Reality Bites: TV channels’ WhatsApp uncles and aunties learn about phone tapping and auto correct

Leading anchor at Crimes Now, Bhumika Bimar, has transformed herself into a formidable WhatsApp Aunty, and is learning to distinguish between ‘Maal’ and Marlboro. Damn autocorrects

Reality Bites: TV channels’ WhatsApp uncles and aunties learn about phone tapping and auto correct

Rupa Gulab

A leading anchor at Crimes Now, Bhumika Bimar, has transformed herself into a formidable WhatsApp Aunty. Not just the sort of dear old aunty who wishes you good morning with pictures of butterflies and then relentlessly bombards you with forwards about how evil Aurangzeb was and how absolutely marvellous the Dear Leader is—Ms Bimar takes it many steps further.

Her daily soap-show now features WhatsApp chats of actresses who have criticised the BJP or Kangana Ranaut or both. Chances are, if you don’t love this government, you may find your own WhatsApp chats on your TV screen soon, and your milkman may ask you (with a pronounced leer) if you prefer hash or weed.

You have been warned: do not use words that also double as slang for drugs on WhatsApp chats. Words like stuff, shit, maal, herb, mushroom, skunk, roach, boom, blanket, etc, could get you arrested.

Please do your research and chat cautiously, for God’s sake! For example, if you spot a skunk in your garden and want to tell a friend about it, make sure you say “Spotted a skunk (animal, not dope, you dope!) in my garden”. Qualifications are an absolute must!

It’s no secret that the BJP bought military-grade spyware Pegasus from Israel a few years ago to keep tabs on all their critics, and they have used it often enough. Yes, the very same spyware the Saudis used to track down dissident Jamal Khashoggi, and we know how they killed that poor chap, don’t we? It’s no secret either that Ms Bimar is part of the BJP’s attack dog squad—she has been snarling on their behalf ever since the late Arun Jaitley became her daily wake up call.

Which brings me to a question the nation really wants answered: why is the Dear Leader so insecure? As helpless citizens, it is in our best interests to ensure that he stays in good mental health. I have noticed disturbing qualities over the last six years and I’m listing just a few here with remedies.

Let’s start with his deep insecurity and his propensity to lash out wildly when he’s criticised. Should we get choppers to shower him with calming lavender petals every hour or so? I’m sure the Ministry of Ayush would agree with me.

Then there’s a child-like quality about him too. Delightful no doubt, but not when he gets those hysterical “buy me” fits, particularly when India is facing a double whammy: the Covid-19 pandemic and a sharp economic downturn since Demonetisation in 2016.

While it’s heart-warming that ministers like Hardeep Singh Puri are playing indulgent mummies and daddies to him and begging us to let him have his new Parliament building, new fancy jet plane and new house, India simply cannot afford it right now. My suggestion to his loving ministers is this: every time he demands expensive new things, bang thaalis to drown out his tantrums. He will get exhausted and give up eventually.

While I understand that it breaks Hardeep Singh Puri’s heart to say no to the Dear Leader, it’s rather insulting when he tries to bamboozle us by saying that the expensive and unnecessary Central Vista Project will provide more employment. So will ramping up infrastructure along our borders with China— why doesn’t he attend to vitally important things like that first?

My third issue is the Dear Leader’s whimsical nature. There are physical manifestations to this, like flirtations with different styles of beards. I have to be honest and say that it’s not something I’d have thought was important enough to write on, but there are very many Indian journalists who have written intense pieces on Rahul Gandhi’s state of mind depending on his now-you-see-it-now-you don’t beard, and I want to be taken seriously too!

So here I am on the Dear Leader’s new beard. Some people say he’s growing it because he wants us to see him as an Amar Chitra Katha-type sadhu and think he’s enlightened even though he frequently says foolish things. Other people desperately hope he’s telling us that he’s going to retire soon and live in that 5-star cave he did a photo shoot in. I, however, believe he’s growing it down to his toes to get another shiny award from Bill Gates for sweeping garbage.

(Any resemblance to real characters and events are a coincidence)

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