What the farrago!


Leave it to Dr Shashi Tharoor to make a word like ‘farrago’ a household term in India.

I like him. I’ve watched and envied him since my childhood days. The man has style. Glittering career in international diplomacy. Suave. Polyglot. Three PhD’s. A full head of hair. I have none of these. Well, he has had a turbulent personal life. And he is a Congressman. Nobody’s perfect.

I think the word ‘farrago’ originates from the Persian ‘fareb’, although Wiktionary states that the word has a Latin origin. Whatever. The meaning of the word is now well known, thanks to the good Doctor whose tweet started this whole issue.

It speaks much for the man that he chose to express his anger in fairly genteel language, rather than the four-letter invectives that I would have chosen in his place. His anguish is understandable.

What really happened to his unfortunate wife? I do not know. It is not in my place to know. It is not in your place to know either. The matter is subjudice and under investigation. It involves some powerful people. Maybe there has been foul play, maybe not. We do not know. We need not know. No matter how sensational you think the matter is, it is still none of your effing business.

It is deeply personal. I know exactly how it feels when a man’s personal life becomes public entertainment.

What is truly disgusting is how the media makes such a huge halla-gulla about such affairs. Self-appointed moral custodians, self-styled forensic investigators, armchair detectives, small-time actors and other under-employed people, all screaming, raving, ranting, baying for blood. The man has been tried and sentenced in the media, not once but several times.

An example is this blogpost that I happened upon recently, written by someone who ought to know the meaning of the word “personal”. A detailed, and utterly pointless forensic analysis by the author, who states that her ‘bile rises’ at the sheer injustice of it all. Her biliary issues aside, I was hard-pressed to understand what exactly was her expertise in the matter.

This is but one of several blogposts, tweets, Facebook updates, and what-not, that assault your senses wherever you go. The target of all this cyber-crap continues to go about his work in his usual dignified manner, his sporadic outbursts on social media notwithstanding. Can’t really blame him for that. Each time he tweets, I learn a new English word!

Don’t these people have anything else to do? It is part of the Indian psyche, I suppose. Some of us love to see famous people fall.

Trial┬áby media. It’s free, it’s fun for the whole family, and it’s great for TRP ratings, no?

Forensic evidence, due-process, the court, the law, fair hearing – who needs all that stuff anyway?

Let the law do its work. The people investigating the matter are far better qualified than you are, one of them being the formidable Dr Subramanian Swamy. I cannot see this particular gentleman letting go until the truth is arrived at.

So don’t worry, India. Eventually, the truth will out. Till then, see if you can get yourself a life.

And watch a sensible news channel, assuming one such exists.

Cheers … Srini.