An Open Letter To Mr. Arnab Goswami

Dear Mr. Goswami,

I know that this has been done to death, that you probably receive a few thousand letters such as these every week, but I still wanted my thoughts out there. This is about the Newshour Debate (Part 1, Part 2) over the state government sponsored trip to the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil for six Goa MLAs that aired on 12th June, 2014. Now the purported reason behind this trip was that this was to be a “study tour”, that the MLAs would go and “study traffic management” in Brazil and put this knowledge to good use in Goa. I use double quotes over certain words because anyone with half a brain can tell that this reason is utter bullshit. We all know and agree with you that this is an enormous waste of the exchequer’s money, yes, and we all watched in utter glee as you ripped apart Mr. Benjamin Silva (an independent MLA) over national television for being a part of this “study tour”. However, I’d like to point out that your behavior on the show was completely out of line… you, (currently) the most well-known journalist in India, were arrogant, churlish, patronizing and more a nagging, taunting, hateful wife than an intelligent journalist overseeing a debate, trying to get the facts right from both the sides.

You introduced Mr. Benjamin Silva with a “BENJAMIN SILVA! PUT HIM FULL FRAME ON THE SCREEN, PLEASE!…”, your voice dripping with condescension. You then proceeded to tell him how lucky he was, and if it were really true about the trip and that you had to pinch yourself to believe it (at this point, you really pinched yourself… wow.) These are a few other lines spouted by you during the entire hour-long debate:

“By sitting and watching a game, what will you learn?”

“Why have you been chosen? What kind of an answer is that? Use common sense, Sir.”

“Benjamin Silva is not a politician. Benjamin Silva is a prodigy and a magician rolled into one! Because Mr. Silva will walk into a match and with his prodigious abilities, he will look around the stadium once and he will immediately understand what is required for us to build a world class stadium!”

“Mr. Silva is not a normal human being! He is an absolute prodigy in the world of politics!”

“Benjamin Silva… you played football? What level? Junior National level? … Mr. Silva, we should get everyone who is like you then, including people who played school-level football… maybe you’ll end up representing the country in the next World Cup.”

“Mr. Silva is not answering… every time I ask him a question, his earpiece mysteriously falls off.”

“I am not warning you… I am telling you that if you go on this trip, you will be the laughing stock of the entire country, Mr. Silva.”

“Mr. Patra… no, don’t make three points. I have not allowed you to make three points. You’re not at an election rally, don’t make a speech.”

“Mr. Silva, if you have any sense of shame, you will pay for your own ticket!”

Sir, we all knew the reason given by the government was stupid; sending those MLAs on that trip on taxpayers’ money was wrong. That being said, there really was no need to be rude to Silva. I am not siding with him, nor do I have any particular reason to do so. However, as a journalist on one of the top news channels of India, I think one should follow a certain etiquette and decorum. When you yell and shout and make clever jokes like that, people laugh, sure, they even love you for it, but they lose the point you’re trying to make. Your show is highly entertaining, don’t get me wrong. My Dad still hobbles upstairs every night at 9 and sits glued to the television set, watching you nail politicians, party spokespersons, bureaucrats. And he loves your blunt style, the way you scream yourself hoarse day after day after day, the sheaf of papers in your hand waved indignantly all the time. And that is why you are popular, I guess. Because you make the debate an enjoyable watch. Because it is more about incessantly taunting and cursing India’s politicians, demanding that they resign, saying they are shameless fools right to their faces- something all Indians wish they could do. But where is the debate in all this? Where are the facts? Where are the reasons? It is all lost in the inane and loud bickering you and your panelists resort to every single time, making the viewers think “What the f*** is going on?” and chuckle and shake their heads at the futility of the entire charade.

You’re losing your credibility, Mr. Goswami. Or perhaps, you lost it a long time ago. I am not sure which is true. People are watching the debate only for your daily histrionics. If we are going to continue with that, why call it a debate at all? If being against you on the debate as a panelist means being berated with innumerable accusations and unnecessary name-calling, why should one be a part at all? Everyone should get a chance to speak their view- however wrong- without being railroaded under your opinion before they can open their mouths. Only then can we call it a debate, right?

It is entirely too possible that you may never read this. It is even more possible that you already know exactly what I am talking about… which makes me hope that your show will be more than just that someday. Until then, I really don’t think Times Now should be parading their new found tag of  “India’s Best News Channel” using you as their foreman.

A bored and tired viewer.


Legen-ehhh-not-so-much-dary. (Spoilers)


Nine years. Nine seasons. Loads of extraordinary, funny, sweet moments. Even more of crappy ones. But we hung on. Right till the last episode. Right till 15 mins ago, when the series- instead of wrapping the end with a neatly-tied ribbon and handing it to us- stood up and shot itself in the face.

How I Met Your Mother was never about being cool. Or taking life too seriously. Let’s face it, it was always for the dreamers, for the idealist romantics who believed that in a population of 7 billion, there really truly is one person meant for them. That is why we rooted for Ted. Because he believed. Against all odds, against all heartbreaks, he believed. And we kinda adored that quality of his. And we really couldn’t dream of anyone being with him but the mother- once she finally showed up, that is. 

And she did show up. Finally. “Oh, the mother is revealed!” “But she isn’t as pretty as Robin!” Yep, we were all disappointed (at least I was), but slowly and steadily, the writers managed to make us like her, see how perfect she was for Ted- how perfectly dorky and adorable… how they both just fit. We forgot that Robin was supposed to be the one. So much so that when Robin says to Ted, “Maybe you’re the one I am supposed to be with!” in the second-last episode, we feel, “Umm. No. You’re with Barney now. Ted’s supposed to be with the bass player.”

See, that’s what HIMYM did for us. It made us believe in destiny. It made us believe that all the small and large events happening around us are connected in some marvelously convoluted way that we will never perceive or comprehend. That they’re all leading to one giant happy ending. That it all just works out in the end. Because it has to. It will.

So, guess what. The mother’s name is revealed to be Tracy McConnell (Why? Why reveal her name?!). Marshall is offered a judgeship once again a few years later. He has a 3rd baby with Lily (seriously, why was that useless subplot needed? Don’t they have enough kids already?). Barney and Robin get divorced (Remember the beautiful episode in which Barney asks Robin to marry her? Now think of that. And weep.) Oh, also, Barney has a child out of wedlock, and spouts some completely bullshit, cheesy lines to the baby girl, and miraculously becomes a good guy (The writers of Heyy Babyy should be looking to sue). Ted and Tracy wait for 5 years to get married (for reasons I am not really sure of). And then, a few years later, she dies. Tracy dies. The mother dies. Awesome.

At that point, this is what I was thinking: “Nooooo! They killed the mother???” And before I could close my open mouth, Ted’s daughter goes and says, “Dad. Just say it. You’re thinking of asking out Aunt Robin!” That is when I was the mental equivalent of a Bollywood/Hindi-soap-opera-esque ‘Nahiiii!

Terrible. Terribly disappointing. Disappointingly terrible. Can’t. Get. Over. It. 

When a show that has gone on for so long, and one which has received such popularity ends, it’s hard to let go. All those ‘I don’t know what to do with my life anymore’ memes seem bang on. But this? This was total and utter bullshit. 

Farewell, HIMYM. It was a great ride, but it wasn’t legendary.