There was a time when the concept of information overload did not exist. In fact, information was quite scarce to start off with! For example, news on entertainment was restricted to two sources only.
1. The last page of India Today - for desi stuff.
2. The last 7 minutes of Prannoy Roy-hosted The World This Week - for international masala.
And we waited the entire week to hear Mr Roy talk about contr-oh-versies around the globe.
In such a world, it was very easy to have an advtange of power... especially if you had nothing against reading. Which I never had - and I tilted the balance of informational power quite decisively away from my sister who was quite vehemently against reading of any kind.
There is a saying in Bengali for people like her - Kaw akshar go-mangsho. Which also has a Hindi equivalent, kaale akshar bhnais barabar.
So, she was susceptible to very small informational red-herrings.
Red Herring #1: Kenny G (the saxophonist) and Ken Ghosh (the ad-film maker) is the one and same!
There were very believable sub-plots about Bengalis converting to Christianity and she accepted this without any doubt whatsoever - and subsequently, flaunted her new-found knowledge to her classmates as well. When some one tried to question the veracity, she silenced the sceptic with an aggressive "It came out in India Today"!
Red Herring #2: The boy who played Tom Cruise's son in Jerry Maguire is actually his own son in real life.
I again slipped in a nugget of believability in this one. I said that the boy does not wear specs in real life but they gave him one in the film to make him look cuter! She lapped it all up again - and god only knows how many people were subjected to this bit of fiction from her.
Anyways, she grew wiser with the disclosure of these cons - and started suspecting even real trivia if it came from me! But it was a very illogical kind of suspicion because I could always put her in doubt with a confident laugh or two. But it certainly became more difficult - and rarer, because we had moved to different cities.
While watching Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, I sent an SMS to her... "Shah Rukh's son in KANK is actually his own son in real life."
There was no reply. So, I thought she had finally bought this one!
Much to my dismay, I got this SMS from her this morning... "Shut up! It's not. In fact, its a girl whose mom posed her as a boy! This was a big story 6 months back. You can't fool me no more. I'm a journo now!"
Damn... the balance of power has tilted!