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Friday, April 19, 2024

Honest like Usain

As all of us who are groggy-eyed at work today because of staying up till 1:30 to watch the 200m finals can testify, Usain Bolt just stamped his superiority – again – on the sprint world. The fastest man in the world is not given to false modesty, however. Before the reporters could put words in his mouth, he shut them up by saying “I’m now a legend, I’m the greatest athlete to live”. I don’t think anyone would have had any further questions for him.

But this made me think about honesty. There is nothing wrong in someone telling the truth; the only reason we are surprised by it is because we have been brought up and conditioned to tell lies, make self-deprecating remarks and generally shun honesty whenever possible. I wish everyone were like Bolt, but this could lead to some awkward moments. Here are a few examples of what celebrities who adopted UsainSpeak might say:

1. SRK: My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist. Except now and then, when I force moviegoers to sit through movies like Ra.One and plan its sequel, tentatively titled Jha.Two.

2. Paes, Bhupathi, Sania, etc.: We are teens trapped in grown up bodies; we like to air our dirty linen in public and then fail spectacularly in the Olympics. Our country matters less to us than the free media publicity.

3. Any customer care people, especially those working for phone companies: (Instead of Hello, how can I help you?) Hello, how can I transfer your call 10 times within my office, waste 30 minutes of your valuable time, give you advice as symbolic and hard to understand as the predictions of Nostradamus, make your problem 10x as serious and sell you an irrelevant, useless plan?

4. MMS: ____________________ (he’s unlikely to start speaking any time soon).

5. Any high school chemistry teacher: I find this as difficult as most of you. Do you have any idea what it takes to write the same equations on the board year after year to a crowd of children doing anything except listening to me? Even the history teacher has it better. But yes, the other class is much more well-behaved.

6. God: I wish I was like Sachin or Rajini.

7. Any advertisement (on TV, in print or on youtube): This is a lie. 

Unless, of course, it features a ponytailed man somewhere. In which case it is the gospel truth.

8. Reality show judges: We are extremely relieved that such shows did not exist when we (kind of) made it in the business, but we’ll still be as nasty as possible to you.

9. Asian Paints: Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai. It’s usually: ‘You can’t afford me, till you’re too old to appreciate me’.

10. Facebook: More people are addicted to us than to cocaine, heroin, marijuana, ecstasy or TV.

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