People thrive on sensationalism. Whether it’s us feeding the media and driving journalists to talk in urgent, apocalyptic tones- accompanied by dramatic gestures, expressions and the works- or vice-versa, I cannot really say. However, as news of Andhra CM YSR’s death and the recovery of debris from the crash started trickling in, it became evident how, more than concern, it was the idea of having something to talk about that was uppermost on people’s minds.
Where I work, people are primarily from AP, and that they were extremely interested in the developments was only natural. What was annoying, though, was how the whole affair was being made to sound bizarre, how people were actually calling home for updates from TV9, proudly declaiming the latest they heard. They were swelling up with pomposity, the gleam of self-importance breaking through carefully arranged expressions to make a show of sobriety appropriate to sombre situations. Would the death of a common man by the roadside have provoked such excitement? Their ‘excitement’ was absurdly hilarious.
The artifice that prevails through every one of our moments in public life becomes all too evident on occasions such as this. No wonder then, that the news channels do their homework and play to the gallery; despite our condemnation of the crass publicising of what should essentially be private and quiet matters, we crave for a bit of news to ‘brighten up’ the dreary, seeming endlessness of everyday life. Can we, true to human nature, pass the buck and blame it on psychology and the various nerves and neurons we seem to have no control on, or can we consciously do something to knock some sense into ourselves?