The new TRP factor

The Cybernag has got great ‘breaking news’ from sources which are roaming incognito in  Gujarat getting the feel from the ‘ground’ and ‘grassroots’ as the CM Narendra Modi cheered on by the BJP top brass is fasting in the air-conditioned conference hall of the Gujarat University and Shankar Singh Waghela is sitting on his counter-fast  outside Sabarmati Ashram all hot and humid, sans any Central leader from his party.

For both this is perhaps an only chance to hog TV time. So what if both are playing politics — one to try desperately for an   image change if that were ever possilbe and  the other to use it to finally nail his errant ex-chela? And above all, what does it matter to the TV channels whether the reason for the fast is a noble or expeditious one, as long as they get their TRPs?

Now read what the Cybernag unearthed:

Breaking news!!!!

All saas-bahu serial makers including  Kekta Kapoor have taken a vacation, as TV channels have found their new formula for TRP. After the hugely successful coverage of Anna’s fast at Ramlila Maidan they have zeroed in on this formula for success. Yes folks the flavor of the year is fasting and several channels are promising their viewers 72 hours non-stop coverage of the fast, not one but two – that is going on since this morning in Gujarat.

Wait! My source is calling from Mumbai with more Breaking News. ‘Ekta Kapoor has announced a mega serial called, ‘Khoob kiya Anshan aapne,’ and others are following suit!

  **********

Listen to what is happening in the newsrooms of the various TV channels.

‘Sir our reporters are protesting that they want to cover Modi’s fast. The cameramen have joined in too!

‘But why? We already have a girl covering Modi’s fast, don’t we?’

‘Yes, but it is too hot and humid at Waghela’s venue and they want to go to the AC hall where Modi is fasting.’

In one of the offices the producer is heard yelling frantically, ‘Fire them! Don’t we have stringers there? Get one of them!’

‘Sir but the stringers are all saying the same thing.’

‘Oh, damn!’

  **********

At the UPA Chairperson’s office the phone rings. Someone is calling from Waghela’s camp outside Sabarmati Ashram.

‘Waghelaji is very upset at this stepmotherly treatment from Mum..sorry, Madam. Look at the BJP turning out in full strength to bolster their ward. And Waghelaji is sweating it out all alone, leaving us also to sweat and faint!’

The source didn’t hear the entire reply but caught the words ‘backend support from the party HQ,’ as the security guard got suspicious and shooed him away.

  **********

Back in Gandhinagar two young boys are talking on a street-corner: ‘Did you know that we are all going to get yummy stuff to eat today? Mallika aunty is distributing packets of food to all children and in the evening we will get khichdi and sweets!’

‘But why? Eid is over and Dushera is still far away.’

‘Arre buddhu! Didn’t you know that our leaders are fasting? So Mallika aunty wants to feed us. I heard that other aunties are going to feed the poor children too.’

‘I wish more leaders fasted every day!’ the younger boy says wistfully, licking his lips in anticipation of food.

 *************

 Heard in the corridors of the Finance Ministry, ‘Did someone call the CAG’s office? Modi is apparently using state funds and machinery for his fast. What blatant misuse of public funds! Get them cracking there, will you? We will cook his goose this time!’

 **********

Elsewhere the Central Govt. is in a tizzy. They can’t find a spokesperson to condemn the fast of Modi and praise Waghela’s.

‘What happened to all the spokespersons? Get someone quick? The BJP brass is hogging all the eyeballs!’

‘But sir, our star spokespersons are in the hospital where surgeons are working hard to extricate their feet from their mouths.’

‘But I thought they had the surgery done sometime back.’

‘It has recurred again, sir. Doctors are unable to fix the problem from recurring.’

‘Oh, excuses, excuses!’ Get me someone, anyone! And while you are at it, get me the round the clock, round the week news channel.’

‘Which one sir? They are all RTC, RTW channels…’ the assistant is at his wit’s end.

‘Now you want me to spell it out for you? Get me the original RTC RTW channel, you fool!’

The harassed assistant runs helter-skelter trying to find someone. He is not used to searching for spokespersons. Why, he had had an army of them literally crawling out of the woodworks as recently as August when Anna had gone on fast.

 **********

On a counter-fast (Image Courtesy: India TV)

  **********

Back in Gandhinagar at a home in a Muslim locality: ‘Aslam, why are you going without your tagiyah? Aren’t you going to the masjid for noon prayers?’

