Thursday, March 25, 2010

All the World's a Stage

Acting is an art - and a tough one at that. How many really good actors have you seen? Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah. Nop, Salmaan Khan is a star and so is Uday Chopra. But, actors don't just work in films. Try looking a little 'local' - Was Pankaj's acting as a jaundice patient any less than Pallavi Joshi's? Wasn't the teacher and even you (despite knowing that he had gone on a holiday) fooled? Didn't Vishwanath act brilliantly in praising his mother-in-law for the food that she prepared which a cat would prefer to terminate all her nine lives to eating that food. Didn't Amin gave an IIFA winning performance when he pushed the bug under the carpet in front of the senior management? And how can we forget Siddhu's brilliant laughter in the Laughter Challenge?

Looking at all these performances day-in-and-day-out i wonder how these people manage to act so well. Acting, indeed, is a gift is blessed with. And what makes it worse is that acting cannot be easily learnt. I have seen people failing miserably to pretend. But, it's not all that gloomy.

With the advent of technology the way we communicate has changed. Communication has become more real-time and online. Imagine that the girl/guy, whom you loved (or had crush for) but never confessed/proposed to, decides to 'go around' with someone else and shares that news with you. In the larger-than-life world of the past you would not only need to be a good actor, but would also need the help of rain to hide your tears and Manpreet Akhtar singing Tujhe Yaad Na Meri Aayi. And only then would you been able to act and give fake emotions (refresh your memory by visiting the above embedded youtube link). But if it were now, things would have been difference. Rahul Khanna would have emailed Anjali Sharma:

Hi Anjali,

PFA my proposal letter to Tina. I had been loving her in the back burner. But looks like the time is right to propose her. Please review the love letter and let me know your comments

 Rahul Khanna
~ Rahul Khanna ladkiyon ke peechhe nahi bhaagta

 To which Anjali would reply back

Hi Rahul,

The proposal letter looks good. Please go ahead and mail it to her. I am sure she'll accept! All the best. I am happy for you :)

~ Rahul is a cheater, he is a cheater.

Simple. Isn't it? The social networking and microblogging tools are not there to make your life difficult. It's not only about learning the new tools and jargon, or unlearning the old ones or re-learning the new versions. It's much more than that.

One fine morning on your Facebook you get an update from a friend informing you that your classmate who used to consistently get lower than fifty percent of your score has got a new job and is getting four times your salary. You immediately send him a 'congratulations!' message with dollops of exclamation marks and choicest of emoticons. Had the friend told it to you face-to-face, it would have been difficult to hide your feelings. Isn't it?

One of your friends applied to the same university you applied to. He manages to clear first few rounds while you beat Agarkar in who-gets-more-ducks game. But then, the friend somehow doesn't clear the final round. He tweets it. You reply back with, again, choicest of emoticons to express how sorry you were. Though, in your heart of hearts, you would be feeling very happy. Imagine if he had told this to you in person! How difficult would it have been to your elation! :(

So, the online tools has, essentially, made acting easy for us. They are giving learn-acting-in-20-days and acting-for-dummies books a tough competition - competition analogous to what CDs are giving to gramophone records. Not because they are easily available on the Internet but because no one really needs it. All a person needs to know to 'act' is the use of emoticons and exclamation marks.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the 'if-you-are-happy-and-you-know' song gets a new avatar to suit the next generation. It would 'sound' something like:

If you're happy and you know it, use ten bangs
If you're happy and you know it, use ten bangs 
If you're happy and you know it,
and you really want to it
If you're happy and you know it, use ten bangs 

 I would leave you with something we have grown up with - Gabbar Singh's laughter in Sholay [the laughter starts at 4:26].

How would have Gabbar said this on his social networking online tool? Simple. He would have said:

 Yep. That's it. Check the following video out if you have any doubts.

Indeed, becoming actor was never so easy. You didn't necessarily have to change your father's name to Yash Chopra. With anyone and everyone becoming an actor, the world has, finally become a stage.

Shakespeare must have done well in futures stock!


Sagar March 25, 2010 at 4:06 AM  

Prashant ji:

A well written article... article on online acting (if I can call that) - a point we all do not notice but do it everytime.. We may be sad but put a few smileys and the other person thinks hes happy..

And "while you beat Agarkar in who-gets-more-ducks game" - LOL
P.S: I wanted to laugh in true Gabbar fashion but then, this post is online, isnt it ? :)

Nice article, keep it up!

Avik... March 25, 2010 at 5:22 AM  

A well articulated post with a good start and wonderful finish.
I would say the punches were comming in packages (as in OOPS) as I was thinking thats the end but there was more........It is true that we do hide our feelings when we chat online and provide a diffrent face to other.

But isn'st it something that Rajesh Khanna already told in 1971 in his movie Anand that " yeh duniyah ek Rangmunch hain babumoshai" if it is a rangmunch you have to act... :P

Biswajit Biswas March 25, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Indeed a very good post, you have added a different new angle to online chatting, seriously man, If I would have been the Marketing person for any of the companies like Google or Yahoo! I would have borrowed your Idea and paid you for this. But unfortunately I am not. But it's differential thinking. Keep it up dude.

sweelie March 25, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

hey... well written man!!! no one would have actually put it better the diff btn social networking and actual frenships in a better way than urs :)
i totally agree with you but we cant help with how we are pacing into the future. gotta keep a fake smile if needed.

Prashant Mehta March 25, 2010 at 4:32 PM  

Sagar ji

Avik... ji

What Rajesh Khanna said is that we are puppets. What i am saying is that we are actors. I am not sure if they are totally different.

Biswajit Biswas ji
Thanks! I am honored, assuming you were not 'acting' :)

sweelie ji
Yep, sometimes we do need to slap ourselves and keep our cheek reddish to simulate 'glow'.

abhi March 25, 2010 at 5:24 PM  

Prashant ji,


:D :) :P ;) >:D< ...cant think of more :D:D

Nalini Hebbar March 25, 2010 at 7:28 PM  

enjoyed the read...and are we all not actors with masks?

deicider March 25, 2010 at 8:51 PM  

A very different perspective....specially useful when the boy u had a crush on tells u that he is seeing someone cool and sexy!
Hmmph lol surely hides the solitary tear that runs down your eyes! But I believe all of us act to a certain degree in our daily life,when u tell ur best friend her hair is looking nice when it actually sucks or you congratulate your boss on his promotion when you would really like to gum him down.We all have the skills of the master actor in us ,social tools only enhance our performance by helping us hide our true emotions better.In the words of immortal Shakespeare:"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts.."

Tanvi March 26, 2010 at 12:14 AM  

your best till date!!! Awesome!! And so true. I still can't find my feet in this jargon. :).

Prashant Mehta March 26, 2010 at 12:52 AM  

abhi ji

Nalini Hebbar ji
Yep. We are. And we have multiple masks - and we juggle with the masks so much so that we tend to forget our real self. The myriad masks become part of us.

deicider ji
Yes. We do act - or at least try to act :)

Tanvi ji

Latha April 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Well written :D Ofcourse this emoticons are not allowing me to say what i actually wanted to express....its just fantastic.

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