Judgemental hai kya
Let’s imagine for a moment there is no context. That this is just a video of an aggrieved person addressing someone, anyone, who would care to lend a ear. Let’s imagine this is all spontaneous. Let’s imagine no one planned the white-as-the-driven-snow attire. The books in the background. The viral fever (or was it a fever to get viral). Let’s imagine the pink of the cheeks was an oversight. Let’s imagine no one planned the scrubbed-clean no-kohl look or the hands — shorn of jewellery, to begin with folded, at other times moving up or down, now gathered, now opening out, itinerant, questioning, but to end with, folded. Let’s imagine the anger is justified. A criticism of a piece of work, two pieces, three… just imagine. Now play the vidoe… sorry, video again.
Tanu hates Manu
Act 1, Scene 0.25. Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. Then lament, lament, lament. For an absence of debate. For a surfeit of vituperations. Act 1, Scene 0.26. Mention of termites and desh. And more lament. How the termites can “attack” the “integrity” of the nation. Act 1, Scene 0.27. That dreaded word, “desh drohita”, anti-national. Of course, one is still imagining there is good reason for all this. The pitch is an unnatural calm, but let’s imagine it is natural, that none of this is acting. Act 1, Scene 0.28. She is invoking the Constitution. Act 1, Scene 0.29. Non-stop name-calling --- duplicitous, pseudo-liberal, non secular… Head-spinning.
And, then just like that, like a five-act play that turned petulant, refused to budge beyond Act 1, without preface or preparation, she not-named the chindi se target of her high drama. And then, zoom out. Lest the smallness subsume her on her high mantle she spoke with gravitas about the serious issues of life, issues she has taken a stand against — plastic ban, “animal cruelty”… Zoom in. Again, aggrieved. Again, name-calling. Again, that dreaded word. Zoom out. Guild shild. Ban shan. Please guild, please ban. Zoom in. Zoom in. Invoking forefathers of a collective. Drawing attention to personal position, personal wealth. Folding hands. Taking swipes. Folding hands. Making jibes. Folding hands. Smiling. Hating. Promoting films. Taking the nation’s name in vain. All templated. All in a day’s work. Just imagine.