Thursday, June 13, 2013

Power Chat – Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone





Amartya Sen, in his book ‘The Argumentative Indian’ was spot on when he wrote about the Indian penchant for debates, discussion and intellectual pluralism. The chatting gene is hardwired in our DNA. We love to chat. Simple!

The new mobile application,We Chat, provides a platform to communicate via voice messages, texts and images. Since the download is free and works on multiple platforms, I was able to chat with five celebrities featuring on the new Indian Edition of Power List 2014.

Navjoke Singh Sidhu: Why Sidhu? Well, for the sheer fun of his verbal acrobatics. Have you seen anyone so tickled by his own jokes? With a surfeit of opinions, he is like a vending machine for quotes and proverbs. And you don’t even have to insert a coin.

“Congratulations on toppling Dhoni to become most powerful sport celebrity. Tell me, how do you memorize so many quotes?”

“Dekho, we are what we quote. A quotation is like a diamond in the
hands of a man of wit. I was always good. Soon after my birth I told the nurse, 'That’s the last time I am going up there'," laughs Sidhu. "Hehohahaha."

“Tell me about the cricket controlling board,” I ask smiling through gritted teeth. “This is a private, so spill.”

“Guru, the board is like a new bra - shining cups, tight hold and hardly any transparency. It is like a new born baby - a loud mouth on one end and no sense of responsibility on the other. It is like...”

I quit. But Sidhu continues to shake his Android phone to look for other chat partners.

***

Arnab Goswami: Being the judge, jury, executioner, petitioner, defendant and the final arbitrator of all that is right, Arnab is the most powerful media celebrity. Night after night, he hyperventilates to purge the nation from its miseries. Why? Because the nation wants to know!

“Good morning Arnab. The nation is wondering what’s behind all the bluster and voice modulation?”

“Nothing yaar. Since I don’t get to speak at home, I shout during News
Hour,” says Arnab as he looks around. “This is a private, right?”

“Yep. So Arnab, are you as confrontational with your wife as you are with the television guests? Yes or No?”

“With her, I am as aggressive as A.K. Hangal of Sholay,” says Arnab sheepishly.

***

Mallika Sherawat: The self-proclaimed international star toppled Katrina to become the most powerful actress. I am not sure about her acting talent but our Haryanavi girl sure has guts. A chat with Mallika enlightened me on issues of women empowerment and career management. Here is a glimpse.

“What’s with your twang Mallika? The accent, I mean,” I ask her.

“What twaaangg?"

I send her a video. 

"Nonsense. I used to speak the same way as a kid in Rohtak. I was this little girl who kind of spoke hurr mind, gave hurr opinions and smooched all the cows in hurr cowshed,” says Mallika.

***

Sanjay Jhaa: Cometh the hour, cometh the man. His gold winning performance in defending the indefensible has helped him earn a place among the most powerful in politics. He straddles the political and the virtual world with amazing smugness. Impressed with his ability to handle the media, I chatted with the indignant loyalist who has become the most powerful politician in 2014.

“Sanjay, you were the lone warrior of an unrepentant state. How
did you manage to face Arnab’s wrath?”

“Easy. Offense is the best form of defense. And when I don’t have an answer, I change the question. Then, I am good at convincing people that two wrongs make a right. It works all the time. Try it.”

***

EN Srinivasan: Confronted with adversity, Mr Srinivasan stood ground like a mountain in a snow storm. Imagine molesting morality, crushing outrage and becoming the most powerful Indian businessman? His cement company contributed to Bharat Nirman and he toppled Mukesh Ambani to emerge as the most powerful businessman in 2014. My Android phone connected instantly with his iOS via Facebook.

“How do you manage to survive the media onslaught with such
amazing self-righteousness?”

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. And stop hounding me.”

“I am not hounding you. In fact I want to invite you for a Group Chat to learn from your survival strategy,” I plead.

“I’m busy. I’ll record my message and release it to send later,” says Srinivasan and walks away.

***

I invited the above five for a Group Chat and we discussed all about being rich, famous and powerful.

Me: Guys, congratulations. How does it feel to be on the Power List, 2014?

Sidhu (laughs uncontrollably): Guru, someone has rightly said that being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people that you are, you aren’t.

