Yesterday was World Tuberculosis Day. Good that people from different walks of life came together for a walk. No, none of these people were coughing (baring the smokers). Because, if you have TB you will feel very tired while walking. Especially, on the roads as polluted as ours.
Anyways, this made me thinking…the deadliest of diseases change with time. And what better chroniclers of time than our movies? I still remember seeing a black and white movie where a love-struck hero waits by the bedside of the heroine suffering from pneumonia. Sure enough the heroine dies because of pneumonia. Even people who get drenched in the rain were susceptible to pneumonia. Very deadly, indeed. Now you know why the early movies didn`t have song sequences in the rain.
Then came the chicken pox. It was not considered THAT deadly because a song sequence in the temple could cure the victim. But it sure did take its toll, especially when the storyline didn`t require the hero or the heroine.
Come the 60s: move over chicken pox. It was time for Tuberclosis, affectionately called TB. Before introducing the second hero, the first hero had to die of TB…or before the hero can marry his second love interest, his wife had to die of TB…of course she would die only after giving the girl`s hand to her husband.
With time and prosperity, came something called diabetes. But it had a very short reign because it didn’t kill that often. It decapitated….so whenever a family had to suffer…the lone bread-winner need to suffer from diabetes and in the process lose his legs. You wouldn’t have seen many such movies because some silly scientist conjured up a medicine called Insulin thus scattering the storywriters in search of other deadly diseases.
Come the 80s and the moviemakers would land up with what would be known as cancer – mother of all diseases. If you were rich you had Leukemia, and if you were poor you had lung cancer (probably because you worked in the mill). A few bold movies even showed women suffering from breast cancer. Of course, they did not show anything more.
Initially, the patients died without a fight…and when the treatment was available in United States of Ameria…all rich would end up in the US and get cured and come back.
The poor had to wait for their son to join the Don (almost always…Ajith) and come back with loads of money. A few silly mothers, embraced death because they thought the mafia’s money won`t be accepted in American hospitals (because they were not honestly earned).
What with all these advertisements by Cancer Hospitals that the disease can be cured if detected early… it now holds no fear among the people. At least, not in the movies. As a result the last couple of years has seen the emergence of mother of all F%$# U*s – AIDS. Remember Phir Milenge?
If I kept on deliberating on what happened in the past, I would not be a visionary (crudely put an astrologer). So…here is my prediction for the future…
Very soon the Indian movies will come up with a disease called Dikki-Vikki. Since computers are so much a part of the Indian life-style…I assume the story writers would want to capitalize on it. And they would walk up to some self-proclaimed computer-expert roaming around the studios and ask for some potential disease as a result of the regular usage of computers. Here is how the conversation will go –
Storywriter: Hi there…just wanted some details on computers. Are you an expert?
Computer expert: Yes. I am…shoot.
Storywriter: Is there any disease that a regular computer user can die of?
Computer expert: No, there is no such disease. But computers do have viruses.
Storywriter: Does that affect the computer user?
Computer expert: Of course, these viruses attack the whole system…and drastically affect the computer user.
Storywriter: Now you are talking. What do you call this?
Computer expert: We just call it a viral attack. Nothing else.
Story Writer: You mean, nobody has taken the time off to name the disease.
Computer expert: Disease? What are you talking…..
(By now the storywriter had left the scene and had already decided to name the disease Dikki-Vikki)
So guys…next time you watch a movie and some computer engineer dies of Dikki-Vikki …just remember you first heard of it, here.