Friday, April 29, 2011

I am going to enjoy my fairy tale but only in English.


In my precious alone time yesterday I was vacillating between finishing the book I was reading, applying for a new freelance project, watching a movie and heading outdoors. In the mean time a phone conversation happened and I was made curious to watch BBC: The William Kate wedding. I told myself I was not going to watch it for long. This wedding was not going to change my life, and I had productive ways of spending my precious Friday. I could do with watching only the interesting visuals of the wedding on the news later in the evening, than follow it live.

And of course, all resolutions and good sense lost, I just sat glued to the flat screen. My priorities for the day were reorganized! I was also successful in winning over my two tornados. Cartoon channels were forbidden and forgotten. It was only the BBC. Confession: I got my 3 year old to watch the wedding by goading her about the London Bridge and Hickory Dickory Dock making an appearance in the procession.

And I was satisfied. After all, how often do we see a fairy tale wedding?  And more so when it is set in England!!! I was reading on screen and not watching the numerous tales of Princes and Princesses and Castles and Knights that I grew up with.  And just as one of the reporters said, I could flavor the medieval atmosphere in London yesterday.

I sat through the discussions and speculations on Kate’s Dress; the etiquettes to be held and the faux pas to be avoided in the Queen’s presence; and the sentiments and emotions of the people in England. I marveled their discipline and enjoyed their dresses. I was following a Proud Nation’s moment of history; it was enriching and gave me contentment. 

After a day full of the Royals, I switched back to our Desi channels to touch down at our world. I needed to know what was happening in our own country. AND THEN I HAD MY MOMENT.

It is one thing for the BBC to discuss Kate’s dress or to postmortem their own party. It is for us to see, enjoy and utmost celebrate with them. But to have a panel of our own designers and wedding planners sit and discuss the British Royal wedding on our prime time slot with overzealousness was more than what I could digest.

We seriously need to set our priorities in order. Concerns of What Michelle Obama wears when on a shopping spree in India or what Kate Middleton wears on her wedding day is interesting but when seen from the Indian perspective is ridiculous. I totally appreciate their sense of fashion and their commitment to being presentable to their people, and find it interesting that their media covers it with an ardent fervor. But seriously, has anyone ever given our own leaders or their spouses’ wardrobe even a glance? This is not us. The closest we get to this is dissecting our tinsel town folks’ dress sense. 

I felt that in terms of Media reportage, we could emulate but not get carried away. We could copy but then should have the good sense to set it in a context. We don’t have to sacrifice our own character and personality in a head rush. I was, with all my admiration for England - its history, customs and literature, in awe of the Royal wedding spectacle. But the Indian in me made me shut down my own channels to avoid our tomfoolery on air.

The fairy tale sounded good when told in English...but not when transliterated.