Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Madeleine", in this case, is apparently a cartoon about a tough, ass-kicking girl named Madeleine. I am to play her. Anyway, the details of the cartoon are not vivid. What I remember better is the frame story, where I head out for the TV station (rain already present here?) then get to the studio where I'm watching the cartoon on a screen. Later I negotiate labyrinthine corridors and rooms of the station, which is more like a cross between what you'd expect of a station and a bleak apartment block in 70s Chennai or maybe in Patparganj.

Eventually, I end up watching the taping of a show, in Tamil (after this most of the dream switches to Tamil), where a man is complaining about the state of newspapers today. He argues that-- a little known fact-- the problem with newspapers is that they depend on ad revenue and get paid by advertisers based on the amount of names (of people) they contain in each issue, with a special bonus for each new name. Thus, in an absurd and frantic bid for ad revenue, newspapers are constantly, artificially, trying to introduce new names into their front pages, often going to the extent of inventing them.

A little later in the dream, I am in another room, participating a show apparently broadcast from elsewhere (Malaysia?) that is in a mix of Tamil and English, and runs via videoconferencing. The topic again is the dismal state of newspapers today. I bring up the point I heard on the earlier show and the men on the screens nod impatiently-- this is something they have obviously already heard about.

Shortly afterwards, a thunderstorm hits, the rooms begin to leak water, and I have to make a run for it (the studio is oddly unpeopled by now). On my way I run into a couple of women janitors, who are dressed up in saris and not uniforms, tut-tutting and scrambling to mop what appears to be a wet laptop, a black Lenovo not unlike mine. It appears to have fallen and has a big cracked bump on top, on the other side of the screen. Horrified, I say, "Whose laptop is that?" (in Tamil) "I'm sorry sir, it's yours." Now in even truer horror, I pick up the laptop and open it, with the other two looking sympathetically on. I switch it on and what appears on the screen is some kind of last-ditch recovery program starting up.

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