Hijacking the Soap

December 16, 2022by Rajeev Hora0

 “Princess Diana was never meant to wear the revenge dress.”

A sensational news item claimed the revelation while another one mentioned that the same garment had recently been sold for £ 65000. So essentially, a salacious gossip created and sustained over 28 years enabled the sale of a second-hand dress for probably more than 100 times its original price. And probably bought by some idiot for bragging rights and nothing else. Controversy sells, beat it!

It sells because people like us buy it. Otherwise what would explain last week’s Netflix episodes of “Harry and Meghan”recording 81.55 million viewing hours globally — “the highest view hours of any documentary title in a premiere week”

There is universal acknowledgement today there is nothing called blue blood. The blood which runs in all humans is a variant of red with similar composition of its constituents. No wonder, monarchies all over the world progressively collapsed after WW II as democracies and other governmental formats took over.

Some countries retained monarchies as their titular heads of states for decorative purposes and in some cases for money generation through tourism. Bound by law and Parliament, they practically added nothing to legislative functions. Lets call it just ‘ornamental continuity’ to remind us of past glories.

So here is a boy who is born with the providential silver spoon in his mouth. In a royal family with plenty of endowments, he finds himself purposeless because he feels he does not have the remotest chances of ascending the throne. Progresses into heavy drinking and God only knows what other vices.

Blames it on a broken family, anxiety and some sort of depression. Gets married and is accorded a fairy tale of a wedding ceremony. Certainly not because he did anything extraordinary to deserve it. And all probably paid by the public exchequer.

Admittedly, living in a stifling royal inner circle with practically no hopes of getting the coveted seat is a tough task. You have to show up at events and functions where your body language openly reveals how bored and disinterested you are. You have not added any value to anyone’s life in particular. You search for a purpose beyond spending.

We talk about nepotism and its privileges today in derogatory terms. Business, politics, academia, entertainment, sports, fitness, religion, you name it. Nepotism raises its ugly head everywhere. Incidentally, the term comes from Italian word ‘nepotismo’, which is based on its Latin root ‘nepos’ meaning nephew.

Since the Middle Ages and until the late 17th century, some Catholic popes and bishops who had taken vows of chastity and, therefore, usually had no legitimate offspring of their own – gave their nephews such positions of preference as were often accorded by fathers to sons. A sort of continuation of a papal “dynasty”, akin to our home-grown ‘chacha bhatija’ culture.

The Church moved on but some of the royal families living in denial, did not. They continued to remain the ultimate bedrock of dynastic nepotism while dealing with the existential crisis of remaining relevant. Politically irrelevant and shorn of power, they found their panacea in transforming their lives into a never-ending soap opera with the right mix of melodrama, ensemble casts, and sentimentality.

A crucial element that defines the soap opera is the open-ended serial nature of the narrative, with stories spanning several episodes. Each episode signing off with a promise that the storyline is to be continued further. The royal similarity is certainly too stark to be ignored.

Except this time the venerated family had not bargained for someone across the Pacific to hijack the kernel of the soap. Throw in a bit of racism and depression along with tittle-tattle tales and juicy salacious titbits. Link it with pity and the public’s fond memory of an extraordinary lady and the calamity which befell her. Voila! You have the perfect recipe for a different kind of Coronation Street.

The coffers will certainly swell, but when your sponsors are from mental health companies, an urgent peek inside is the need of the hour. Has anyone really harmed you? Or are you leading your imagination up the gum tree? Born in a cradle of abundance, are you not man enough to take charge of your life? Have you ever tried to earn an honest day’s earnings and not be dependent on your benefactions?

We all go through broken marriages, parenting issues, grieving and all sorts of tribulations. But a man of substance doesn’t justify, he doesn’t blame. He gets up, dusts his clothes and takes charge. Maybe one day you will also realize that in life, somethings happen to us and somethings we make happen. Unless you make something really worthwhile happen, you will remain just another Harry out of the Tom, Dick and Harry trio.

For now, seeing you washing linen in the open (dirty of course), I can bemusedly imagine a rustic Punjabi berating you:
“O Mundea, where is your macho gone?”

 

But it is never too late.
Says Horax (Casper)

P.S  Incidentally Harry’s autographical account probably written by a ghost writer is titled ‘Spare’. The unintended pun has not gone unnoticed as we wish to be…..!

First published at seekmediation.com on 16/12/22

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