Marathons especially Indian marathon events are freak shows. I was watching the Delhi Marathon, prominently sponsored by a mobile company, on one of the news channels yesterday and what do I see – half naked men running and shouting in the hope of promoting a mens magazine, weird looking characters supposedly running for gay rights, someone running for cancer, another one running for chimpanzees, yet another running for people with half a brain, another for llama rights… Ok so I made up the last few, but I swear when you have all sorts of characters turning a sporting event into a circus without stunts then you are sure to demand your ticket back.
The freaks interviewed were irritating to the core. Celebrities even more so. You had team leads taking their team on the run and waving flags. I am sure quite a few of them would have been cursing the bastards for waking them on an early Sunday morning and making them run 5-10 kilometres or so. You had news anchors gushing about a power couple who coudn’t even complete running a quarter of a kilometre. I also wonder how the marathon organisers allowed people to run around with all sorts of garbage on them – some guys ran with huge condom costumes, some ran in gorilla suits, some in bathing suits – you really wish you were far from the maddening crowd.
I watched this freak show for a while on TV. Why did I go on watching this? Curiosity. There is this strange human tendency to view cheap stuff that gives you a kick when you realize that there are mortals lower than you. That’s the reason we love B-movies, slasher movies where guts spill out in virtually every frame and creatures that look stand at the size of the empire state building while snarling at the world around them. Cheap freaks. Cheap idiotic freaks. Pah… TV seems to have thrown some of the most irritating freaks of late. Commentators, actors, tv serials… Indian TV sucks. Thanks to Star World and World Movies and the other English channels for somehow maintaining sanity and balance on screen.