For many of us who have seen the initial romcom unfold and implode in front of us there is very little in Harry and Meghan which is new.
Well, it’s that couple again!
In India we are used to doleful saas-bahu serials so this is nothing new. We all know what happens to rebellious brides who enter powerful, joint families dominated by rules and regulations. Washing dirty linen, scheming and plotting, vengeful behaviour was made popular by Ekta Kapoor — and those episodes ran and ran for years. By comparison the six episode narrative of “Harry and Meghan” seems almost tame — except that it is being peddled as “truth” and is targeting the most popular members of the Royal Family, William and Kate, and the newly minted King, Charles himself.
So whatever revelations had not come our way through The Crown are now being talked about through Netflix, for which Haz and Meg or H. and M. are being paid, according to reports, more than a million pounds.
And it has created a royal uproar. Considering that Haz and Meg are against the intrusion into their lives by the tabloids, this is an odd way of adding to the media frenzy and the largely artificial outrage. All the tabloids are devoting tens of pages to this couple safely on the other side of the Atlantic — and are saying further nasty things about M. British media, it seems, has decided two things: the “truth” as revealed by the couple in the series is not the “truth” as widely known in UK, and secondly, the couple are doing a great disservice to the Royals by continuing to remain “Duke and Duchess” while pulling down the monarchy through their words and actions.
However, it is the racism angle which is the most wounding — and this is the part that even the present Royals in the UK cannot seem to defend. Following the recent furore just a few days back when an insider who had been close to the Queen was forced to quit her voluntary role over alleged racism — many are wondering if, truly, there are still some racists lurking in the Palace.
In Harry and Meghan, there are references to it, and Meghan’s mother, who is a Black American, talks openly about perceived racism in the UK. Meghan herself says that she had never encountered racism in the US, but saw and felt it in the UK. This is supported by other non-White commentators in this reality show, David Olusoga and Afua Hirsch, who speak about the spread of slavery under Queen Elizabeth I. Indeed they point out that while the origins of slavery are not taught in great detail in educational institutions, it is the abolition of slavery which is often focussed on.
For many of us who have seen the initial romcom unfold and then implode in front of us, in real life, there is very little in Harry and Meghan which is new. Except a few secret assignations that Haz and Meg undertook before they announced their engagement. And yes, it is sweet to see their affection for each other — albeit it is clear Harry is completely fascinated by his very confident, smart and capable wife. Together the couple are monetising every inch of their lives and are giving the Kardashians a run for their money.
So, if in the process they pull down the Commonwealth and the Monarchy, the country’s two most popular and well known brands — what can one say? Except that the Americans will be thrilled that one of their own has put the erstwhile colonisers on the mat. All is fair in love and war.
Considering that all this is happening at a time when there is an Indian origin Prime Minister, one can only say that this is a rapidly changing environment.
I always knew that as a couch potato, I must have been doing something correct. And now it has been proven! After observing 25,000 British adults over seven years, Professor Stamakatis at the University of Sydney has concluded that you require to be super active for only four-and-a-half minutes each day to gain most of the required benefits for a healthy heart. So all you need to do jog around briskly, walk up and down the staircase, run after your unruly dog — all for 5 minutes and you are done. Never more will we pine for the hour long walk or the Pelaton — because why bother when just five nimble minutes will do the trick?
And this little exercise may reduce the numbers waiting for treatment at the NHS which is facing upcoming strikes — including those by ambulance drivers and nurses. While the government considers passing an anti-strike regulation protecting emergency services — it is becoming more and more apparent that the sympathies of the public lie with the strikers. Obviously there is an effort to launch a PR assault against the agitators — and soon we will see a flood of stories about the suffering of thousands during a bleak Christmas. Because the wide-ranging strikes will impact everyone including holidaymakers. But the mood of the nation is now with those who are demanding a fair wage. It has been a tough time for many as the cost of living has been spiralling up, and people are leaning towards the Opposition party, Labour, which is 20 points ahead.
Anyway, I would like to wish you a merry Christmas though I know how tough and cold it is going to be. Take care!