Recently, a headline in the City section of a renowned newspaper caught my attention. The words are still flashing before my eyes, as if they had gotten imprinted on my retina. The report explained the chaos caused by an 18-year-old young adult. Akash had keenly watched a contestant on a reality show swallow bulbs and razor blades. It seemed like a piece of cake, and of course, he had to try it.
So a week later, Akash broke a blade into six pieces, stuffed them into a banana, and gobbled it up. He ate the banana on his way back home from college, thereby not violating the “Don’t try this at Home” advisory given by the inspirational reality show.
The next day, Akash was rushed to a nearby hospital after he complained of a cutting pain in his upper chest and abdomen. X-rays revealed six pieces of blade stuck in his food pipe and intestines. Doctors exclaimed that Akash could not even recall the number of pieces he had broken the blade into!
Thankfully, the doctors saved him by removing the blade pieces from his intestines, and a few from his anus. The doctor said, “So far, I’ve removed dentures, a necklace, coins and safety pins from the patient’s food pipe or abdomen, most of them taken in accidentally. This is the first time I’ve seen someone gulping blade pieces with such gusto.”
Akash’s uncle, Putte Gowda blamed the television show for misguiding him.
Similar acts of bravery are not very uncommon. One often hears of young men jumping from random places of great height, trying to emulate Spiderman or maybe our own home-grown version Krrish. Reality shows, a few news channels and soaps and serials can be credited for such incidents to a great extent. This particular News Channel, for instance would run highly creative and frightening telecasts of the World coming to an end (“pralay”) every day for hours at a stretch. These hours, rather the Channel itself, could be called “Pralay TV”.
With many such shows on air, freely giving away every kind of wrong advice and disturbing and bizarre ideas and stories, it becomes hard for the youth to pick one out of the treasure pile. In fact, things have come to a point where those few strange ones who insist on watching something sane and realistic are left wanting for content. In times like these, we have to learn to use our “commonly uncommon” common sense to decide what we watch—discretion will lead to the right choices and perhaps someday we can all aspire to match Akash in his soaring ambitions and successful feat.
(edited by Ateendriya Gupta)