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     Volume 5 Issue 110 | September 1, 2006 |

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Its Gonna be Alright By and By

Anika Rabbani

If I owned a TV station I could rule the world and then I would be lucky as hell. I would be flaming rich. I would be as stupidly powerful as Bush and get away with it or could be as lethal as Laden. If I wished at a mere click I could transform the world into an Andy Warhol print. I could make Bangladesh look like Paris in the springtime and I could of course have oodles of fun playing Big Brother. But this is not my story, it is the story of the princess who came down from a faraway place to change the world.

So there was one such a person and her name was Siren and she owned a satellite a one big real eye in the sky. And for as long as she wished Siren could watch people moving to and fro in her projected boxes and in watching them she felt entertained, she laughed pranced and sang, she made sure the town bells rang on time and this was how it went on this chick had fun all day long…till the cows came home. One day Siren had a strange disease from watching too much TV and died. Luckily she had left behind a very spoilt little daughter whose name was Princess. The child did not much fancy being locked in her shuttle far far in the sky, not to forget of course that she was afraid of dying the same way her mother had. Watching too many crappy earth-real life silliness and laying down her life for professing devotion to the mundane and what was so far away that she could not even touch it lest it was with her fingertips on the big blue screen.

So one day having had enough of watching from afar in her cloud home she decided to shuttle down to earth and meet the people after all there was nothing that she did not already know about them. She even looked like them! So she went to many places but nothing pleased her more than visiting a mental sanitarium. Here she felt the people were actually acting normal. They were not masking what they were really inside and acting all nice just to get along with similar others. She quickly made friends and decided she wanted to share these oddities with the rest of the world in the sky and in the skies beyond where everyone was tuned in to the idiot box.

At the funny farm she met people whose brains had been amputated in ways so that they could no longer respond except as docile vegetables. Their verve and zest was gone, I mean these people had been maniacs. They had been institutionalised and Princess decided there must have been some thing wondrously fascinating about them which is why they had been so sheltered, boxed up and not been allowed to mingle with the rest of the world.

Princess thought she would look around some more, some things puzzled her more than the rest. For example the McDonalds ads on TV while the rest of the world died of starvation. The strange monkeyish looking man named after a Bush who did not look bushy and fearsome at all. All the makeup sold in the world for which animals had to suffer in cages and the plethora of women who were uncomfortable without these products.

Princess went to her friend Chief back in the mental ward and looked deep into his eyes. She gazed and gazed and decided that there was no better looking glass than a human eye. There was perfection, there was esteem and there was an innate goodness and above all an indelible profundity of sadness. She held his hand and sang to him a lullaby the words that went somewhat like “its gonna be alright by and by eye in the sky”. And at this the usually mute Chief shed two sparkling tears. Together they walked out of the madhouse and they made their way back to the moon place where the galaxy sparkled and Chief muttered at the voices that rumbled from the big boxes all around him.

Then Princess ordered forth the best of her engineers at the station and ordered them to transmit the world through Chief's eyes and decided that this was just the way it should have always been. TV is a confusing and mundane object and how well it can be manipulated. Almost as easy as getting simple tokens from her late mother all you need is a bit of whining and you are there. In Chief's eyes the people were stunned. How well he told it all, how composed and direct his mind was and his thoughts and ideas, they felt as though they had been stripped clean of their disguises and had no choice but to come clean. The world was not such a pretty place after all as the old idiot box had taught them. Now that the curtains had been drawn back for them and they saw through the eye in the sky of a pained individual they knew what had been missing all along. The real life, real dimensions and they got bored with the old and grappled with the frankness of the new but no one could deny its potency or point out its deficits. What on earth could be better? Everyone had shut up and they listened more carefully to the non-babbling and non-exaggeration.

Princess decided there were many more people just like Chief who must have their say too, and she flew back and forth led this perfectly amiable jet set life seeking out the true and casting them on the big screen. Nothing was the same anymore, TV did not just report. They were organised, a new generation of truth and chaos of having new ones come up and show what no one had bothered to look into carefully before. It worked fine too because you see the world too is a mirror of the perfect organised inner chaos that was now humming in the little blue screens all over the world. It is sad therefore to conclude that some of the humans disliked seeing so much pathos and broke their TV's turning into gray haired recluses while some just left them on and watched enthralled and moved. And Princess leant back into her chair a self-satisfied smirk on her face as she witnessed the fright and plight of all those back in silly earth and remarked “Ain't TV grand”.

….Or so the story goes…

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