Wouldn’t it be lovelyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/wouldnt-it-be-lovely/

Wouldn’t it be lovely

If we could be spared the political utterances on Dadri.

Before we talk about subjects other than the one everyone is talking about, got an idea: What if the media were to exercise its editorial judgement and boycott all comments that contain the word “beef”? As Eliza Doolittle sang in My Fair Lady, “Wouldn’t it be loverly?” They might even think of deleting all utterances on Dadri — everyone has said more than there is to say — save those by the prime minister, who hasn’t said anything about either beef or Dadri, anyway.

If the media did this, we would not have to listen to the likes of the BJP’s Sangeet Som, Mahesh Sharma, Sushil Modi, or the RJD’s Lalu Prasad, or the SP’s Azam Khan, or the Congress’s Digvijaya Singh and many others who have turned the tragic murder of Mohammed Akhlaq into a recipe for communal conflict — or, as NDTV 24×7 said, “Beef politics: netas cook political curry” (an unfortunate and insensitive tagline given the violence in Dadri). Such media censorship would deny politicians publicity — at least one of the reasons why they made the remarks in the first place. Good idea?

Three commentators running out of ideas but never words during the Twenty20 India-South Africa matches is probably a bad idea (Star Sports). Why do we need Harsha Bhogle, L. Sivaramakrishnan and Graeme Smith to be describing one bowled ball? What the viewer gets is something like this: “A wonderful ball”, “A yorker”, “You will see a lot of yorkers”. Well, let us see them by all means, but must you all talk so? In the good ole bad days of radio, ball-by-ball cricket commentary was necessary for obvious reasons — we could not watch the proceedings. Now we can watch them, that too from many angles, in slow motion, six times an over, but we don’t really see anything because we’re distracted by too much commentary in too many voices making too many observations not always about what is happening in the match. As a cricket fan, a request: Please do not describe/ analyse every delivery, every shot — allow us to watch the game and see what happens.

Watching Priyanka Chopra rise from the debris of a bombed-out New York building without a speck of dust on her was almost like watching a phoenix rise from the ashes. Actually, that sort of describes her transformation from Bollywood star to American TV actress as she made her debut in Quantico (Star Premiere HD). She is one of many trainee FBI agents who, by the end of the first episode, finds herself accused of the bombing and on the run.

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The first episode alternates between Chopra-the-trainee and Chopra-the-bomb-survivor. As the trainee, she is sassy, saucy (“We had sex six hours ago”) with considerable spunk and more Indian-American accents than fingers on one hand; as the survivor, she looks puzzled, not dazed or bombed out — guess FBI agents are undaunted by small disturbances like exploding bombs.

Perhaps, like us, she was confused by the pace of developments, all the to-and-fro between the past and the present without clearly establishing characters or plot. Everything happens so fast there’s no time to establish anything other than the fact that Chopra has done what no other Indian actor has: Star in an American TV series and at least look the part. That alone was reason enough to watch the first episode of Quantico; how long we continue to will depend on more.

Last, have you seen the recent Nestle TV commercial? It’s all about togetherness and how the company has been our companion over the decades. There’s no mention of Maggi but clearly the company is trying to reignite its two-minute magic with us.

shailaja.bajpai@expressindia.com