Rakhi ka Swayavar is a show I watch daily. Ok, even you do, but, at least, I admit it.

Now, before you think this is a regular lament about the show, let me clarify it’s not. I am just astounded by Rakhi’s smile – a hollow, eerie one in which she parts her lips and shakes to what seems like ‘laughter’, in common parlance. What astounds me is that the rest of the face does not cooperate.

It reminds me of a toy I had as a child. His name was Popcee and he was a drummer. He wore a funny cap, a uniform and had a drum attached to his belly. He looked somewhat like Noddy, with an underdeveloped IQ.

On being wound up, he would beat the drum, jumping like a rodent with convulsions. And, he had THAT smile. If you just think hard enough, you would also have possessed a toy like that. In those days, toy makers were like the Ford company – they did not have many models to boast of.

So, Popcee would have that smile – his plastic lips were parted, and on being wound up, he would exude some strange jerky kind of mirth which gave the illusion that he was smiling. His smile did not reach his eyes (maybe because plastic is a poor conductor of, errr, smiles?)

I realize that I react very strongly to smiles. For instance, on the morning news, every channel has a baba advising on how to dress/plan to make the day a success. Those smiles are downright threatening…

‘Peela vastra pehen ke Gai ko roti khilao…labh hoga’

He proclaims with a glint in his eyes as he almost thrusts his hand out of the TV at you.
Want to share any of your favourite ‘smile’ experiences?

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