In a recent episode of a game show, when one of the participants won the initial round to get to the next level, she shrieked with delight and came jumping in big hops to the centre stage as the calm and unruffled anchor watched on. Being the host of the show, he did his job remarkably well. But being a viewer sitting at home in front of the TV, I had the complete freedom to show subsequent expressions of shock and surprise followed by disapproval mixed with wonder.
Call me a spoilsport or party pooper if you will, but I immediately lose respect for a person when I see him/her react in an uncontrolled manner when circumstances require them to be otherwise and when their own personality disagrees with it. Yes there are moments when we feel simply above the world and we are mentally floating in the skies, but doesn't the environment and people around us deserve some thought? A small kid can jump with delight looking at a toy bear beating drums. But can even a 13 year old do the same?
I feel so embarrassed when I see respectable elders dancing in the sidelines in Airtel Super Singer Junior (a reality show for kids to showcase their talent in vocal music), as the little super performers sing a peppy number.Ok, if you are a gifted dancer and still have the body build required for your performance to be aired on television, go on. I really enjoy it when Usha Utup sings in her usual flamboyant style dancing away. It totally suits her charismatic personality and unique voice. But a granny in her sixties dancing like a comedian to a kuthu paatu(Tamil peppy number) really makes me hang my head down in shame. And those ruthless cameramen continuously focus just on that. (I feel even more bad when I see kids sing item numbers with expressions and body language totally unsuited to their age, completely spoiling their innocence but that is besides the point for this post)
What exactly is the reason for this kind of behaviour? Herd mentality and craving for attention if you ask me. Everyone is going overboard, so why not me too? Fifty odd people are sitting in the audience. How do I get noticed and get the camera to zoom towards me?
Well, there are other ways to achieve that than doing stunts that just don’t suit the person that you are. The sixty something granny can talk about how proud she is to see her grandchild perform. They would air that on television too. The twenty something girl has already proven her worth by winning over to the next level. She doesn’t have to shriek and jump as if a man with a dagger is chasing her to finish her off. Am not trying to stereotype people, age groups and permissible behaviour here. I have no right to.
Am only wondering why people make a clown out of them themselves by doing things that just don’t go with their personality ‘IN PUBLIC VIEW’. Will the same granny dance in front of her TV at home when a foot tapping number is played even if she is all alone at that moment? If yes, maybe she is totally right in following her heart without worrying about who’s watching.Maybe. (For opinions differ widely, atleast mine does J)
Am also wondering why happiness has to be expressed like a thunderstorm whenever you have an audience. Would you be doing the same in the absence of the audience too? Then maybe you are justified. Again, maybe.
Yes even I have jumped in joy and hugged my team mates when we won a national level music competition for our school some years back. But we were a bunch of 17 year olds who had won a much coveted award among schools. The proud teacher who had trained us watched with a big smile and tear filled eyes as we went on stage to collect our accolade. Now how would it have been if she had joined the rest of us in the jumping and shouting?
As one of my friends rightly remarked, for some people, there is nothing called negative publicity. Attention in any form seems to be welcome. We would all like to make heads turn around to see us perform. But what about the expressions on their faces when they do finally turn around and watch? Wouldn't one want an appreciative smile, complete attention or awe inscribed on their faces rather than a sarcastic smirk, jeering laughter, aghast look or outright condemn?