Pratibha and my fantasy league

I have a daily fantasy. And that involves Pratibha Patil.

NO! Not that one, you dirty mind.

Each day, when I get back from work, I think of Pratibha and pity her.  Because her job doesn’t allow for any formal relaxation. Because how do you relax when you’re already relaxing?

As far as I can see, her only job is to provide the cue words for the Prime Ministers and others when being sworn in. Okay, I forgot: She has to pose for pictures, too.

In short, Pratbha’s has a job, which we in the real world call vacation.

But it’s not Pratibha alone. There are a few others in my fantasy league team, whose job I seriously covet. Here they are:

Third Umpire: Separate AC room. Convenient breaks every hour. No queueing up at the canteen. Lunch and tea on a platter. No deadlines to meet. No projects to complete. No reports to submit. No client to satisfy. No boss to answer. Absolutely no work on a rainy day.

Tick all the boxes.

Wait. You have some more to tick.

Sleeping on the job? Allowed and, as per available evidence, most of them do.

Foreign trips? Very much part of the job.

Long hours of work? Well, put it this way, the odd day may stretch over seven hours, but even that day will involve a maximum of 3 minutes of actual work.

Is watching of cricket allowed while on job? Yes, but not compulsory.

Required skill set? A pair of eyes and a pair of ears in relatively working condition. And an ability to identify the ‘on’ and ‘off’ positions on a walkie-talkie.

Are there any perks? You must be joking. Read the previous few paragraphs again.

Is there a downside at all? Well, there is a hideous uniform to wear and the employer is ICC, who if they had been in charge of traffic rules, will till date be ferociously debating which colour to employ to signal ‘stop’.

Still, in my belief, anyone who had been a Third Umpire at international cricket matches, if and when he dies, will find anything he might encounter in heaven to be distinctly disappointing.

But, all things considered, that is a small price to pay.

DJs, VJs and RJs: The beauty of modern-day living in a globalised and liberalised economy is that it has thrown up enormous opportunities for activities that require IQ no more than that of an earthworm.

Sometimes even less than that.

I suppose you can, if you try hard, train an earthworm to switch on a music system and crank up the volume.

Voila, it’s a DJ.

(Ok, there are jobs that can be managed with even lesser IQ. But we are not here to discuss the workings of the Film Censor Board).

Don’t think I am oversimplifying things. Just go to any half-decent discotheque or bar, watch what happens.  In the entirety of the jostling and excited crowd, there will be only one abnormal person without the excuse of alcohol. And he has to be the DJ.

DJs, in general, have their work at bars, discotheques, posh clubs, private parties, IPL matches. Yes, you are right. In sober places, where it is technically possible to think, DJs have no place.  For instance, you won’t find any DJ at work in a toilet, which seems the only place of sanity left in this country.

And now we come to the VJs and RJs at music channels. Music channels, as the very name suggests, are all about talking. Such channels hire talented hosts and hostesses who have the uncanny knack of carrying on conversations with random people in sentences that don’t contain even a molecule of intelligence.

For instance, if a person calls in and introduces himself as, say, Mahesh, the typical response of the person helming the show must be ‘sollunga Mahesh, unga Peyar enna’? This question must immediately be followed by, even when the caller has rung in to say that there is a tsunami approaching the city, ‘aprum, life eppadi poikittu irukku’ (literally, ‘how’s life going’?)

This is a tactical approach and helps to create an infectious ambience of all-pervasive stupidity that the viewer ends up sending romantic text messages meant for his or her spouse to the channel. It never even once occurs to music channel-watchers that they can straightaway text message the person, who, in most cases, may be sitting in the same room.  Some typical smses that scroll on-screen on a music channel are: ‘I miss my husband: Malini’ and ‘Rajesh loves Raji: Rajesh’.

If for my sins, I am born as a cockroach in my next birth, I think a career as a DJ seems a distinct possibility.

Suhel Seth: This is not so much a job as much an entire industry in itself. I mean, being Suhel Seth.

The job profile is: An expert in being an expert.

There are multitudes inside Suhel Seth, for surely a single man cannot possess so many divergent views at any given moment on any one subject. Suhel Seth has this unparalleled ability to give four different opinions, all brilliantly contradicting the other, in one simple, crisp sentence.  Yes, he is singularly plural.

And another of his inimitable talent is to oppose the ideas of whoever had spoken just before him.  Most of the time he never lets anyone else speak. So, for the sake of even-handedness, he rebuts himself.

You are disqualified if you have combed your hair even once in your lifetime.

But consider yourself selected, if you suffer from multiple personality disorder.