Thursday, February 04, 2010

Beware of the Editor: Revisiting Chandrayaan

This video was uploaded on the blog over two and a half years ago. But the sheer excitement of being on television prevented me from commenting on the delightful way the media absorbs information and spits out complete drivel ruining people’s days in the process. Now that the global oil prices have finally stabilized, I can take out some time to elaborate.

In the year 2007 I was the part of the team which was supposed to be blamed for anything which went wrong during Shaastra 2007. One of the highlights of the event was a feature on Chandrayaan with some of the project leaders telling us about how the whole thing would make the moon (and ISRO) look cool again. Thanks to the media interest, we (me, Muski, Parinda & Jimmy) landed ourselves in this short segment on NDTV. We ditched a class and gave a 20 min long discourse to the reporter on various aspects of the whole project and how it was received by the students. I have given below a succinct version of what we actually told and then how irreverent and imbecilic editing made the whole thing resemble a train wreck.


Me: I expressed my wonder that something so complex could actually be so small and compact.

Jimmy: He discussed at considerable length the details of the two talks we had, describing in intricate detail the technological aspects and future implications. He ended it by quoting one of the jokes of the main speaker about how you could even plan a honeymoon on the moon thanks to Chandrayaan.

Muski, Parida: Discussed their learning at length and their pride at being associated with the event.


The video begins with the anchor saying that one of the aims of Chandrayaan would be to explore the possibility of honeymooning on the moon. Any doubts about whether she is joking is removed by the capital lettered tab below, screaming similar sentiments. Well news anchors are known to have an IQ lesser than Pacific plankton. So she can be excused. But the rest of segment was even more depressing.

Sounding like a wife after the wedding night, expressing her deep anguish about the short-comings of her partner, I am heard saying “Its very small. Its not as big as you are expecting it to be”. The sense of appreciation comes across as complete disillusionment with the India space program just because of sizing issues.

Muski barely manages to mention how proud he was before being brutally cut off to focus on an apparently melancholic and suspiciously constipated Parinda who mentions something about polar ice caps with his body language clearly indicating he doesn’t think highly of NDTV. The fact that he had been speaking for quite a while and may have begun drift a bit comes across as total indifference in the few seconds he gets.

But the worst was reserved for dear Jimmy. None of his astute observations on the event made it to the final cut other than his off the cuff remark on honeymoons with his mistimed snigger making it look as if he needs help in reigning in his mental faculties. The fact that they spelt his name Ukala, leaving out the all important N and making him look like a retarded descendent of a Hawaiian musical instrument didn’t help in anyway.

After this sorry excuse of a news report and ruining our carefully crafted reputations by calling us ‘techies’ on screen, we have refused all future NDTV requests for interviews till date.