Mallika: Huh? I dhon’t agree. Unless you tell people, how will they know? It’s all about shouting and announcing. I was the first woman to wear a bikini, you know. And I am in LA right now.

Srinivasan (angrily): What rubbish! Who is she? Power is not governed by what others think of you. I think therefore I am.

Arnab (agitated): Mr. Jha? I heard you manipulated your way on this list. Is it true? I demand an answer.

Sanjay (smiles): Have you tried it on the rocks Arnab? Power is like a peg which encourages notions of divinity. It is worth all the sucking up. I don’t care much for fame. Fame brings scrutiny. And money? Well as far as I know, power and money go hand in hand.

Arnab (getting all worked up): No. No. No. Please be specific. Times Now has proof that you manipulated your way on this list, Mr Jha. The nation wants to know.

Sanjay (confidently): So what? Srini did it too.

Srinivasaan (calls his lawyer): Dude, I am going to sue you. And Sidhu, you come and see me in the office.

Sidhu quits and leaves for Chennai immediately .

Me: Chill guys. Tell me, if you had to pick between wealth, power and fame, which one would you go for and why?

Sanjay (smiles): All three.

Srinivasan: Power without accountability any day.

Arnab: What about responsibility Mr. Srinivasan? The universe demands an answer.

Srinivasan: I make my own rules Mr. Goswami.

Arnab: You bet!

Mallika (flutters eyelashes and squeals):  He bets? Really? I'll go for him.

Sanjay (confused): Who is this girl? I have seen her somewhere.

Me: She is on your  Facebook cover Mr Jha. Arnab, what about you ? Power, wealth or money?

Arnab: As long as I get to expose, all three will come to me.

Mallika: How can you expose? Exposing is my forte. See? (Uses
the ‘Moments’ feature to share this picture.)

Srinivasan quits. Sanjay saves the picture on his latest Samsung.

Arnab: What about you Alka?

Me: You know what? Suddenly, I feel strange contentment in being penniless, anonymous and powerless.



(Disclaimer: This is a piece of fiction as imagined by the writer. The intention is not to insult or malign individuals. This is a contest entry for Indiblogger in partnership with We Chat. Pictures are sourced from Wikipedia and Google. )


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71 comments:

  1. Enjoyed those telling conversations. And using the video feature of Mallika was a nice touch - such subtle and delicate self promotion.

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    1. Thanks KayEm. She is a great entertainer.

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  2. Hehehe..:) hurr voice...lol..good luck for the contest :)

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  3. God! Her accent is so much on the face :D
    I remember back in my village days, we used to cajole buffaloes with the 'hurrr' :)

    If only our Honourable President were not what he is, he would have been part of every single sattire. He was so funny while he was FM, wasn't he?

    Thoroughly enjoyed the post Ma'm.

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    1. Glad you liked it. Oh yes, I know the Dilip Kumar style Hurr.

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  4. Hilarious and thought provoking at the same time.

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  5. How do you manage? Humour and fiction both and with a message! Hahahaha..tickled well this morning....

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  6. Lovely informative and hilarious alka as always in your style :) I loved the way malika said hurr
    Lol
    I wrote a fun post on khans of Bollywood too
    Do read if yu hav time :) can't paste a link from mobile it's some 3rd or 4th latest post

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  7. lol! good one!! Best wishes for the contest!

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  8. I am amused.
    Malik's is our girl from Gurgaon

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  9. By the way as per the contest guidelines U need to mention their You tube link ! Please check it on contest page :)
    My old post - http://afshan-shaik.blogspot.in/2013/06/a-conversation-with-khans.html
    hav a good day :)

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    1. You are a sweetheart. Yes dear I did insert the link in the second para.
      Will read your post now.

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  10. Nice fun post! Loved the end thought as well. All the best :).

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  11. Well written...interesting and controversial 5 chosen by you..
    I enjoyed the post.. Good luck for the contest. :)

    manjulikapramod.com

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  12. hahaa.....just an apt post to get my concentration back into reading blogs.....loved it thoroughly..... :)

    My best wishes for the contest....!!!

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  13. That was a really enjoyable post - and good choice of characters.

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  14. Bloody awesome! There is a reason why these morons exist in our lives, and your post just made it amply clear. It's all about entertainment, entertainment, entertainment!
    Fantastic post. I hope you win the contest - all the best!

