Corporate houses have had their day. Rough neck squads are an embarrassment. Grass root workers are dead. The brahmastra for political resurrection is 24/7 media coverage. Don’t agree? Well, didn’t media support catapult a mild mannered septuagenarian to an alleged Gandhi reincarnate? And a 24/7 coverage did bleach stains off Modi’s pristine white kurta.
So it made sense when the ministry of Information and Broadcasting decided to smooch the media mavens by felicitating them. The Editors in Chief of various television channels, and the other hoi-polloi with the mighty pen and mightier mouth were invited.
A leggy bimbo who kept forgetting names was announcing the awards. Here are a few excerpts.
Leggy Lass: We start the awards ceremony with not one, not two but three awards ‘Conscience Now’ ‘Morality Now’ and ‘Angel Now’. All the three awards go to A G. No, it is not a pun on his initials. He is Almighty God. Please welcome him on stage, the Editor in Chief of ‘Your Channel’.
The recipient had discarded his suit and blue rimmed spectacles and looked different in a blue tee that proclaimed ‘I am Trouble, See you in Hell’. His raven locks were freshly shampooed and gave a huge complex to all the women present in the hall.
Arnab: “Well…Thank you ladies and gentlemen for the TRPs of ‘Your Channel’. Tonight, in two minutes from now, I wish to thank several dignitaries without whom it would be impossible for me to neuter my rivals. I wish to thank Mr. G Parthasarthy for Pak bashing, Mr. Maroof Raza for China bashing, the civil society for UPA bashing, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad for Singhvi bashing, Mr. Singhvi for Advani bashing and on days when we couldn’t whack anyone, Mr. Suhel Seth for punching the air.
My special thanks to Ms. Renuka Choudhary for grimacing, rolling her eyes and thereby adding a dash of wit. I have to salute her amazing intellect. Above all I wish to thank Dr. Subramaniam Swamy for providing enough fodder for all of us to chew. In two minutes from now I have to be back on ‘Your Channel’, so thank you.
Leggy Lass: The next award is called the ‘Award that Wasn’t’’ goes to the gentleman from the Congress News Network who had to face the nation for ‘cash for vote scam’… I wish to invite him and his pretty wife on stage.
Editor in Chief of Congress News Network: As you know I commit but later shy away. Can’t reveal much…Thank you.
Leggy Lass: The ‘Breaking Today’ award goes to aaj tak ki best headline, I simply love it - ‘Saas and the City’. Anyone who came up with such a title deserves an award. Hai na audience? Please give him a big hand.
A short, bald gentleman with a smug grin came on the stage to receive the award. Heard he was caught cozying up with Big bro Mukesh.
Bald Guy: He..he..he. (Grins) I so enjoyed ‘seedhi baat’ until my ‘seedhi baat’ was tapped and made public. Anyway, MJ Akbar is doing that show but he is not as acerbic as I was.
Leggy Lass: Our next award the ‘Sensational Sawant ’ award goes to my favorite channel. Arre wahi…. which airs the courtroom drama called ‘Aap ki adalat’.
A gentleman who had painstakingly combed his hair over the bald spots and sported a cheesy smile that stuck right through the evening came on the stage.
Hair Transplant Guy: Thank you for not getting scared by my horrifying news programs. I try my best to terrorize the audience. The other day we aired a show, ‘Sikkim mein aaya bhukamp. Ab dilli ki baari hai,” but none of the Delhites got terrorised. I wish to thank desperate wannabes like Rakhi and Veena for all the spice and muck we churn out day after day.
Leggy Lass: Finally ladies and gentlemen, he…he… the ‘Greenathon Lifetime’ award’ goes to Dr……‘Big Daddy’ of television.
A gentleman sporting a beard came on stage. He doesn’t tom-tom but he happens to be the first cousin of Arundhati Roy – the new cheer girl for the hatemongers. Along with Big Daddy came his faithful protégé in cropped hair. Poor girl was so conscious. She fell from the heights of Kargil to the depths of Radia, perhaps that’s why.
Big daddy: It gives me great pleasure to see children, borne of my womb bag all the awards. But there are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding a mouth that bites you. (His eyes well up.)
Even those who are nothing but tabloid level melodramatic hot air have received more awards than me…sigh. But the buck stops here. I would rather be a BBC than a Breaking Today.
I wish to thank my protege who keeps the flag flying…except for an occasional tape entanglement. As you all know I feel uncomfortable in this new fangled bitchiness on television. I don’t wish to be the referee when politicians fight like cats and dogs on television. Thank you all.
(Ms Chaudhary whispers in Ms Soni’s ears, “I got it. He is calling me a cat. I don’t mind being a feline if Prannoy is calling the BJP canine. Don’t they sniff power and bark their lungs off like hungry mongrels?)
“Arrey…bas karo this is not a TV studio,” shouted someone from the audience.
(At a fictional award function)