Thursday, June 07, 2007

Television - How much is too much, Part II

In other news I have realised that being a freelance writer is no less fraught with danger than say, being a crocodile psychotherapist.

The thing is, when I was gainfully employed with a legitimate company, I stuck to office timings. Which meant that my television watching was seriously restricted to about one hour in a day, if that. Now, since I work (using the term loosely) from home I am forced to watch more television that I could ever be comfortable with. (And yes, I mean ‘forced’. YOU try ignoring it when you have to walk past the damn thing fifty thousand times in a day). So yes, I watch a lot of television. Some days I watch so much of it that by the time the SB gets back from work, the couch and I have moulded ourselves around each other and the only movement in the room is that of my thumb, frantically pressing buttons in the forlorn hope that one channel out of 99 will play something that can hold my attention for a whole minute.

It was during one such day that I came across Shekhar Suman’s debut album. And I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen.

It starts with a man’s torso silhouetted - framed lovingly, so you can count every muscle - in a window. The camera pans around and it is Shekhar Suman! In possibly the most self conscious ooh-look-at-me-wake-up stretch ever to be seen. SS scans the horizon, looking for, we know not what. But wait! His eyes narrow…he’s spotted something! And the camera sweeps to the beach, where lies a mysteriously abandoned guitar! SS looks around – after ascertaining that no one’s watching, follows the finders-keepers principle and filches it.

He’s dreamily strumming a few chords when suddenly! There is a bikini-clad woman! Lying languorously on the rocks, letting the waves wash over her! As SS blinks in disbelief, she walks towards the camera, then does the standard break-surface-and-toss-hair-backwards thing. After a few more babe-on-a-beach moves, the camera cuts to SS, who has changed out of his pyjamas (but stuck with the vest) and is now wearing jeans. He sits on a rock, strumming the guitar and singing, vanishing and reappearing alternately with the beach-babe until the last frame, where there are two SS’s a strummin’ an’ a singin’.

Babe does some more babe-on-a-beach things.

SS has now ditched his vest for a shirt and a jacket. And put on a pair of I’m-so-cool shades. He sits on some stairs in the middle of nowhere and plays the guitar, while a bunch of random children gather around him. The beach-babe has, in the meantime, put on a pretty summer dress, got herself a bunch of flowers and is running, o’er hill and err…around/away from a church.

Babe finds the aforementioned random children and hands each of them a flower. The children smilingly accept the flowers, probably worried about what the crazy-smiling-lady-with-the-flowers might do if they refuse. SS wipes his hand on his shirt and asks her for one too. She simpers, and obliges. This is obviously a sign that they can now wear colour-coordinated outfits because in the very next scene, SS and Babe, clad in matching-matching pink, are running around trees. Babe decides that she wants to go solo and waves around a couple of yards of diaphanous-pink-fabric.

Swirl, swirl.

It is now night. And SS and Babe are doing the salsa. Or something like it. Only, since babe’s dress has no pockets, she has hung her keys on the back of it. (Not too smart I think; they’re bound to fall off with all that twirling). They salsa for a little while then retire to a bonfire (see? Told you she’d lose the keys) which obviously warrants another change of clothes.

They clink their glasses together and kiss and this is where it goes from just ‘icky’ to the code yellow of ickiness. SS runs his hand across babe’s collarbones and round to the back of her neck, while his elbow rests comfortably on her chestal region (eeuw). His gaily patterned Hawaiian shirt vanishes as though it never was, and babe snuggles up against his bare chest. (Code Orange! Your toes are refusing to uncurl!)

SS wakes up hugging a pillow and wonders where babe went until he realizes that she was but a dream. He sits up in bed and sorta laughs to himself then walks up to his window and lo! There in the distance, is the guitar that started it all! He runs towards in slow motion, picks it up, gives a look-over (decides that well, whaddya know! This one’s filch-able too!), turns to the camera and winks the creepiest, crawliest, make-your-skin-want-to-get-up-and-run wink I have ever seen (Code Red! Code Red!! Someone send in the Haitian!!).

Do take a look.*

*Why should I be the only one to suffer?


Falstaff said...

Aarggh! never, ever put links to things like this - not when your readers include compulsive link clickers like yours truly.

