Taking a New Road

I messaged everyone that I would be on TV. After the show, everyone messaged me back asking where the hell I was. So I had to message everyone again that the black jacket of the girl, sitting behind the man who asked a particular question, belonged to me! Actually, I was amongst the audience in a popular talk show. I even asked a question in the last round but courtesy some other questions that outsmarted mine; the only visible part of me on the show was my jacket!

However, such thrill it is to watch oneself on TV that even that dumb jacket of mine looked splendid to me. I’d seen people do some really strange antics to appear on TV, and the moment I realized how excited I was to see myself (well, my jacket) on the screen, their behaviour suddenly became comprehendible.

A bridegroom in Bijnour UP, experienced the same thrill, when he gathered all the baratis and left home to get his bride, proudly exclaiming, “Hum Padmavati se pyaar karte hain, usi se saadi karenge.” Roughly translated, that amounts to ‘I love Padmavati and it is she whom I will marry.’ However, like all true love stories, Padmavati’s family was against this alliance. And the groom’s take on the matter was, “hum un sab logon ke liye misaal banna chahte hain jo gharwalon ke darr se jeher-juhur khake mar jaate hain.”: ‘I want to set an example for all those lovers who commit suicide submitting to the fear of their parents.’ A seemingly serious correspondent interviewed the baratis who swore to stick by the groom’s side till the end and support his noble cause. And then the procession took off.

Soon, they stood at the DM’s office and explained to him the whole matter. The DM, being fairly sane, flatly asked them to return home. However, the tired baratis would not take ‘no’ for an answer. Thus they started protesting and in order to calm the mob, the police had to use their effective lathi charge. Within minutes, the sturdy baratis were nowhere to be seen. And with them, gone was their vow. Thus remained the groom, the correspondent and the cameraman, on the lonely spot.

The groom was valiant, all the while screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘Padmavati, I love you!’ One constable held him by his collar, but he was still shouting his words of love. This resulted in a nice slap, yet the lovelorn soul did not give up, persisting with two more mournful ‘I love Padmavati’s. Finally the correspondent appeared standing and in the background was the groom (behind the bars, to be noted). This time, the same seemingly serious correspondent delivered a few words of wisdom, namely ‘this is what has become of love and of those who love!’ All that reverberated in my mind after watching the morose story was ‘this is what has become of Journalism and Journalists!’ Long live the media!

Neha Negi