“did you vote for Abhijeet sawant?” My friend asked me.

“who is he, and why should I vote for him?” I was least interested.

“What? tu Abhijit ko nahi janta?” He looked surprisingly. I was among the handful of Indians who didn’t know about the popular talent hunt show ’Indian Idol’. I heard my female colleagues chatting about the way Abhijeet moves while singing. I was forced to watch the show. And believe me, I was really impressed with the way SONY is promoting this product. They have got Music composers, Film directors and popular singer as their judges. They have got big filmy celebrities as their guests. And if this is not enough, they have got even apna Kapil Dev to do the toss! Man, they are not leaving even a single opportunity for promotion.

Its not that this is the first show which is showcasing the singing talent. But now the product is packaged so well that you just can‘t ignore its presence. It all about the media hype. Only media can make that boy next door, what they call an Indian Idol!

Take the case of our recent sensation, Sania Mirza. I’ve never seen people taking so much interest in tennis before. Now they follow tournament scores, championship schedules and are worried about her ankles. She appears as a guest editor on Times of India’s front page, she has been crowned by Saurav Ganguli for don’t know what, She has even started appearing on TV during commercial breaks showing how Tata Tea has helped her winning that trophy. Credit goes to our media.

How many of us still care about Tsunami victims now? We don’t, because media has stopped showing those scary images after few weeks of the incident. We were shaken by the disaster. We discussed how huge the waves were. Lot of NGOs mushroomed urging for the donation. Country’s top singers recorded special songs. Top actors performed shows to raise funds. Some generous personalities donated in millions. But then suddenly our sympathy vanished. Now, none of the actor has time to visit affected area, no channel shows the crying faces. No news paper carries the news about re-habilitation. After all the news should be entertaining.

But its not always the media who is in driver‘s seat. A 16 year old boy from small town in north India managed to fool our media guns. He claimed that he has passed a very difficult exam conducted by NASA. Now local news papers found some masala in it and spread the word. Others followed it without any probe. Mulayam Singh Yadav even announced Rs 5 lack as a reward. Members of the parliament donated their one day’s salary to help the poor boy. But when some enthusiastic enquired with NASA, they found the whole story was fake. NASA never conducts such exams. But don’t worry, after all it’s a news and media knows how to dish it out in style.

Whatever it is. But we always want to know when the prince Charles is getting married, which dress will Catharine wear on the Oscar night, with whom salman is dating these days or whats is that product which amitabh hasn’t endorsed yet.

After all, its entertaining.