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.
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?