Online posts, tweets and opinions on the tragic Uttarakhand floods have all undergone a mass digression of sorts. In a matter of days, discussions about the disaster, and the victims thereof, have converged on one particular victim and a TV reporter straddling his shoulders.
At first glance, the film reminds one of 'citizen journalism', something we saw a lot of, seven years back, during and after the catastrophic Mumbai deluge. Except, this one is a professional video. And, it doesn't help that there are multiple YouTube videos with the same footage doing the rounds online, each gathering its own traction. In fact, here's an unfortunate aside: several Spanish and American YouTube users have also uploaded the same video on YouTube with their own anti-India two pence.
Now, besides the comic quotient intrinsic to a visual of a TV journalist speaking into a mike while perched on the shoulders of a person half his size, it's the defensive statement he gave the media that is fanning the viral blaze. After being pulled up for this act, he went on record saying the whole debacle is his cameraman's fault because he deviated from instructions to shoot the piece such that only his torso would appear in the film!
Alas, like many of the items that end up going viral, this one is a classic mix of sad and funny. It leaves viewers either giggling or shaking their heads disapprovingly.
('Trending' is a section about videos that are catching people's fancy on social media)