I'm still trying to decide which is worse - the sight of our man dancing like he forgot to take the cardboard lining out of his clothes before he started or the come here darling, let me break your neck while elbowing you in the ribs gesture.

I have to disagree with your larger interpretation of the video. My take on it was - ad crew for upmarket women's fashion store comes to Goan village to shoot ad. Make mistake of leaving one of the guitars they're using for props unattended. Village idiot (VI) grabs said guitar and proceeds to make a nuisance of himself, barging his way into every photo shoot, complete with atrocious dress sense (that pink shirt, that pendant). Hapless model (aka Babe) spends time trying to get out of the same frame as him, while simultaneously trying to look faux-sultry in the time honoured tradition of low budget clothing ads (low budget ads for clothing, that is, not ads for low budget clothing). Eventually director realises there's no point in trying to keep VI out, mostly because said VI has managed to get model into crushing neck grip and refuses to let go. Ad film director promises to let VI be in shot with girl provided he'll get rid of that hideous hawaiian shirt he's wearing. Next morning, film crew strategically leaves guitar on beach, to serve as distraction for VI while they make their escape back to Bombay.

The Black King said...

Hahahaa.... falstaff just weaved magic there!

And yes, your interpretation is just ossum as well.

Chimera said...

u have some patience i tell yaa..
did u really mean Shekar-guyin40s-with-puffed-eyes Suman???

scout said...

oh my GOD. i was slightly amused about his double chin and his hippie beads and all that. and then, THE WINK. arghhhheurggh.

and yeah, first time at your blog. apart from that particular link, i rather like it.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Falstaff: But that was the whole point, no? She asked sweetly.

And while you're interpretation works for me on *most* levels, it doesn't explain the colour-coordination of the outfits now, does it? Also, is the hideousness of the shot reduced by the absence of the shirt? Loose ends, m'boy...loose ends.


BTW, have you noticed? It's almost impossible to remember that there actually is a song (using the term loosely) playing in the background.

TBK: Hello, you're new here! And umm, thank you.

>u have some patience...

Well, that's something you have lots of when you're only partially employed. :D

>did u really mean Shekar-guyin40s...

You mean there are others?? Please don't mean that!

Scout: I'm *still* all shook up from the wink. I need me some big time Haitian brain-cleansing!

Oh and thank you, though I've been reading you for quite a while now. Just (mostly) comment shy.

??! said...

Reminds one of the time that Anu Malik decided he was the real-life inspiration behind Rambo, and made a video of him jumping around in fatigues.
Quite the horrible times.
Has Indipop (hahahahaha!) made any good video besides....ohh...umm....the Silk Route ones?

Falstaff said...

chronicus: There isn't that much color coordination. Just the one pink scene. It could be just coincidence.

And from an advertisers perspective, taking the shirt off probably is an improvement. With the shirt on you're sending the message that you actually sell clothes like that - thereby reducing the probability of anyone ever visiting your store to near zero. With the shirt off the message is more like - we provide stylish clothing for women with no taste in men. That's a fairly large demographic.

yes, it is. Though I think that's more because after the first 30 seconds of listening to our man caterwaul through the *song* your brain tunes it out in self defense

Brown Magic said...

my eyes! my eyes!

I may never forgive you for this.

I only clicked because I kept thinking "Surely, it is not the same Shekhar Suman - the Dekh bhai Dekh shehkar suman. the one with the crappy talk show. he is much too old for videos, especially with babes on beaches. have I been away this long? Is this what the world has come to? Are we all going to die in a fiery apocalypse with the last image in our head being that wink? "

Apparently, yes to it all.

Mo said...


Though I was hoping his shirt was used as a fuel for the Bonfire, I think this explains it:§id=12&contentid=2007060302294346ade74290

Mo said...

The link

Ph said...

I like that even he shakes his head on waking up at his fantasy.

iz said...

Can't bring myself to watch it....No. can't do it.

Fakepunk said...

This guy is supposedly a big Tharki, so the video makes sense.

And 'matching-matching pink' sounds like a jap pop group. I'm sure they're awesome too.

Tabula Rasa said...

okay, here's one way to spend an hour or two less at the box -- i'm passing through your neck o' the woods with some time possibly to kill during the daytime early next week. what say? email me at rastabula at gmail, if you're on. (haven't been to toto's in over eight years; can't remember what time they open...)

