Thursday, October 23, 2008

Raja Sen = Frankenstein's Monster?

"Who the hell is Raja Sen" you may ask! Fair enough, but if you happen to be a Rediff reader and still ask this question, I'd have to say, "Dude!!!!" So for the starters, Raja Sen is a regular contributor and, I presume, an employee at Rediff, India's perhaps most popular portal. Known among readers mostly as a movie reviewer at rediff.

First of all, let me say that let my title of the post not misguide you. I, in no way, hate Raja Sen. I have been regular rediff reader since quite some time. To put it in perspective, Rediff is my one of the guilty pleasures, in the lines of Gunda, Loha, Classic dance of love, and such like Mithunda movies. Nothing can provide good mid-day laughter like headlines "Do you think Shahrukh is selfish? Tell us!" or heartfelt chat with "Loveguru" and most importantly rediff's "commenter's base", which I would come to later. In spite of all these, rediff has had its fair share of good articles. Contributors like Raja Sen, Prem Panicker, Sidin Vadukut have provided articles that make it worth your time. Now, coming back to Raja Sen. Raja Sen has been writing for rediff since as long as I can remember. He is one of the movie reviewer, whose words I have found myself to be agreeing with. When everybody was going over the board with Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins", Raja Sen described it as "Ew!" Being an avid Formula-1 and Michael Schumacher fan myself, I have enjoyed monday afternoon chat sessions with Raja and Sumeet about previous day's race. So far so good, but then something happened.

Back in those days, Rediff's comments were moderated, so if you comment on an article, it may not be visible till next day, but one fine day, Rediff decided that this was not working and made the comment section "open for public". Now everybody could talk, thrash, kick, spit... and they did! Comments deteriorated day-by-day and topics knew no bound. "Northies" vs "Southies", Amitabh vs SRK, Sania Mirza's hype, conspiracy theories.. all of them got served equally at Rediff's message board and as the time passed mob found their scape goat. What happens when you rate hugely popular star's hugely popular movie as "one star" (case in point, Bhul Bhulaiyya) or term universal hit like At World's End as "Disappointing!"? You get mobbed, that's what happened. People had found him. Comments ranging from as mild as "who da hell do u thnk u r raja sen", "r u writing reviews or givng GRE exams" to "hey u raja, u gay srk chamcha, go home" were abundant on every message board. Each and every Raja Sen article turned into a flame-bait. If you were to judge any review by the number of comments it got, Raja Sen can outnumber Sukanya Verma or Elvis D' Silva by 100-to-1. Sidin aptly introduces Raja Sen as one of the most popular writers on Rediff when measured on the popularity metric: "House most likely to be burned down."

It seemed as if Raja Sen has outgrown Rediff -- Monster has taken over Frankenstein. On one auspicious Friday, in spite of three reviews, none of them was reviewed by Raja Sen and his "fan base" got impatient. All three of the message boards got flooded with letters of unrequited love with touchy messages like "whr da hell is moron Raja Sen", "this reviewer sucks! at lst idiot raja sen used to give honest opionions", "bring raja back!" and needless to say, when Mr. Sen was back next Friday, people were overjoyed. They had their target back. As for us, our Friday evenings were spent literally rolling on the floor laughing, courtesy this fan base, which I am sure is the same scene in Rediff as they fervently refresh those comment sections to see if the next message can beat the previous one in inanity.


Uday said...

Can't agree more !!

deathmetal124 said...

good one

Anonymous said...

hehe i should be more regular in reading rediff.

i remember rediff from back old days when they had their instant messenger called rediff bol