‘Yes ammi, but party workers of Congress and BJP are crawling all over the place and dragging anyone with a tagiyah to their respective leaders’ fast venues. I am carrying it in my pocket,’ replies Aslam.

 **********

In the meanwhile the harassed assistant has managed to get a spokesperson. Someone thrust a sheaf of papers in the clueless man’s hand. ‘Go quickly. I have asked the RTC RTW reporter to wait for your statement,’ said the Minister.

‘What is the reaction of the UPA to these twin fasts?’ asked a cub reporter trying to imitate her idol.  ‘I hope she is watching me,’ she thought as she preened. Then realizing that she had omitted the all-important question, she added hastily, ‘How do you feel about it?’

The spokesperson began reading from his papers, ‘This fast is master-minded by the BJP-RSS…We will not allow the saffron brigade to hijack the movement..’

‘Someone stop that moron! Which of you imbeciles gave him the statement prepared last month during Anna’s fast? This is a BJP fast! Did you get him from the Ministry of External Affairs?’ screamed the Minister and the TV screen went blank.

How the Minister wished for his regular foot-in-the-mouth artistes Manish Tiwari and Diggy! At least they would have known how to call names and this time they wouldn’t even have to ‘regret’ their statements. After all wasn’t Modi everyone’s favourite whipping boy?

 *****************

Outside Sabarmati Ashram: ‘Sir, have we taken permission from Team Anna to put up Anna’s poster?’

‘Shut up! Haven’t they themselves said that he is the second Gandhi? This is Gandhiji’s Ashram. Let them come and object. We have new leads on Kejriwal’s misuse of his office to collect donations and something new on Sisodia and Kiran Bedi as well!’

Waghela looks woebegone in his Gandhi cap, which he had had to hastily change because someone had given him an ‘I am Anna’ cap in his hurry to reach his fasting venue before Modi started his fast!

 **********

At the conference hall in Gujarat University where Narendra Modi is surrounded by his fawning ‘family’ of the BJP led by the PM in perpetual waiting L.K.Advani. The latter was praising the younger leader reluctantly acknowledging the fact that he might not be a candidate after all in the next elections, rath-yatra or not.

A spectator is heard whispering, ‘Do you know why all this show is on? After the endorsement of Modi as the model Chief Minister by the US, the party is trying to project him at the UN.’

‘What nonsense!’

‘I got it straight from Wikileaks,’ the first one says in an offended tone. ‘See the papers tomorrow if you don’t believe me.’

 **********

That’s all for now, folks!

For latest updates just switch your TV sets on. All channels including sports channels are telecasting the two fasts live, since the latter channels have nothing to talk about with India dragging its injured players from England after their defeat in all the three versions of cricket. Besides, with no political reporter covering the Waghela fast, the sports reporters have been perforce pressed into service.

 

Disclaimer: The post is the product of the Cybernag’s imagination and all situations are creations of the same source. Resemblances if any, are coincidental. 🙂

 

Pics courtesy – Top: IBNLive.  

 

38 comments

  1. that was a brilliant take!

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    1. Thank you for this and for the other comment in the mail 😀

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  2. Enjoyed the satire throughout. You are balanced, having a dig at everyone involved. I liked the bit on Mallika aunty and surgery on congress spokesperson most.

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    1. Thank you Hariharan Valady. Everyone is worth lampooning isn’t he/she? I was smiling away to see Diggy back in action yesterday. Probably got hurriedly discharged to take up arms on behalf of the party 😀 😀

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  3. The political parties seem to have run out of ideas. TRPs may soar but in reality it is a comical situation with a facade of seriousness!!A good satire.

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    1. What’s more, they are giving fasting a bad name and mocking the efforts of the septuagenarian Anna with their comical antics.

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  4. Wow ! Brilliantly written satire ! Hubby dear found it ‘very impressive’ ! Second Sudha for giving it Top BRP !
    Keep ’em coming….

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    1. Thank Agam for reading and giving his verdict. 🙂 So it looks like I can do this kind of thing! Beware 😀

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  5. Hilarious and absolutely idiotic what is going on!

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    1. Understatement of the year 🙂

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  6. Hilarious I fell off my chair laughing..too good :)you should really send this to some newspaper to publish

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    1. Thank you RM. I wish it were so easy!

