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by mhk_depoisson 21 Dec 2006, 02:10
For more than a month now, I, and all of Mumbai, have not been watching Star Movies and HBO, thanks to the misplaced zeal of a college lecturer to dictate morality to the rest of us. She has managed to invoke the law and shut down most channels for what she considers vulgarity. In the face of a drop in TRPs most channels kowtowed and submitted a meek apology after which cable operators were allowed to resume their feed, but Star Movies and HBO have stood resolute.

I dislike not getting them in my home, but I like their stand. Hopefully, the people will see the unreason in the moral brigade's stand and force them to back off.

But vulgarity is a double-edged sword. Are only the movies and music videos that come uninvited into our homes the only vulgar things? Let me point out a few things that impacted my senses these last few days.
The other day I was listening to FM radio, an innocuous activity at the best of times but for the intolerable RJs, and what did I hear but a jingle for Linc pen. Among the lines a teeny female voice belts out was this gem: Is that a pen in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? (With my apologies to Mae West, the putative utterer of the original quote). I was SO zapped by this I almost crashed the car but I wasn't sure I'd heard right. Later, when I mentioned this in a casual office conversation I realized that yes, I had heard right, and this was indeed the line.
I was baffled. I am no puritan, far from it, and the cause of bafflement was not what the line but that it was coming out so easily and openly in a medium heard by so many in public places as well.

When what comes into my home is being controlled, what comes into the public space is being given untrammeled play!

But worse, or better, depending on how you see it, came on Sunday, as I was watching the ICC Champions Trophy coverage on SET Max. During the commercial break, this seductress suddenly popped up on screen, whose oomph did just the things to me that the litigant who has brought Mumbai to its collective knees is keen to prevent. Through a haze I realized it was an ad for flavored and dotted condoms.
As I swigged deeply on my beer mug, the model slowly licked her fingers before yielding place to Castrol GTX.

I wonder how many families watch the cricket coverage, and how many among them enjoyed this display and how many didn't. Of the latter, how many were accompanied by curious children eager to know what the ad was all about, and how they explained it.

I sure would love to know!