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Amrita Tripathi
Tuesday , April 11, 2006 at 17 : 27

of fashion and fillers


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Politics and death and destruction dominate, as always. The fashion week is finally over, thank god, people can finally get back to talking about babies or the heat or whatever it is we all talk about.

The OC, if you ask me, is a good fall-back conversation piece. That is, if you even admit you watch it.

I came out of the closet on this one very recently, very gingerly at first, to gauge reactions of nearest and dearest. Yes, yes, they scoffed, but only strengthened my resolve to be bold and admit in public! It's got a strange, hypnotic hold on me. I can't stand half the characters - who am I kidding?! I love them, almost all equally. But it's completely out of proportion with their actual characteristics...ryan, seth, marissa and gang aren't particularly well-fleshed out or deep at all. But they certainly have some hold over their cult followers. I have smart sophisticated friends who pretend not to, but do watch. And scoff in public, naturally, but which self-respecting person wouldn't, right?!

Seriously, though, I think that like Beverly Hills 90210, The OC totally addresses problems that adolescents should be worried about. It's set in this beautiful rich California county, but all is not well, not even on the surface. Alcoholism, violence, suicide attempts, drug abuse (am i making this one up?!), peer pressure, homophobia, nasty socialites, class-prejudice and I'm just getting warmed up.

Of course, moot point that I'm not the target audience. Or am I? Even if I feel the show has something to say, is it irrelevant precisely because teens would never watch it? Because people slightly past their prime would watch it and identify with a hazy past they might almost have had? Is it relevant to us here across the globe? I think big city types would say yes - we keep hearing of the excesses of the rich and not-so-famous, of rave parties that get out of hand, of a collective drug habit that we don't even acknowledge, of driving under the influence and manslaughter.

Not that the OC solves any of it, but at least it's up for debate. Just hold on the schmaltz.

Moving on...There was a small literary festival on in the Capital this past week that started out with laudable ideals - to promote debate/discussion, to bring together people from different spheres, to promote the exchange of ideas. But while there were some brilliant young authors, even politicians and an entire contingent from the Brit media/literary world, to a large extent it fell flat because there wasn't enough interaction.

Meant to be "open for all" I wonder how you're encouraging debate in a Habitat auditorium with sessions that are strictly timed and extremely tightly moderated. But then again, where would I have heard Nadeem Aslam, Shashi Tharoor, Amit Chaudhuri and Rana Dasgupta on the same panel. And then Goldie Hawn the very next day. Talk about eclectic.

Ah well, in trying to be different, I suppose it was a good effort. Goldie Hawn notwithstanding.


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More about Amrita Tripathi

Amrita Tripathi is a news anchor with CNN-IBN, and also doubles up as Health and Books Editor. An MA in Philosophy from St Stephen's College, Delhi University, she has also taught a few undergraduate classes at her alma mater, informally! When she is not tracking health issues, Amrita is busy chasing the literary dream. Her debut novel Broken News was published in 2010. Before joining CNN-IBN, Amrita worked with The Indian Express.

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