If you break my skull and peep inside my brain with a book-light you will see those ‘three ungoverned words’ lurking inside the fissures of my grey box. They creep inside, like some worms, crawling in and out, creating confusion in my mind and sometimes creating trouble for me. Those three words “What happened next?” keep my antenna up for information and the results that follow are sometimes good and many times bad.
This phrase ‘What happens next’ hijacks my activities many times. Sometimes I miss my train, when there is a bitter argument at the railway platforms. I seriously want to know who the final winner is in an argument, will there be some karate demonstrations, or police interventions, I want to know about how and when does juggling of the muscles end. The facial expressions and the loud decibels of the participants amuse me a lot. I know, it doesn’t concern me and I should learn to mind my own business but I want to check if the reality is any different from what they show on Bollywood films. A free show is always appreciated and I feel good if I am convinced that I am not wasting my money watching those foolish stunts in films, it gives me surety that those scenes are actually lifted from reality.
And that is the reason why I like to watch reality shows and read thick novels till the last page. The “what happens next’ makes me come back to TV to see the progress in a story.
There is one show (presently) on TV that I think. I cannot do without. It starts at 10pm from Mondays to Thursdays. (No, it is not Saas bhi.. or any of those serial sagas of K…nor those ‘Desperate housewives’ or ‘Brothers and Sister’…etc, etc...those are outdated and nobody seems to be watching it anymore). Anyways, I wait for 10 pm, adjusting my dinner time to coincide with this show, canceling my late evening appointments (if I can) and cursing the traffic if I cannot make it on time.
The other day I was invited to attend the spiritual lecture on Vedanta which was to take place from 6:30pm to 8pm. Since it was ending two hours earlier than my show time, I agreed to attend. But my friends had other plans. After the lecture, they want to go for dinner and that too in some other restaurant further away from my home. (After the spiritual lecture, they should go home and contemplate on the points that were discussed, isn’t it?) I looked at my watch. They had already wasted twenty minutes discussing the venue. I suggested that we dine somewhere close by, fibbing I had to plan for next day and getting home late would delay me (I could not tell them about my obsession for that particular TV program and my real reasons behind my fuss). My friends were in no hurry to go back home and although they agreed to my suggested venue at a fast food cubicle, they had too many topics to discuss. They ate slowly, munching each morsel, discussing the topics (which would have interested me if I was not distracted by the red dials of my wrist watch) and they even ate desserts.
It was 9:45pm when I raised my hand to say a quick good bye. I hired an auto, cursed the traffic and the signals and reached my building compound at 10pm. I didn’t want to waste a minute more by climbing up the stairs. I was glad that my watchman has TV. I stood outside his ‘4ft by 5ft’ room and asked him to switch on the TV to that channel, quite pleased that I was not too late. He offered me chair, at the doorway and I craned my neck inside the room, halfway, watching the first quarter of the show in black and white.
And during promos, I climbed up the two storeys, 2-3 steps at a time, ringing my door-bell eight times, rushing in and jumping into my big soft sofa, in front of my TV, to see the rest of the program.
I have to satisfy my urge of “What happens next”.