Thursday, April 20, 2017


“People can become addicted to fame, money, and attention
as deeply as they become addicted to drugs.” 

In our college canteen, Mangalore, there was a rude waiter. He dealt with the students with his sarcastic comments and got away with it; but, not always. One day, he got the taste of his own medicine…

A student came to the counter and made a typical inquiry with the rude waiter. I reproduce, here, the exchange of their dialogues (with Hindi and English translation) in the local Tulu language as it carries its own flavor:

Student: “Bechha yenchina undu?”
“Garam kya hai”
“What is there hot (dish)?”

Waiter: “Bechcha? Dingeld genda undu.”
“Garam? Chule mein koyla hai”
“Hot? There is coal in the oven.”

Student: “Korle onji plate.”
“Ek plate de do.”
“Get me a plate of it.”

The waiter went inside the kitchen and returned with a plate of red-hot coal… and placed it on the counter with that arrogant look: “You think you are smart?”

The young-man did not blink… He pulled out  a cigarette, placed between his lips… bent down on the coal to light it up… and walked out of the canteen, like a Boss!

Yes, we, the spectators, applauded the ‘Boss’: “BRAVO… BRAVO!!!”

As college kids, we got our cheap thrills from roadside ‘shows’ like these… The above one actually happened in our college canteen when I was one of the spectators. Little did we know, then, that, four decades later, we would get to experience loads of similar thrills through social media and news channels, every passing minute!

Take twitting and trolling, for example…

We, the gullible spectators, are all waiting and watching: What next? Sonu Nigam has shaved his head knowing very well that  he did not do it for Mullah’s ten-lakh moolha… but, to get even with the him (Mullah)… Mullah has become even more adamant… Meanwhile, the twitter-followers, Facebook, WhatsApp, electronic and print media are having a field day!

The noise pollution created out of this is worse than that of the loudspeakers… It is toxic!

The Mullah says “Sonu does it for publicity, I don’t need it… I have more followers than him!”

So, it’s all about the number of followers; isn’t it?

Some days ago, in our P.D. session, I had given for Group Discussion this topic: ‘Have we all become addicts of social media?’

Without even a single exception, the teenagers confessed: “Yes, we have!”

And smile: “Not just we… Our parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, cousins and even grandparents… all have become addicts!”

“You need to get in touch with your thoughts… trust your thoughts… and express your thoughts,” I repeatedly tell our young-ones, just to remind them, that they all have ideas, views and opinions… and, unless they get in touch with them, trust in them, they will not be able to express with self-confidence…

We all have our opinions… and, we have the right to voice them in an appropriate manner from an  appropriate platform…

But, what happens when we are ‘opinionated’?

Where is it coming from?


Pic.: Azriel D'Souza


Ashish Srivastava said...

very well written Gerry!! Commendable!

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanx Ashis. Glad!!! Love