Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Love Cherub & The ShowBiz Grub (sic)

Love, they say is divine. It is that celestial being by which all of God's creatures are enamored by. The more learned men would discount its greatness by attributing it to a series of chemical reactions in the brain that triggers certain hormones which creates a feel good factor and makes the object of your affection all the more enticing to your eyes. Man! these learned men make even the most beautiful set of 4 alphabets in the whole wide world, sound so drab and dull. 

Love is a broad term and here I am restricting it to the one that is romantic in nature. 

To arrive at a common ground, I declare that Love is not a mere excitement of nerves and secretion of chemicals in the brain, it is but a metaphysical entity that makes us all one with divinity because, ask a man in love and he shall sound positively divine. The ancient Romans attributed love to the cherub - Cupid. The angel of Love, who struck the love lorn with this arrows that sprouted deep sown seeds of love in the victim. 

One of the greatest Greek epic - Homer's Odyssey which centers around the legendary Greek hero, Odysseus who in order to reach home to his love, his wife - Penelope goes through wave after wave of great troubles. His overwhelming love for his soul mate makes him come out victorious in the greatest of odds and such is the power of love. 

The impenetrable fortress of Troy was breached (the legend of the Trojan Horse) and a thousand ships were set sail to conquer the love of Helen. 

It is the stuff of which legends and epics are made. It has always been an awesome source of inspiration of writers, poets, scholars, philosophers, artists, playwrights and it has to its credit some of the greatest compositions, poems and works of art. 

Well, enough has already been said about Love and I do not want to undermine it's importance by making it sound so cheesy. What, I am interested is to fall into the worm hole and time warp to the present day, where Love is a commodity for sale!

The once divine object, to obtain which whole kingdoms were scourged and great empires bit the dust, has now been reduced to a joke to such an extent that anyone questioning the existence of true love is not considered a skeptic. 

Kindly, do not draw any conclusions, I am a believer and I have also found it. But what appalls is me is that like pain, strife and fear - Love, also comes with a price tag these days. The definition has changed and it is becoming more widely acceptable now to give love in return for an attractive incentive. The incentive may be a life filled with gluttony and disgusting luxury and wealth or a short cut to instant fame and popularity.

In the Apple age (Steve Jobs, you did it!), we see love exploited more than being explored. It creates a lot of ripples in the society, when two beautiful & successful people become one on the foundations of love. It spreads such positive energy across the people around them. But, when the same two go separate ways when their 'mutual interests' have faded away and the society realizes that their communion was a farce and involved commercial interest, it leaves  a lot of believers, in despair. Yes, I am talking about the modern world's quirky celebrities - rulers of the public domain - Actors, sports persons, politicians & popular businessmen. 

Focusing only on showbiz, they all go by a simple thumb rule - Any publicity is good publicity. So as long as their names and images linger on the public memory, they will survive. They say marriage is the ultimate bond that seals the love between two souls. No matter what the cynics might say about it, but it is the destiny of love to elevate to marriage. I rubbish statements such as "the affected of Love, is cured by marriage". 

While the sanctity of both love and marriage continues unstained among the general populace, their definitions have been tampered with beyond repair in the upper strata of society and this new meaning is slowly getting established in the young society which is a matter of worry. 

Today, reality shows have invaded the television prime time and it hooks people in droves. Our untenable trait of meddling in the affairs of others spawned these so called television shows which broadcasts themed programs with people in their elements. As always, the deviant mind of a Hollywood producer gave way to these reality shows with love as their theme. Shows such as 'The Bachelor', 'Millionaire matchmaker' (are you kidding me) & 'Beauty and the Geek' had 'randomly' selected attractive participants who came in search of true love. 'The Bachelor' had dozens of Venus like beauties sweating it out for the love of 'The One'. Obviously, the instant fame and money had more drawing power than the love that all of them had come to seek. There have been several other shows on TV that make a mockery out of love. It is no more the age when people married for love but now people marry for the money, the moolah, the Ferrari and the fine China!

The other show 'Millionaire Matchmaker' was remarkably dumb and unbelievably fake when an uptown matchmaker took the onus of getting honest matches for her millionaire clientele. I watched the show only to enjoy how the suitors would put up with the whims & craziness of the millionaires. It was pure fun and it was 'real'. 

Similar shows soon percolated down to the studios of Amchi Mumbai that are always in a hurry to mimic a hit show running across the Atlantic and the Pacific. A self styled and self brought up diva of sleazy Indian 'Item numbers' - a moniker given to raunchy fast paced songs tailored into most movies to ensure a few quick bucks for the producers, was roped in by a new entertainment channel on cable network for a show that was styled on the lines of 'The Bachelor'. However, here, it was a dozen googly eyed men vying for her attention and trying out ridiculous histrionics on screen to impress their ultimate prize - The item girl / diva! Come on!. While the novelty of the show got many Indians like me, glued to their TV sets, we all knew that a very big farce was on display, but we all love free entertainment. 

These jokers, most of them wannabe actors and models were selected from over 500,000 applicants and were chosen for the television part. While the prize herself was a heavily cosmetic reinforced bimbette, the suitors were also no better. Initially, it was quite fun to watch Love being auctioned cheaply, but later on, it became such a pain to notice such humiliation of love and the institution of marriage, when after the final episode, after a round of eliminations, this lady finally selected her man since the show's format required her to select at least one!!! The poor chap had obviously come out of his dark cellar to get his 15 minutes of fame on Indian TV and was overwhelmed by the outcome. The shit scared fellow promptly turned down the Diva's hand and took a hasty retreat to the Canadian Rockies, from where he had come from. To hit the proverbial nail on the head, now the Diva is even open for a sequel of this show!!! Though the channel shut down some time back, the theme itself of commercializing love has probably stayed along and maybe other channels have shown an interest with another fame hungry diva, this time from across the border and as always the Indian public is on the edge of their seats to catch a glimpse of the show's promos that might soon be aired on national TV!!. 

Showbiz is also an industry and works on the demand and supply principle. Such insipid shows will continue to be aired on prime time television as long as there are people showing interest in the degradation of Love. 

We are in troubled times where material, money and power are the most important stuff in life and love is fast losing its credibility. The coming age will be a more better and lovable place if only our interests and inclinations are coming of age. There are several instances where true love has prevailed and these are not leaves out of a Shakespearean play or an Italian opera, but real life incidents. Maybe the long & successful innings of our very own parents and grand parents are strong enough inspirations for all of us to believe in the existence of true love and the success of the institution of marriage. 

Keep Believing!

I think it's the business part of the word show business that causes me the most concern

-  Brent Spiner, American Actor. 

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