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    1. Rickie, they are not morons. They are news makers and its all good news and journalism. After all, would you watch 2 straight hours of analytical news on Indo-Pak-China relationship :D?

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    2. Rickie, your comment means a lot. Thanks.

      Sriram, thank you for visiting my blog.

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  15. Justice Ornob has to take it easy or he might have a heart attack one day on the sets!!
    With your magic touch Alka , I see a winner post here.:)

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    1. That is very kind of you. Thank you.

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  16. Beautiful, loved Arnab, well, what's not to love then! :D

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    1. Brendan, your visit here, I guess.
      Glad you liked it.

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  17. Loved your home-brewed Siddhuisms here in the post!
    Nice and refreshing post!
    All the best!!

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

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    1. Being powerful is like being a lady....is by Margret Thatcher. I used them just the way Sidhu does.
      Thanks for reading.

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  18. ha ha..
    loved that.. it was awesome..
    one of the finest post from you..

    India conversation when there's more than two people are involved, especially the kinds you mentioned, always fun to hear :D

    Gappein sun ne ka maza kuch or hi hai !!

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  19. WOW!!! I had fun reading this 'private' chat, as much as you've enjoyed penning this down:) Liked the Siddhuisms and the choice of celebs for this entry...you better win now!

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    1. Thank you Vinaya. I really worked hard on this one.

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  20. Yeah Siddhuisms, every thing - really creative and fun - :)))

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  21. Nice take on this, Alka. Siddhu has been my favorite among these :)

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  22. loved the conversation and specially Sidhu's inclusion :) all the best :)

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  23. My god ! Hilarious ! You have to win this one !

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    Replies
    1. Thanks dear. I don't know about winning but I really enjoyed imagining and writing this post.

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  24. This was brilliant. Rooting for your win, Ms Gurha!

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    Replies
    1. The topic was interesting, hence this post. Thanks Purba.

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  25. Kudos. Nice article on some of the most famous Indians

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  26. Had fun reading through the post. Good luck with the contest!

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  27. First of all I am sorry to be posting what may be a random garbage to you like an intruder. But please go through this and help us.

    http://despoticorg.blogspot.in/2013/06/trivandrum-victim.html

    This is a rather tragic story of some helpless employees working in C-DAC, Trivandrum a government of India organisation under DeiTY. Please help us by spreading or posting some advice. Please do not see this as abogus post or the one intended for 'hits'. Please spread.

    As we have said in the post, its impossible for us to go against the management openly as it will cost our jobs. We are not permanent employees. We are just on contract. They can just let us go today if they want. And most of us being only 'employed ones' from our family, we cannot afford to lose our jobs. So as we said an open protest is difficult even if legally. Its ridiculous that a central govt org is doing this. Yes, they are and have been doing this sort of things as ths org is not that much in public domain. Most of the public dont even know such an org exists. So thats why we are seeking public help to spread awareness of things happening. Once its in the public they will feel threatened. And as we cannot possibly bring this out in the public [as it will cost our jobs] we ask for social media help. Thanks again.

    Twitter - https://twitter.com/Gopu45526676

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  28. Alka this was certainly one of the best ones I read for 'We Chat' contest and what selection of individuals for the chat session!! Just loved it and hope it rains prizes this season for you:)

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  29. Lol :D
    This reminds me that I haven't watched Arnab's show for a long time!

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    1. Then you are missing something. With elections next year, it is the best reality show on TV.

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  30. Getting all those irritating people in one chat must have been a hell of a job. :)
    Best of luck for the contest. :)

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    1. My rough draft included Paulo Coelho, Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama, Robin Sharma and Stephen Hawking in a philosophical discussion.

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  31. Interesting posts!!how I missed reading this till now.....:))like it

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    1. Glad you liked it Seher. Love your name!

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  32. Enjoyed your chat with all these famous people. You are too hilarious. You brightened up my dull day and I am sure other people's too.

    Btw..you can share that post of mine on Grammarly. Its a great online proof reading tool. Try it once.

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    1. I tried it Rachna and it is very useful.

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  33. What a collection of characters, Alka! You brought them all together beautifully.

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  34. Totally hilarious! Loved the Intro part of Siddhu and the chat part!

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