Crank’s News: In Chennai, it’s ‘paperazzi’

In Chennai these days, if you want to read about a newspaper you open the pages of its rival newspaper. Yes, each one is so full of the other.

One newspaper claims that the way its rival presents the news makes the readers to fall asleep. The newspaper that has made this charge seems to be confident that its own readers will never be sleepy, because they never can wake up in the first place after attending all-night parties (that are covered in lurid colours on its pages). The point is if you want to avoid feeling sleepy in the morning, the trick is to read an evening newspaper, which, needless to say, is where I work.

Another thing is that the two newspapers are so keen to outdo the other that is each one is poaching into the subject area that the other so typically covers. But each paper is loath to give up its own style of writing that soon we are all set for a mishmash of reporting of this nature.

When ecstasy coursed through the veins

It was an evening of glitz and glamour-filled heritage, as the city’s cultural cognoscenti, in resplendent zari-lined veshtis and in ‘silk’ shinier than anything that the svelte Smitha had ever worn in her stellar career, turned up in large numbers for the Carnatic music do of T M Krishna at the Music Academy, richly known for carefully maintaining its tradition of employing extraordinarily snobbish ushers.

T M Krishna was in fine form that evening, clad as he was in an attention-grabbing orange kurtha that provided an agreeable contrast to the muffled white of his dhothi. (The thing about dhothi is that despite the possibility of a slit, it never leads to an Angelina Jolie kind of embarrassment. Haha, we are obviously pulling your leg)

Krishna’s accompaniment for the occasion, fittingly, was a classy angavastram, — the male dhupatta, if you will — that accentuated the elegance and élan of the delicate cut of the hand-crafted diamond ring on one of his digits.

Krishna, true to his wont, was clearly in a mood for bold experimentation, as he cocked a snook at the time-honoured traits, by choosing to wear his watch on the right wrist. The talk of the evening, in hushed italics, naturally centred on Krishna’s unconventional approach, and whether the watch was actually Bvlgari or Chanel.  (Krishna was to later comment: ‘Forget the watch and how we wear it. We should question the concept of time itself and whether we should adhere to the idea of a.m. and p.m.)

Also, another subject of discussion of the evening was why Krishna chose to present himself in a beard, a la ‘Duggu’ in Guzaarish (By the way, ‘What is the name of the actor whom the world knows as Duggu’ will be a good quiz question).

Among the many ‘numbers’ that Krishna ‘belted’ out that evening, Ethanai Kodi Inbam Vaithay, Iraiva? (Oh Lord, how much ecstasy did you give us?) stood out for its Jimi Hendrixian flavour and fervour. It is a rhetorical question that Jim Morrison or even the Elvis ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ Presley, could have asked after snorting the holy ash, if you get our drift. My gawd! It is also a query that could have come straight from the heart of Kurt Cobain.

By the way, who is that dude who penned the lyrics of Ethanai Kodi Inbam Vaithay, Iraiva? Must be a cool bloke to party with as his words capture the ‘angsty’ excitement of the head-banging gang.

Party held

Men in three-fourth jeans (worn from around the knees) and women in traditional see-through attire attended a party, in which they talked vacuously, smiled pointlessly, gossiped vehemently and drank copiously, at a farmhouse on the East Coast Road, 15 kms from here, late last night.

Loud music was played throughout the party, which was held to celebrate the fact that the previous night’s party had passed off peacefully without resulting in any drunken rage from any of the participants. (It is alleged that in a party, which was held last week, there were a couple of unsavoury incidents, including the death of a couple of bystanders who were allegedly run over by reportedly a speeding Benz driven by two people who were said to have attended the party and were reported to be in an inebriated condition).

The cynosure of the last night’s party was a dress worn by an attendee named Pooja. The dress, which had very little of what you normally call as dress, reportedly cost Rs.2.5 lakhs, exactly the amount for failing to repay which a farmer in Vidharbha committed suicide last year (See: Op-ed article from P Sainath).

The party began at 9 p.m. and ended at 5 a.m. after the milkman arrived. Those guests who were in a state to move, left reluctantly, and those who were too ‘drowsy’ stayed back for the next party scheduled for the next night.

(Disclaimer: The best policy is to have no identifiable style or sensibility so that nobody can spoof you. I personally have been following this rule for long by being a philistine)