The Cloudcutter said...

Hi! My first time here. Your blog is wonderfully funny. I can so relate to this post (the first 2 paras, I could not bear to look at SS for more than 2 secs!).

Chronicus Skepticus said...

??!: Really? I don't remember this one at all. The one I cannot forget however, is the one in which he's singing:
Dekho baarish ho rahi hai!
It's raining, it's raining, it's raaaiiningg!
Mera dil ro raha hai!
My heart is paining, it's paining, it's paaiininggg!


And re: good music videos, well Shubha Mudgal's Ab ke Saawan wasn't bad, and ermmm...okay. I've run out. *sigh*

Re: the large demographic (with which I sadly agree btw), I wonder, does it ever work in reverse? As in, do you have a lot of stylish men with no taste in women?

And caterwaul! You have hit so many nails on their heads!

Brown Magic:

Excuse me while I do my evil laugh. *MuahahahaaAA!*

Btw, wow, I'd completely forgotten about DBD. And oh no I can just imagine it, The Winks living on after everything is dead, floating above the charred earth, in some sort of gory cheshire-cat-grin-esque way.

I have to stop creeping myself out like this.

Mo: Sweet jesus! The man (SS, i.e.) is insane!

Ph: I think he shoulda shook it a little harder. Like, till it rolled off his neck.

Try Izzy...try harder! Although a strong drink *might* take the edge of the pain.

Fakepunk: Also, sleazy, lecherous, lewd AND cheesy.

>The video makes sense.
Y'know, I think I sorta prefer the nonsensical to *this*.

>And 'matching-matching pink' sounds like a jap pop group.
It does have a certain ring to it. :D

Tabula Rasa:
Professor, Toto's opens at 6 (p.m. i.e.). Will mail with options. Though they're not likely to have much choice in the wine-or-single-malts department.

The Cloudcutter: Hello, new person! And thank you.

And you have to sit through the whole thing - it's just not as effective otherwise.

P.S. You're weight poem, I liked, I really liked.

Chronicus Skepticus said...

The Cloudcutter:
By which I mean YOUR weight poem. Not that you ARE a weight poem.

Goddamn typos.

Tabula Rasa said...

stylish men with no taste in women

i think the technical term for that is "gay". ms. brown magic to corroborate.

Falstaff said...

chronicus: I don't know about stylish men with no taste in women (I suspect TR may have a point), but I can think of dozens of intelligent, interesting or just nice guys who are married to / in relationships with god-awful women.

I'm trying to remember now if I ever put up a post on the whole alpha couple - beta couple thing - where alpha couples are couples that make you think 'what the f*** does he see in her?' and beta couples make you think 'what the f*** does she see in him?'. Empirically, I find that about 90% of all couples I know fit into one or the other category.

Brown Magic said...

@ tr - I'll have you know that the 'mos in my know have excellent taste in women which is why they are the 'mos in my know (possible band name?).

The Cloudcutter said...

OK I will try and watch the whole thing, but not without at least half a bottle of vodka in me!

Thanks...about the poem. Yeah typos are a pain but it's ok I would never hold it against a good writer anyway...

Shreyasi Deb said...

whooaa!! what a bit by bit account, makes me want to watch that full screen right now :-)
My server didnt allow the links somehow :-(

??! said...

Aren't we talking of the same video/song?

And yeh, Mudgal's fine. But then she went back to classical.

pravin said...

mwhahaaa. I decided to read the comments before clicking the link. phew :P

Anonymous said...

Shekhar Suman seems to be going through some major midlife crisis.........I've seen it happen to a lot of older guys. But......must all of us go through this crisis with him?

Chronicus Skepticus said...

Brown Magic: Heh...'mos in my know. They've gotta be hip hop.

The Cloudcutter: You know what, don't. As in, do the vodka, skip the video. I kind of like you. :)

Shreyasi Deb:
I would say that someone up there likes you! Or your server does, at any rate.

??!: Are we? My memory is being unusually considerate then. I don't remember this part of it at all.

Pravin: Hey! Who *does* that?? You do everything the post says THEN you read comments! Tsk. I am *so* sending the blogging-police after you.

Anonymous: So it seems anonymous, tragically, so it seems.