October 11, 2006

Of Poverty and Starvation

Poverty, apparently, can be measured by levels of malnutrition. The more scrawny you look, the poorer you are. I just saw the world's poorest ladies on television recently. They were taking part in a beauty pageant, Miss World 2006.

My first impulse, when they strolled onto stage, was to pet them and offer them some biscuits. But then, they smiled those 250-watt smiles and I began to think that they actually enjoy starvation. Too enchanted to flip channels, I gazed on.

So according to the comperes (or MCs are they call them in USA - "MCs" by the way, conjures up a totally different meaning in your mind if you're Indian) - "These are the 194 most beautiful women in the world!" Umm right. So what about those from Pakistan and Afghanistan who couldn't enter? What about the 194 who were part of this last year? And what about Miss Universe?

Anyway, proceedings began with the starved children dancing all over the stage. Ho hum. The girls wave their arms, pirouette over the stage and keep smiling that 250-watt smile. Crap. My cheeks are aching by now. All I can see is 194 sets of bones draped by skin, 194 excruciatingly bright smiles and 194 young women who are miraculously not bored by being a part of such a fiasco.

Then we have video-taped profiles of all the ladies. Most of them look as if:
1. They haven't slept for ages.
2. They've got dental jobs done.
3. Up close, many are scary to look at. I'm not kidding. Even the best beauty experts of the world can't do anything with long teeth, hooked noses, slit-like eyes and pencil-thin lips.
4. They don't like their costumes (not surprising, considering many of them are wearing complex "ethnic" clothes that are accompanied by crazy stuff on their heads)
5. They'd love a pizza. Or two. Or three.
6. They want to win this badly. God bless their souls, I have no clue why, but they really want to win. For normal people like you or me, spending a whole year wearing uncomfortable clothes and talking to people who actually only want to ogle at you, is nothing less than torture. But they want it.

Another interesting point - somehow they are all obsessed by world peace. Hey ladies, how about racism or AIDS or drugs or health issues or economic development? At least the viewers will have a variation. What's worse still, everyone behaves as if Miss World 2006 ACTUALLY has a role to play in world peace. Yeah well, at least they bring relief to the male half of the population by flashing those smiles and prancing around in swimsuits.

So we have some more rounds wherein they walk around in clothes and no-clothes (i.e. swimsuits). I know most of my male readers would love to have descriptions, but really, that's not my department. Finally we have the question-answer rounds. These apparently check whether their IQ is 60 or 70.

Inanity after inanity. World Peace. Inner Beauty. Compassion. Kindness. Love. The whole set-up seems so fake that you start wondering whether the ladies actually think about answers or just mix and match a few dozen standard answers that they've learnt before. No matter what issue they discuss, that 250-watt smile never wavers. After a point I start feeling like catching hold of each one (delicately, though, or their bones will break) and telling them, "Wipe that smile off!! Now!!"

Evening ends in Ms. Czechoslovakia being crowned. Don't laugh, but I think that they figured that this was the only way for the world to know the spelling of the country's name. And they succeeded haan - look, I know the spelling! Next time it should be Jbouty or Bjouty or whatever that place in Africa is. Hey, maybe someday these pageants will serve as geography lessons for children. Anyway, kids at younger and younger ages are getting obsessed by their appearance. So this combines an interest value with educative value... great.

I'd like to end this with a prayer for the girls who didn't win, and a BIG prayer for the girl who won.

For the girls who didn't win: Dear God, please endow them with some brains, some common sense, and a lot of body fat. They need it. May they also soon forget that they were a part of something as embarrassing as Miss World 2006, and may they learn to lead normal lives instead of hankering after anorexia and glamour all their lives.

For the girl who won: Dear God, please give her the strength to endure a whole year of starvation. If she is ogled at by people, may she be amused or at least be able to tolerate it. May she not develop any eating disorder or health problems. May she fit into all her clothes for a year; and after that, may she look human. May she be able to get back to normalcy after her one (and only) year in the limelight is over. May she not develop OCD. May she understand that she is yet another manifestation of the "women must be seen, not heard" mentality. May she realise that contrary to popular belief, she is NOT the face of Women's Liberation; in fact, she's just the opposite. Amen.

19 comments:

Anirudh Shetty said...

Terrfic...terrific...SImply amazing....chk out my blog...http://ani-da-comment.blogspot.com/....its nuthing compared to urs but still..

cya..
ANi

nitish gera said...

