TV shows puts in an effort to build suspense around the murder story, they develop mystery by freezing the last scene of an episode at the corner of a street, and they time their commercials pauses in a way that the virtual knock on the door lurks on your mind. All this effort and more, goes down the drain as we control the suspense with the click of our mouse. The week-long gap between episodes is cut short to a pee-break. Watch an intense episode of how the lobbyists are manipulating the President’s actions; take a leak and come back immediately to see how the President handles the media and the controversies they plot. A long drawn effort, an effectively mysterious story-line boils down the fast forward option on your laptop screen.

Instant fits in well with the context of popcorn and noodles only!

There is a joy in waiting for your 9 PM show to be aired at 9 PM. You finish your meals and mails by 8:55 and sit with the TV remote in your hand, volume turned up. You wait eagerly for the much awaited signature drum roll of the production house that brought this show to your living room. You sing along as the cast rolls by and you wait for that first shot of the blood stains, the disheveled kitchen counter or the kidnapped baby’s empty pram. That’s when you feel a gush of blood in your head and you feel the emotions flowing. After all, that build-up to the week, the day-long wait was well worth it.

On the contrary: You download your favourite show one evening, and you watch multiple episodes over the weekend. You sit and watch it back to back, revealing the plot of half the season to yourself in a span of 48 hours! You have zilch entertainment through the week; you see six murders one after the other and then you complain of a headache. The lead actor is shedding blood, going into coma and reviving very fast for your senses to absorb and understand the flow of events.

Give your brain a break, and save yourself something to look forward to even on the weekdays. Don’t pile up the minutes of the mystery like they were piles of pending paper work
After all, if I would wait for the Manchurian to be soaked in the sauce, I wouldn't have to chew my noodles bland!