Khabar Lahariya goes glam! Introducing a brand new show, your weekly round-up of all the buzz from U.P. and beyond, with the one and only Kavita.
You won’t see it in the video, but there was one clip we let go of in the final edit of The Kavita Show Episode 1, in which our Digital Head Kavita receives a call from a young, confused bloke back home (wandering the streets of Banda we imagine), asking her to shed some light on the whole “peacock tears controversy”. “Hain, kya keh rahe ho, beta? Peacock bhi sex karte hai… tabhi toh uske bachche hote hain. Arre, Google karo. Abhi rakho, main ek shooting kar rahi hoon (What are you saying, son? Of course, peacocks have sex too, that’s how they procreate! Why don’t you just Google it? Now hang up, I’m in the middle of a shoot.”)
Woman interrupted is Kavita’s state of being in life given all the sudden phone calls she gets, all sorts of men and women, boys and girls, asking for advice on love, life, journalism. She’s a busy busy woman, travelling between Bundelkhand and Delhi, and elsewhere, planning with reporters, editors, producers, and when she finds the time, doing some scripting herself – but it is phone calls like the one she got about the celibate peacock that really got her goat and coaxed and urged us all into planning this show.
Because, reporting from where we do, we often find ourselves grappling with what goes in the name of news in U.P… and elsewhere. Call it the curse of a well-acknowledged post-truth world, but there’s just so much flying around as khabar on all our several windows on the computer, and that darned blinking smartphone that we knew we had to do something about it.
So, instead of running several op-eds on the science behind fake news – as fascinating as they are – we thought we’d do what we do best, and so we picked up the cameras and started rolling…
… We went to meet Revolver Rani, the eponymous heroine of a soap opera concocted by Hindi news media organizations salivating over the fictitious possibilities of what transpired between a jilted lover and her spineless boyfriend. We didn’t find the Kangana Ranaut nonsense when we sat down with her and her parents in Banda, and were shocked to hear that not one journalist had bothered to speak with her. How could they, when their own ugly imaginings had already written the plot? Nobody even published her real name, because we prefer our Nirbhayas and Bullet Ranis any day over real flesh and blood women. Her name is Varsha Sahu, and here’s a middle finger to all those who attempted to shame her in every way possible. But we’ll let Kavita tell you more.
With this show, we also want to draw your attention – even more so – to the pressing issues that often get buried under celibate peacocks, so to speak. It might just be our favourite conspiracy theory these days that it’s all a deliberately planned strategy. We hear so much – too much – about “fake news” and its varied forms and shenanigans precisely because we’re supposed to. All the fluff and downright nonsense keeps our minds in perpetual idle mode, dumbed down forever – ready to swallow any-damn-thing that comes our way, distracted as we all are with the blinking phones and buzzing laptops.
It’s not easy then to really hear the woman, holding a baby in her arms, looking straight into the camera, demanding what Modi meant by ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ when her family’s struggling with unemployment slapped on them in the seeming ban on sand mafia in Bundelkhand. Or to pay attention to the follow-up on a case of rape and murder that had an entire village in Chitrakoot up in arms because the perpetrator’s identity was always a well-known fact to everyone – except, it seems, the police.
With this pilot of The Kavita Show, we intend to comment, critique, depict and analyse these voices and these lives. In a state reeling under the worst spell of unemployment it’s seen in ages, as well as a rapidly spreading lawlessness (so much for equating gunda raj with Mayawati and then Samajvadi Party), we explore and research policies and decisions and give a platform to those affected by them. But let Kavita tell you more.
And when you work this hard, you always party harder! It’s local wedding season and we could not just let it go. The DJ, the dancing, the khana-peena and sajna-savarna is way too infectious! And with the newly-weds no longer coy about suhaagraats, boy, have things changed! We had zero edits for this segment of the show, and now we’ll just let Kavita tell you more!