MUDYDY,
I've already praised u so much, i think this is just sona pe suhaaga ( sorry ppl)...Ill tell u again, This is your best blog EVER, the humor is way tooo good, its so apt, and it makes sense. I was serious when i told u to send it to TOI. Hope you continue writing like this. We need more MUDRA's

Cya
nitish

dilshad said...

the conclusion rocked !!! Women's liberation huh ??? really made me think........put this skill to use woman........u become the face of women liberation !.........break free from the bonds of a blog and go into TOI !! & PRONTO !!

azmeen said...

hieee....loved it!!!amazin sense of humour!the strt was fab!im wid u on this one...beauty pageants are so blah!such a waste
anyways..hv fun..byee
:D

aditi said...

oh my god, that was tooo good. LMAO!!!!! was too funny....perfectly written!! youre a pro..im telling you, youve got it in u....u actually watched the whole thing??? loved the beginning and the middle and the end!! one of your best ....definitely...!! loved it as usual.excellent!! keep themcoming....love u...cheers!!

Bleue said...

*couldn't agree more*
first off, you managed to sit through the whole thing? amen to that!
haha..& yeaaaa, look at them, "yes, that tooth, THATS fake..& ohh, that waistline..THATS fake too.."..crap, they dont make humans like those yaa! y dnt ppl understnd!? its allll soooo fake!! & yea..it somehow all boils down to 'world peace' ..what world peace eh? id lik 2 believe it causes human unrest amongst mortals lik us! aarrgghhh !! world peace!?!? yaa righT!!
..but then again, are we riding on human double standards when we speak of Aishwarya rai & all that jazz? well, I hate her too..(plastic, pure Tupperware-kind plastic)

arrey too awesome yaa, this post!

Cheers \m/, (+.+) ,\m/

MAAAADhuri said...

TOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOD! :D:D:D:D:D:D:D
HHAHAHAHA


FANTASTIC HUMOUR ATLAST!!!! :D:D

i looooooooooouved it.... its too perfect! NOONE CAN PUT IT BETTER! :D:D
hahahaha.. still laughing...

pls keep up the fantastic work .. and i agree with nitish.. SEND IT TO TOI goddammiT!:D

KEEP ROCKIN!
CYA
MUAh

MAAAAAAADhuri said...

o and this ur webpage is def on my favorites:D:D

Pratz said...

Nice...Sarcasm abound..and truly interesting....I luved it rite to the end....Keep bloggong mademoiselle...and keep Rocking !!!

mycrotchetyluv said...

you know, i usually love sarcasm, but sarcasm post a few fact finding missions works a lot better. it's true, think about it. yesyes, those ladies look emaciated. oh well, and those who aren't Miss World contestants don't? who're ya kidding?

now, when you say MC, they mean master of ceremonies. therefore MC. and no, they don't say it just in the US. that's what they call them right here in poor, starved India as well. and mostly are referred to as emcees. colloquial. it's a real word. honest. check for yourself.

Miss World is a business, just like many others. Like Miss Universe. Like the Trump Organization, and like the Tatas. It manages to raise shitloads of money actually used for a few good purposes, some of which are to do with starvation and kids, so yes all of that features a lot more in the contestants' answers. no one's going to be nice and goody and let the other person walk away with the crown because they have a few other causes they're interested in. other than their regular charity, it manages to put a few countries on the map, it manages to kick up tourism, it gets live feed with the world's largest annual live audience (possibly excepting the year of Princess Di's death. but hey you probably don't like her too). and yes, it's a privately owned company, so you can't see their income records, but last i checked you couldn't see where most of the world leaders and socially active peoples' income records too. we just assume. which is so unfair but hey, they're not as superficial as beauty with a cause, so let's not pick on them.

no, i don't have a problem with your writing this post. makes no difference to me. just seems to me that a person as talented as you are would have some more research going into it, because this is too a full fledged rant. (by the way, you wanna see skinny, check out America's Next Top Model. And Britain's. And Australia's. And it's not even for a real social cause). and i'm glad you wrote this post. but tame down the sarcasm now. it's too personal. and pointless. i'm assuming you want to get somewhere with this writing thing. of course you may tell me to bugger off, as this is still about free speech, but figured that you have a bunch of compliments and awestruck fans, so you wouldn't mind me.

oh, and it's not Miss Czechoslovakia. There is no Czechoslovakia anymore, seeing as how the country was split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic 13 years ago. just figured you'd like to know. so it was Miss Czech Republic who won.

mycrotchetyluv said...

oh, and it's djibouti. or officially, the Republic of Djibouti.