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      1. I agree with R’s Mom

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        1. Thank you. *takes a bow*

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  7. Politics is the best entertainment in our country today. There are quite a lot of clowns wearing the motley or the cap or the waistcoat or …

    It’s a delightful experience reading you.

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    1. Thank you for reading and liking it 🙂 The reasoning could be, if you have nothing else to offer, at least offer a sartorial style, maybe? 🙂

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  8. Brilliant take on the farce of fasts….they are all milking the situation.

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    1. We can’t even say to each his own — because it is becoming everyone’s and also becoming a joke.

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  9. ROFL….i hope the food inflation reduces after so many fasts…:)

    Cheers!
    SUB

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    1. Unfortunately it goes up, because except for those who are fasting (a few) the rest are feasting on choicest stuff at the venue itself. How gross!

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  10. Saru Singhal · · Reply

    LOL…TRPs would be soaring high if this post is presented on TV…Loved it!

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    1. Thank you Saru. Perhaps I should take it and go on a fast to get it telecast, considering that is the best way to be on air? 😀

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  11. Good Satire Zephyr ! 🙂 It was hilarious…

    and the heights of insult to waghela… on a news channel

    Breaking News and Special Coverage: Narendra Modi on a Three day fast with all top National Leaders of BJP !

    and on ticker below: Waghela of congress ALSO on a fast somewhere in Gujarat… (more details awaited)

    hahaa… poor chap 😉

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    1. Thank you Nand Kishore. Waghela is an old warhorse and has the support of the oldest party which is in power at the Centre. Besides, Modi has a lot of answer for now and later. So we will know who will have the last laugh in a day. One thing is for sure, this must be the last chance when Modi is getting so much coverage and publicity even if at the cost of the state!

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  12. I simply loved the post. I know, TV channels are no more keen on Saas-bahu sagas. These endless anshans are providing lots of drama to cover.

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    1. They have all the elements of a potboiler plus the current events tag, And who knows one of the ‘moles’ might dig out a saas-bahu type of story from the vaults? 😀

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  13. Woohooo…Cyber Nag is in top form and we love her all new wicked avatar. And there’s no way I am switching on TV to watch the ghisa pitaa anchors mouth the same lines all over again. I am glued on to this blog for further updates.

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    1. Finally! I was going to nag you over mail till you commented. And the comment sounds like I passed the grade? 😀 Yahoooooo!!
      i even nagged the Leopard cub to comment and like my post 😀 😀

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  14. wonderful!!! am still laughing as I type this… btw, i switched off the tv long back!

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    1. Why do you need the TV when you got such extensive ‘coverage’ about not only the fast but all the behind the scenes happenings too in one blogpost? 😀

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  15. LOL….satire at it’s best. We can call this year, the Year of Fasts. These jamborees always remind me of the Animal Farm…..amusing but sad.

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    1. Thank you for deigning to come to Cybernag despite the eeew post I had written on Anna that you didn’t like 😀 Glad you liked it. I wanted satirists to ratify the post, which is why i wanted your comment. Thanks 🙂

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  16. I don’t know about TRP factor, but if there were ever BRP (blog rating point), yours would be on top.

    I have just about manged to pick myself off the floor (I was laughing so hard), sobered down a bit to write this comment.

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    1. Glad it made you laugh, though the fasters (is that the right word? I think it is not since Word is underlining it in red 🙂 ) won’t think of it as laughing matter at all, especially poor Waghela who is literally sweating it out. And oh thanks a ton for placing Cybernag on top according to BRPs 😀

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  17. A string of cracker-like satires that sweeps all: sitcom (bandit)queens, netas, reporters, political parties and Wikileaks in a few deft strokes. The undercurrent of greed and vanity, misuse of official machinery, rat-race for petty one-upmanship at the cost of a poor, tottering nation is unmistakable.

    Terrific writing, Zephyr. Please write more.

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    1. Thanks for the detailed analysis of the post USP! Coming from a subtle satirist like you, that’s a compliment I will cherish. Thank you. 🙂

      Like

  18. So many parts of this “news report” can be used as separate SMS jokes. Absolutely hilarious.

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    1. Thank you for the instant response Rocky and thanks for sharing it too. 🙂

      Like

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