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Friday, June 25, 2021

Show Cat

Zoom fails are among the small mercies to be grateful for in dull, work-from-home lives.

By: Editorial |
Updated: June 4, 2021 8:57:13 am
It didn’t matter that he couldn’t carry a tune — he stole the internet with his performance.

When life and work seem confined by the two-dimensional world of laptop and phone screens, as they have seemed during the pandemic, it is a bit startling to get reminders of the real, three-dimensional world. Take the recent Zoombombing incident, starring actor Juhi Chawla, a Bollywood fan, an irate Delhi High Court judge and bemused lawyers: This would have been just another online hearing for a case that very few people had any interest in, if not for the self-styled hero who burst onto what was clearly a rather dull scene and sang not one, not two, but three songs from Chawla’s films. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t carry a tune — he stole the internet with his performance.

In over a year of the work-from-home life, the Chawla Zoom incident is only the latest. Other episodes include “Shweta, Your Mic is On”, featuring a girl who unwittingly transmitted the graphic details of a friend’s romantic life to her classmates. And “What Nonsense Are You Doing?”, in which a wife tried to kiss her rather startled husband before realising that he’s in a video conference. But the best episodes feature the most unpredictable of them all: Small children and animals. Remember “Scarlet, I Think It Looks Better on the Lower Shelf”, in which a young girl attempted to redecorate a room while her mother did a video interview with the BBC. Or “Rocco, Put Your Tail Down”, in which an unrepentant ginger cat zoom bombed his human, a British MP, during a virtual parliamentary meeting.

Work, without the impromptu water cooler sessions and communal chai and smoke breaks of pre-pandemic times, is a slog. So, let’s welcome the unexpected whenever it crashes into the dull, 2D life everyone is trapped in. The motto now, as articulated by the boy who spoke for all his classmates upon catching sight of their teacher’s pet: “Show cat”.

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