I wonder what our world would be like if controversies did not exist. If our celebrities did not let slip a controversial word or two. If our netas did not rake up a controversy or two. If authors did not write a controversial book or two. If people did not raise a controversial finger or two.

Ooooh, I really like the sound of the word: Controversy.

Doesn’t it rhyme uncannily with ‘autopsy’? Or maybe not.

I like to believe that, if such a day arrives – a day when there no longer exists any controversy whatsoever, anywhere on the face of the Planet (God forbid) – the world would end. Literally. Really. Completely. Use as many adverbs as you like without inviting controversy. In fact, the end of the World would perhaps be the day when people stopped controversizing. Oh, I know that’s not a word. I just want to kick up a controversy by inventing new words on my blog.
But back to the point. If such a glorious day does arrive, what would our newspapers speak about? Imagine our prominent dailies making bland announcements about the onset of monsoon or a harmful tornado ravaging a corner of the Earth? How morbid and boring! Millions of journalists all over the world will be forced to seek other professions, newspaper delivery boys will lose their jobs, newspaper and magazine kiosks will close down,… Pretty soon the repercussions will make all hell break loose, and people will be jobless, penniless, starving and on the verge of suicide. Thus the world will end. Don’t doubt my word.
All because someone called someone else sexy. Oops, I let the word slip! Now you know why I was so worked up. No, really, every day I open the newspaper to see if sexy is the latest beautiful or sexy is the latest b!#@h. I mean should I type it as s@*y so that I don’t offend anyone or can I just spell it right? Should I even talk about the word or pretend it never existed?
Some might remember an old Karishma Kapoor song that was banned and abolished and extradited and re-recorded because the said word was used – and how many times, in a single line!!! Soon afterwards, the song was mellowed down to ‘Baby, baby, baby mujhe log bole… Hi baby, hello baby, kyon bole?’ because someone’s sentiments were hurt. Oh, the dress the heroine wore and her gyrations were just fine, no offence. After all, she was dancing for charity.
Recently, I saw someone comment on another’s photo “You look sexy!” Obviously it was a compliment and the other was pleased. A few years ago I would have been shocked at this, but now things are different. Anyone who looks sensuous, beautiful, smart, cute, pretty, or just plain good is referred to as ‘sexy’. Having said that, I believe if I ever use that word to compliment someone, it might be because I lost faith in English language and its capacity to describe beauty. It must be my upbringing. But who knows. Things change, people change, thinking changes.
I am sure what the lady meant is nothing more than, “If anyone calls you ‘sexy’ in a congratulatory tone, say Thank you. If they say it in an offensive tone, ignore it and move on.” Nothing worth kicking up a controversy over.
But then, for the media, it is their bread-and-butter question of survival…
For the rest of us, it is a question of existence and the end of the world…
Whether another four-letter word deserves to be shot into the Hall of Fame… remains to be seen.
As I always say, it all depends on the eyes of the beholder, and ears of the listener.
Next controversy, step in, please.