Monday, December 15, 2008

Maniac Media

Maradona mathe esechhen. Ashar songe songei bisrinkhola shristi hoy. Ebareo porishthiti shaamlate parlona police bahini. Phole Maradona paanch minute er beshi thaklen na. Uni gaarite uthben. Uthe chole jaben kichukhhon er modhhei…”

“Dhonnobaad Pompom da. Aamra dekhte pachchhi maather oboshtha. Maradona chole jaaben kichukhhoner modhhei. Aamra arekbaar dekhe nebo maathe ki ghotchhe…

That, dear readers, is an excerpt from one of the broadcasts of a so-called leading private Bangla news channel.

Now to translate it into English …

Maradona is on the field. Chaos and confusion ensued the moment he set foot there. The police failed yet again to control the situation. Maradona decided to stay no more than a mere five minutes. He will get into his car and leave anytime now..”

“Thank you Pompom da.
(to the viewers)We can all see what is happening out there in the field. Maradona is about to leave soon. Let us, once again take a look at what is happening in the field.

And now, to do complete justice to such news channels I shall translate it into the hyper-quality-super-communicative-language that the piece was actually spoken in. So that you have a very good idea about it, let me add that the two people, the newsreader and the on-spot journalist Pompom da both speak fast (very fast in fact), louder than it is necessary and with a sense of urgency that makes you feel that the world is coming to an end. And now, the final translation along with the asides in italics –

Maradona on field (oh my god!! oh dear!! Please let him be ok). Chaos!!! Confusion!! Catastrophe!! (I badly wish there’s an accident!! Oh what fun!!). Police have failed (yayy yayy. Yes. Let them fail more. Nothing better for the TRP) Maradona won’t stay (REFUSES to stay, dear listeners, REFUSES. He is disgusted. He doesn’t say that, but we know). He only consented to stay for 5 minutes (and he hated that too). Car waiting. He can’t wait to hop in one and leave (and we can’t wait till he does, so we can abuse the system some more. Evil grin).

(smirk smirk) Thank you Pompom da.
And now, dear viewers, you can see the situation (isn’t it horrid? Isn’t it a shame? Believe us countrymen. We speak only the truth and are very excited about it. Join us.) Maradona is to leave (some more evil grins). Let us rewind and get back to Pompom da

And then, Pompom da repeats what he just said, but with more passion and this sequence continues throughout the better part of the day, with occasional interjections in the form of video clips from the field, where we see a couple of very excited fans try to touch Maradona, who hugs them smiling, before the police unceremoniously drag them away. The newsreader insists that this is major breach of security. This is a shame in fact for us and Maradona is alarmed by this kind of behaviour. I feel convinced. After all, celebrities must know how to smile and hug even when they are alarmed. So I nod my head in disgust about how we have shamed ourselves in front of the soccer legend.

The next video is a part of the hyped five minutes that Maradona decided to spend on the field. I see him playing tricks with the ball, running around and waving at the excited audience, shaking hands with budding local players. The newsreader insists that he should have stayed more. His schedule said twenty minutes on the field. I wonder if he is tired after two days of continuous public appearances and meetings and I feel that he did enough justice to the audience, as per the videos go. But no, the newsreader is very keen on making me see how he wants to retire to his comfortable hotel room because he is scared of the unruly crowd. Unfortunately, I don’t feel so convinced anymore, with due respect to all the energy the newsreader and Pompom da employs in convincing me.

The last video is that of Maradona getting into his car, which drives off. He lowers the windows and waves a last time to the delight of the crowd. I feel elated too, seeing it on TV, but no, the news reader won’t have it. We are not to be satisfied or happy after a news telecast. The scene of Maradona leaving is repeated the maximum number of times. It is proof, my friends, that leave is what he ever wanted to do. It is conclusive evidence that he couldn’t wait to run away. This time, I am not at all convinced and I am what the news channel wants me to be – big time irritated, but NOT at the mob or at Maradona or at the police but at such preposterous news agencies who make up stories to create controversy out of every non-issue and who cannot stand a moment of peace or satisfaction.

I am agitated. I curse under my breath. The newsreader goes on like a chirping teenager fresh out of junior school. Pompom da continues like an older revolutionist who is risking his life to send us the news. What is most bewildering is that when they aired the news about the Mumbai blasts, their tone of urgency was the same as when they reported Maradona’s visit. They are not bothered about informing us. They are more interested in irritating us and giving birth to a fresh controversy every day. That, unfortunately, only creates more small talk and less awareness.

The Maradona saga continues all evening, but I really like the man. He is sweet. I love the way he waved at the viewers and hugged the unruly fan. So, I switch to my good old Doordarshan news. Here is the excerpt in both Bangla and English. Choose either this or the high quality excited version of the other channels. It all depends on how worked up you want to be.

Maradonar Kolkata shofor aaj sesh holo. Aaj dupure uni Jubo Bharati Kriranon poridorshon korlen, ebong sholpo shomoyei maatie dilen dorshokder. Kotha bollen torun kheloyarder shonge. Prothomdik e uttejito dorshokder modhhe kinchit bisrinkhola srishti holeo pore porishthiti niyontrone aashe. Aamra dekhe nebo ei taarokar Kolkata shoforer kichu muhurto...
Maradona’s visit to Kolkata ends today. He visited Yuva Bharati Krirangan this afternoon. He mesmerized the audience with his presence, even though he stayed for a very short time. He also met the young local football players. There was initially a bit of confusion among the excited audience, but it was soon under control. And now we shall look at a few moments from his visit to Kolkata…

The same videos follow this excerpt and for once I can agree with my feelings as there is no Pompom da screaming in the background.


solo said...

adekhlar dol is all i can say =P

Arjun said...

once again riya comes up wid an impressive observation...(claps!!)... d "pompom da" thing ws hilarious!!! :D ...although i strongly blv dat fans runnin up 2 maradona ws a serious security lapse..n d cops shud b pulld up 4 dat...

n u owe me a treat now..coz i sacrificed 2 mins of sleep 2 typ in dis comment at 5:05 in d morning!! :P

Riya Das said...

yes.. u will get ur eclairs :D

what u say is right, but my piece is mainly aimed at the news channels. i have picked up maradona's visit as an example.

thnx for commenting so late at night/so early in the morning :P

Jadis said...

:snigger snigger:
Riya baby this was one hell of a post.
:rolls around laughing:
I mean seriously, these channels need to get a life! Indeed, the very idea of TWENTYFOURHOURS Bangla News Channels is a disaster in itself.

Fucking assholes!

Riya Das said...

*dances to that* :D

thnx baby

Rajtilak Bhattacharjee said...

Wasn't the brouhaha over Maradona a bit too shameless an act when it was done just a few days after the Mumbai blast? Never saw the same enthusiasm over the mishap or how to rectify it so that another city does not burn again.

Riya Das said...

yes.. i agree. thnx for visiting my blog :)