Mudra said...

@mycrotchetyluv: Woohoo... thanks. When I said contestants are emaciated, I was referring to the fact that models in general look starved - and work hard to look that way. Sure, non-contestants are also emaciated, but there are very few fields wherein EVERYONE is emaciated. The reference to MCs, btw, was nothing deeper than that. I know they're called MCs in India too and that "emcee" is a word, but the first connotation that springs to (my) mind (at least) is something else - hence the reference.

About the organisation making money, I know it does. But idealistically speaking, I don't think this is the best form of fund-raising because I dislike the objectification of women. This whole post, by the way, stems from that particular dislike. (And I have no problems with Princess Di - difficult to believe, I know, but it's true :))

The point about it being the Czech Republic and not Czechoslovakia, I agree completely. That was a deliberate error of fact, but only with the intention of being funny, I promise. About the spelling of "Djibouti", well, what can I say? I DID say that if she wins next year, I'll probably know the spelling. :D

And finally - I know that it seems as if more research should have gone into this. But I want to make one thing very very clear. This blog is not for serious takes on important issues. It's more like my opportunity to talk crap on whatever I feel like. The sarcasm is not to humiliate anything or anyone, but to put forward a light view on any issue. It was never meant "personally" to anyone, so I'm sorry if it strikes you thus.

Every blog that I write is usually written on a whim. I don't research, I don't reflect, I don't make multiple drafts. I write whatever comes into my head, because, after all, my blog is the only place where I can do that! Political correctness is not my strength. And by the way, yeah, I'd like to "get somewhere with this writing thing" but I'm still a long way from getting anywhere except on a college magazine. Lol.

Anyway, winding up this LONG clarification, I'd just like to say a genuine thanks for pointing out factual inaccuracies and telling me what you don't like. I do respect freedom of speech, and have no problems with comments like yours. Please visit and comment whenever you wish. Peace!!

Avi said...

hmmmmmmmmmmmm.......wat "mycrotchetylove" said obviously makes me think about this whole thing...but i do agree with mudra also to a certain extent..thus i feel tht as far as political correctness is concerned...this whole piece of writing may be truly debatable..coz i too feel a lot of shit happens coz of these beauty contests...but indeed mudra..fine piece of writing..!! it was great! :D Keep writing more and more!(at least for the college mags;) )

Bleue said...

hey, damn good 2 read tht comment..by "mycrotchetylove"..it makes me *think* (cool nah? :D)
on a serious note, yes, it duz make me introspect abt my sarcasm..so thnx to ur blog & "mycrotchetylove"s comment..

& oye Muddu,
after readin wht "mycrotchetylove" has to say & then readin ur reply to that, i lik ur blog ten-fold! (if thts correct grammar..hope u understand..lik bahut zyaadaa achchaa lagta hai..ermm..yeh)

& abt the coll mag writing thing, lady..you hav a lonnng way to go..wayy beyond coll mags ofcourse..:D

write on pal!
Cheers \m/, (+.+) ,\m/ & wishes..

Asterix said...

Great to know that as far as MC goes, girls too think of the same connotation as guys do :) Great stuff by the way!

vyoma said...

heyy...wat a blog AMAZING!!one peice of advic/se(i dunno weat it is) STOP UNDERMINING UR BLOGS!!they super cool..this one was seriously very good n war satire!!!keep going..byeee

shoumeli said...

hey!!maaannnn tht was sooooooooooooo good..i mean.. u know i SOOOO feel the vry same way,:-D..... bt the way uve put dn all ur thoughts is jus remarkable...its jus like..."oh man, hww does this brainless idiot manage to write wat goes on in her head so so so well"...:)..
u rock re!!love u!!amazin stuff.. keep it comin!!

Aprajita said...

firstly mudra i cnt believe u used the word peace !!! .. i can picture u saying " peace out man " like dj hahaha ..
oh coming back to ur entry .. freakin amazing , insane , killer !!! sersly it was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo funny !!it was PPKL material (thts peth pakad ke laugh hehe ) .. funny shit man ! besides being relevant and well written !! awesome !! keep em coming !! cya tc muahhhhhhhhhhhhh

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stan