There’s no time…

November 22nd, 2009

Competition among TV news channels is very hot… Each one trying to beat the other, always. Viewers are demanding more. More of ‘news’, we are told. But, what the cut-throat competition does to the young boys and girls on the ground can be mind boggling, to say the least.

An acquaintance chews the cuticles of her fingers every time, just before holding the microphone. If she manages to get a question though, she triumphantly does a high-five in celebration with the cameraman, no matter how insignificant the question. She is bothered if she will appear on TV or not, but she just happy showing her bosses sitting a few hundred KMs that she’s doing her job.

Even though the TV news channels are playing the game of one upmanship, and stumbling ever so often, the reporters on the ground put their body and mind through the utmost stress while putting on a facade helped embellish with war paint.

Many of them are celebrities in the eyes of the general public. They are always in high spirits, but also always nervous if they have missed out on anything.

Those who have just joined the profession are more prone to a sense of ‘undying commitment’, come rain or shine…,

One young reporter while covering an event where an Indian IT giant’s top official spoke, caught something, but did not put it on record. She turned to her fellow journalist and friend from a rival group: “I need to go to the washroom urgently. Please don’t flash the statement.”

Her friend said: “Achcha don’t worry. You go. I will hold on.”

When she returned, they flashed the news simultaneously. Yes, and they remain the best of buddies… And, their bosses don’t know.

del.icio.us:There's no time... digg:There's no time... newsvine:There's no time... reddit:There's no time... Y!:There's no time...

Trenches… But, Not For War Time

November 8th, 2009

It’s a sight to behold. It was incomprehensible how a road that was just about fine just the previous night now had a trench cut right through the middle like we are prepared for a bombing raid by an enemy air force. It is like all of us are only waiting for the sirens to go off before jumping into the safety of the trenches.

I had heard stories of people having to jump into the trenches, first hand, from a teacher who had to do just that during the Indo-Pak war of 1971.
All the while, we only hope it will not rain heavily. But, rain gods have their way. It drizzled a little heavily. We got to see some slush, but not enough to stop us.

If a European, who lived through World War I horrors, and lived through the trench warfare woke up from the graves today and walked on the road where the office is, and voila… I am sure he would find nothing amiss. The trenches were practically of the same dimensions as they were in 1915. The difference he would find would be the concrete and glass buildings all around, and of course taller buildings.

I wonder how are the well-heeled denizens in the locality managing their lives. Do they stay cooped up or go out leaving their airconditioned cars behind and fell the petrichor (the smell of rain on dry ground) perhaps?

But, it is many a times better and definitely healthier than what I have had to see and smell… the pure sewage that flows on the very same road when it rained. I remember at the start of the career, in 1999, it was a story of the raw sewage and the story is repeated every time on the road when it rains in Bangalore… that is twice a year — during the monsoons and again during the retreating monsoons.

At night the excavators continue to hum and haw, sounding perhaps like the advancing tanks that often sent a shiver down the spine of the soldier hiding in the trenches. Now, when the trenches will be filled we may need caterpillar tracks for the vehicles knowing the skillful work done by the civic authorities.

I may also need to buy some gum boots to deal with the freshly dug earth having played with by the rain gods and the civic gods. As I walk on the road I ensure that I as at atleast 4 of my colleagues are with me as we all walk hand-in-hand. At least even if one loses his/her foot, the others can hold the person up and prevent him/her from falling onto the road which could leave looking like a person working in a paddy field.
Or, perhaps an easier option would be for me to go on a week’s vacation while the trenches are filled up, and come later to answer questions of the superiors.

del.icio.us:Trenches... But, Not For War Time digg:Trenches... But, Not For War Time newsvine:Trenches... But, Not For War Time reddit:Trenches... But, Not For War Time Y!:Trenches... But, Not For War Time