What the F(arrago)!

By Malini Menon

Photographer: Sonja Langford

If there is one word that was plucked from obscurity to instant fame this year in India, it has got to be “Farrago“. Thanks to Shashi Tharoor — well, if you don’t know the man, you don’t need to read any further, you nitwit — it became the nation-wants-to-know word in exactly a second after it was resurrected on Twitter.

Resurrected, because a certain British political journalist apparently had already concocted the “farrago of distortions and misrepresentations” part some four years ago – telling the world much earlier that it is not just Arnab Goswami who is prone to such pastimes.

That brings me to Arnab, whom if you don’t know, consider yourself among the lucky few leading a normal human life unblemished by vociferous so-called infotainment, which is neither informational nor entertainment. It is, as Congress party senior leader Manish Tewari said, a 9 p.m. blood sport.

My housekeeper commented, a certain Donald Trump and Arnab seem angry all the time and hence are best left alone. “Do they suffer from some illness?” she wondered loudly.

Forgive the ramble. Coming back to the mighty word, if you’ve forgotten what “Farrago” means or worse, never bothered to look it up, let me make it easy for you. It means a confused mixture – not any plain vanilla types.

To make matters worse, we are subjected to this “farrago of distortions, misrepresentations and outright lies” package by unprincipled showmen the world over daily and we sure can feel exasperated by the end of the day.

Little wonder that the word caught the fancy of 1.3 billion people, err, well, 1.3 billion minus the illiterates minus the non-English speaking folks – which I guess can still be an impressive number in India, the world’s second-most populous country.

Meantime, do not underestimate the power of this word. “Farrago” is here to stay folks, because we are living in “the leaks are real, but the news is fake” times. What the F(arrago)!


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