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Saturday, January 19, 2013

My first TV appearance :D


I come from a generation where coming on TV was a super-cool thing :D ...these days, with lesser and lesser people watching TV and more people coming online, it's probably Youtube views, Facebook likes and Twitter RTs that are an indicator of the so-called "coolness". Going viral is the latest and perhaps, the easiest way of achieving your 15 minutes of fame instantly...

But then, though this kinda " I'm on TV !" craze exists even now ...I'd say it was far far more earlier ..during my growing-up days :) ...Like my uncle said, it is most evident at cricket stadiums ..when there's a cricket match going on, the cameras show the audience ..and everyone's jumping up and down ..pushing others to the sides ...just to wave at the camera ...and appear on TV for like ..2 seconds ...Quite a bit of the weird slogans people carry or weird hairstyles etc during matches ...can be attributed to the fact that there's a greater probability of the TV camera zooming in on them ..than their actual support for the team....It isn't just cricket matches ...any public place where a news reporter is reporting stuff ...everyone likes to crowd around ...and appear on the camera ...

It came across as no surprise that even during the recent Delhi Gangrape protests, quite a few of these "protesters" were seen smiling and waving at the cameras ..when the reporters were reporting ...so that just goes to the show the extent of the " Yay! I'm on TV!" craze :) 

So yes...like any other kid, I too had this desire...somewhere deep-down ...to be on TV someday :) ...I have been on TV many times, if appearing on LCD screens at wedding receptions count :D ....With the advent of 24/7 news television and debates round the clock ...I'd often imagine - What if I'm also on one of these shows one day? ...with Rajdeep or Barkha or Arnab ..or anyone else ..for that matter ?! :) ....This wasn't exactly a long-cherished dream ..like that of meeting my life's biggest inspiration, Harris Jayaraj ...but I would be lying if I say I didn't have a deep-down, secret desire to be on TV someday :) ...

Thanks to the grace of God, Jan 18th 2013 shall be another unforgettable day in my life :) ..2013 has started off on the best possible note ( touch wood ) ..with me getting to meet Harris Jayaraj ..and now, with me appearing on national television :) ...Well, this doesn't make me someone great or anything ...but, I just love the fact that ..when I'm about to die ...there are things like these which I will remember ...and thank God for having given me such a wonderful life :) ...So yeah ...like I mentioned in one of my Facebook posts, my life has changed quite a bit ..after I became a columnist for The UnReal Times :) ...from being an absolute nobody, it does feel good when you're appreciated for something you do :) ....I'm not one to live by society's dictations, but it does feel good when you're valued by them :)....

So yes, coming to this show ...this is a relatively new show on NDTV ..called "The Social Network"...which aims to discuss whatever is abuzz on social media ...It is definitely a good step for the channel, given the callous attitude of some journalists who feel that social media does not represent India ...and thereby try to ignore ground reality ...Well, it may not, at this point....but it increasingly is !! :) 

I was initially supposed to appear on Thursday, where the topic of discussion was Hina Rabbani Khar ...I had just done an UnReal picture series on her ...and was expected to discuss why it is fashionable to make fun of her ..and mock her...whether it is was just because she's a woman ..and thereby an easy target ? But then, it was a little too short a notice ...I couldn't get to their studio here ..Also, there were some technical issues with me joining them on Skype ...so it was The UnReal Times editor Krishna who made it to NDTV's Delhi studio ...I was told that I'd be contacted soon again ...I wasn't sure whether it was an actual promise or a polite way of saying goodbye :D ...

But I got my answer yesterday :) ...The UnReal Times was contacted again to appear on a discussion ..and this time, it was decided that I would be going ...and joining them through Skype...I was told that a few minutes before the show, my connection would be tested ...Well, there it all began ! :D ...To be very honest, I was very nervous, very excited, very anxious, a little tensed ....I dunno :D ...it's probably the way a college student feels when he's about to take his viva :D....

I wouldn't say I was extremely tensed and like Shahid Afridi would've perhaps ..observed ..my legs were shivering etc :P ...I wouldn't say I was THAT scared ...I did have some confidence in my ability to speak fearlessly :) ...but then again, the "very first time on TV" thing did me in ..and did scare me a bit :)....But then again, another thing which helped me was the topic - it was about political presence on social media ...something I have fairly decent knowledge about ....thanks to my active involvement in following politics ...and also the fact that it was just a 20-minute program, where I would hardly get about 3 minutes to speak :) ...So that kinda calmed me down ...I just decided to be my natural self and talk whatever struck my mind at that point ...

So yes, the show began with Congress supporter Sanjay Jha citing "right-wing abuse" as a probable deterrent for Congress leaders to come on Twitter ...and the discussion did swirl around a bit with different, interesting views thrown in ...finally when it came to me, I was asked if the Congress would be prepared for such repulsion, criticism and 24/7 surveillance on social media ....I talked about how abuse isn't restricted to right-wingers alone ..and how there are equally abusive Congress supporters ...my main point was the fact that the India of 2014 expects constant answers, accountability and transparency ..people are no longer indifferent and ignorant ..so these are the kind of challenges political parties that embrace social media have to face ...the BJP does have an edge here, having been on social media for a while now ...it's not gonna be easy for the Congress to adapt themselves to this medium....

Thanks to my sister-in-law, Sudha, for clicking this pic :)
After a break, the next time I got to speak was when I was asked about how Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi joining social media would affect satire websites ...I said that our stuff is mainly based on events that happen ...so if Rahul Gandhi were to join social media and make blunders there too, satire websites would obviously be blessed with more content :D ...Well, that's about what I spoke ..or should I say, got to speak :) ....

It was a good show....and I've been hearing this from people, but to be frank - hardly any panelist could suppress his laughter when Sanjay Jha proclaimed that Rahul Gandhi has a phenomenal connect with the youth of India :) ...Anyway, back to what I was saying - it was a good show ..it was good fun being on the show :) ...a brand new experience for me :) ..a learning one too, at that ....

I'd like to thank NDTV for having me on this show ...and like I said, I had a good time :) ...Also, thanks to the UnReal Team for deciding to have me represent them ...on the show :) ...Thanks to God, family, friends and fans for all your kind words :) 

A secret, deep-down desire of mine has come true :) ...It might have probably lost its earlier reputation now, but it still counts as the first 24x7 national television news channel ..I remember what a craze NDTV was ...when it started :) ...So, it is definitely a honor to have made my first TV appearance on this channel :) 


Thanks & Cheers,
Ashwin.

P.S - As for those friends of mine who ignored me and were busy admiring the pretty anchor, shame on you ! :D


3 comments:

Ravi said...

Congrats for your first TV appearance..

prem kumar said...

My thoughts exactly! The anchor was cute!

Ashwin S Kumar said...

@Ravi - thanks :)

@Prem - shameless fellow, like I said ! :D