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March 13, 2015

Just some ban-ter

Text by Nittal Chandarana

In light of all the recent outrage in the country, Verve takes a look at what really needs to make its absence felt

Besides somehow managing to make Seinfeld do an about turn, our government has had quite a ball recently banning content and putting multiple large feet in its mouth. The AIB Roast (yes, yes, enough of it already), the documentary India’s Daughter and beef. As a Hindu, this doesn’t really affect me much. Yes, we worship the cow. But isn’t banning food another level of harsh? I mean, if banning is such pleasure, here are a few things they could start with.

Petition to ban the word bae: One can’t quite put a finger on why exactly this term became a thing. ‘Babe’ was bad enough but ‘bae’ just affirms the inherent American laziness of using their words. Variations: babe(s), boo. Seduction by language may well be a thing of the past.

When Hertz hurt: Be it the actual JBL, Aerons, what-have-you loudspeakers at religious and political rallies, or the proverbial ones in forms of aunties at weddings, overzealous neighbours, authoritative elder siblings, self-proclaimed genius professors, horrible bosses and Rakhi Sawant (sabne chitting kiya hai!).

Campaign trolls: Dettol understood. When a billion people call your bluff (otherwise known as the laziness-to-create-syndrome), it is only wise to back down, lick your wounds or wash them with said product (apologies; couldn’t resist), and bounce back with something on the lines of the brilliant Mauka Mauka campaign by Bubblewrap. But they’re not the only ones. Ads which shamelessly make use of celeb services are usually the most abysmal of the lot.

Safety in numbers: Adding an extra ‘K’ to your name will bring you prosperity. The number plate of your car MUST correspond to your date of birth. Living in an apartment on the 13th floor will ensure weekend visits by ethereal beings. The worst part? Level of education or social strata doesn’t influence blind belief. There’s really no excuse for this malpractice.

Rule of the man: Stand up, put your hand on your heart and calmly proclaim, ‘Main buri ladki hoon.’ You can drink, have as many male friends as you like (including that one boyfriend), wear clothes of whichever length you prefer, respectfully or disrespectfully disagree. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise.

Festive fervour: And this is something every religion is guilty of. Somehow, celebration in India tends to take a nasty turn and ends up doing more harm than good. Pollution of the environment and the mind is fiercely advocated and the result – usually a hangover or massive foodgasm. Of course, we love festivals (and the holidays that accompany them), but chaos, we despise. (Read on about the hand of God and God-men plaguing India’s cultural topography)

Taking offence: There has never been a better time for scrunching those eyebrows, clenching the fist, pursing the lips and making yourself heard. What’s the new thing Aamir Khan is offended by? Are we offended by his offence? Kudos to the offended blogger who defended our right to be offended at Aamir Khan’s offence. Say what? (Read on about how the country objects)

Arnab-Arnub (of TVF) bhai bhai: The fact that both are doing the same job now — commenting on social and political issues while providing entertainment to spectators — is mildly amusing. The former, though, does it officially. The latter may be subject to an irate FIR from time to time.

Picture imperfect: You know those political hoardings with three badly photoshopped MLAs wishing you a ‘Happy Diwali’ or announcing the demise of their leader or the coronation of a new one? They are entirely unnecessary. Also eyesores. The people who care know about it anyway. As for holiday greetings, there’s nothing that says festivity like ‘50% Off!’

Ban all bans: You ban something when you’re threatened by it. Too many things were banned in the first week of March. Are they really threatened by it all?

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