Monday, September 29, 2003

got inducted yesterday. realised that almost every newspaper in this country has had an illustrious past thanks to the freedom struggle, but almost every one of them has been reduced to a money making venture now. was given some gyan (?) by the senior editor on how it's the marketing division which makes a paper run and that reporters are mere fact collectors, arrogant at that and make lousy writers. it's the editors who run the show.

too much humiliation for the day. also listened to about 6 hours of financial mumbo jumbo and management gobbledeegook on the functioning of the organisation. so as i hear, there are no trade unions here.

one thing doesent change. everybody curses the TOI. haha. when all else fails seek respite by blaming the TOI. the TOI guys must be having a hearty laugh in their ivory tower.

i wish it was a world where one didnt need money to survive.

shibbs is on her way to acquiring the Beauty Pageant beat. haha.

well, more on crime, it's so easy to write "the accused confessed..." the process which led to the confession is i am sure a torturous one.

michelle, the tomboy from school is a hot shot chef at the Oberoi...she once played a prank on me in school where she fed me a cake made of toothpaste. haha. i got nearly suspended for not squealing on her. we would rebel against the nuns by rolling down our socks and wearing skirts shorter than the required length. it was fun pissing them off. somehow i would always land up in the batch or class that was most infamous and had to invariably forfeit picnics and camps. so we'd get taken to these crappy gardens or a softdrink bottling plant or the aarey Milk colony..the best trip was to the was the only celestial experience i have had so far.

so as i hear, batchmates from school have got married...some have become mothers...some have eloped. wow!! a lot does happen in a span of 5 years. Whatever happened to Women's lib??

also met JB uncle for a reference letter. JB neighbour for almost 10 years...JB uncle who put up a notice saying, "forget the dogs, beware of owner" haha. JB uncle...who has seen me ever since i was like 2 and a half feet high...(haven't grown much since though)

Jb uncle..hmmm, if we ever had like a 'best dad' competition i am sure the kids in the colony would have defintely voted for him. he always knew how to make us kids have a good time. would take us on drives, tell us stupid jokes...

when in college he coined the phrase, "assholes of the world have nothing to lose but your farts" hahaha. so that was jb uncle. and when i met him yesterday, he had grayed a little more, his voice had grown deeper, and we talked about the politics and the economics of this country. well, some change of topic that....

Sunday, September 28, 2003

so as i see, it the zonkboard has more interesting stuff than my blog itself.

the only steve i know has to steve ross from columbia. (i am such a namesdropper..haha) he was like the funniest guy. used to teach probability with the help of "pizza and anchovies" i think food was integral to the profs at acj. i mean even joan pinkham (there i go again) used to teach us grammar with the help of chocolate cake and then suddenly remember that she is in a third world country and ask, "do u know what a chocolate cake is?" and then we used to talk endlessly about starvation deaths when sainath used to come to lecture. so either it was exciting food or no food at all. as for the canteen, the best part about it was the terrace adjoining it. the view reminded me of opera house in bombay. spent too much time just staring from there.

as for developments in the work front here, i generally have sundays off until raveena tandon decides to go planting trees then. stupid event, where everybody was trying to up and close with raveena. nothing against her. she looks great and is pretty ok to journos.

chasing criminals is getting tougher than i thought, although the polce are now getting easier to deal with. but sometimes you don't know whom to beware of, the criminal or the preventer fo crime.

met paro, awesome house and all. and of course met sreeji. god save mumbai now. haha. generally, he seems to have a grown a foot or too longer, the killer accent is still there and so are the sad jokes.

had my first experience at ruthless editing. an entire piece of my article...just chopped off mercilessly, all because they had to place an ad there. i am kinda feeling bad about it, coz it was really important. the part they chopped off was more important than the stuff they retained. i can hear the publisher stomping in and out of his room yelling "i want human interest stories, do u understand? human interest stories. give me more of that."

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

so shibbs goes to interview jerry pinto (well known eccentric, most known in the student circuit for having referred to his students at Sophia's as "wet little c#$%s"!!) and naresh fernandes on a book about Mumbai, titled Bombay meri jaan. firstly, most overused term for mumbai, and secondly most overwritten subject on planet earth. frankly speaking, i think writers and other well known personas have just romanticised this notion of bombay.

but anyways, so wanted to go with her, but couldn't, so advised her to do the birdie dance in case jerry pinto started acting eccentric. haha.

shibbs is getting used to the ignoramuses in the city. some chick actually asked her if she was a foreigner since she belongs to Assam.

hectic two days, but having the time of my life. went to cover a maintenance charge disputein a building in Andheri and was really confused. heard both the parties to the dispute and was totally confused as to whom to believe. so decided to be a fly on the wall finally and just reported both sides. also had to got throuhg several sections of the co-operative housing society act as well as balance sheets...this is one profession where you need to be jack of all trades and master of none. 5 stories in two days, with all the travelling all over lokhandwala...phew!! anyways on the upside, the cops are finally beginning to take me seriously and give me info from what is not in the Crime Report as well. not bad for three weeks..what say??

but the more important thing is that i met this 62 year old retired journo, CPI member. he took me tohis house, showed me his mini library, spoke to me about "those years", about the split in the CPI and how he was shattered, about why the CPI are not able to come to power, about Gujarat, about the increasing commercialisation of everything from newspapers to souls. promised to meet him at the WSF.

that's what i love about this profession. you get to meet so many different people, learn new things, develop new ideas...generally, get to do something new everyday!!

also bonded with the senior reporters in office. they were initiating me into the office politics and making fun of my leftist leanings all at the same time. but they are such a fun lot. was having this little chat on why the left has most of the intellectuals. manthan thinks it's only because the left decides who is an intellectual. well, at least they decided something.

also spoke to Paro, she is on her way to becoming sucheta dalal. haha. promised to meet up as well.

Monday, September 22, 2003

am sooooooooooooooo tired and sleepy that i am soon going to turn narcoleptic and somnambulic. totally overworked and beat.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Harivanshrai Bacchan will be turning in his grave if he ever saw Boom and worse if he saw his son, the one and only Amitabh Bacchan in it. well, thanx to deedee_gogo we had to sit through the entire torture.
so as i hear, my chief reporter has quit. will have to cover the whole of Lokhandwala by myself. should be fun though.
Mum thinks i am going to be chased by all the crminals of Lokhandwala. haha.

Friday, September 19, 2003

so everything in life has a way of balancing itself. we get to do a couple fo stories on civic issues and then finally end up covering an amateur beauty pageant. We are a generation devoid of heroes. it's always about money, fame and everything else that goes along with it.

met a lady who likes our paper, hates the TOI, thinks they are losing focus. also went to cover a phonics workshop in a school in Malad. according to the lady conducting the workshop we have all been taught to read and write the wrong way. That is it!! a lifetime of deception is too much to endure. so we are supposed to learn to write first and then read. The principal of the school was trying to use me as her PR agent.

spent the evening with shibbs by covering a beauty pageant. had the most awful ice cream in my life. can't bear the sight of another ice cream cone for some time now. and then rounded up the day by watching Dil Chahta Hai with Shibbs for the umpteenth time, mouthing all the dialogues along. I don't care what the oldies think about this film!! simply loved it!! aamir khan looks yummy!!

Thursday, September 18, 2003

well, it feels like i am working for a redressal board or something. "please solve our water problem also". at times it gets hilarious. "my nineteen month old can point out places on the map". (pavlovian conditioning?) at times it gets demanding. "please could you publish my article on the First page." (sorry boss!!we have something called the editor) at times downright outrageous." i run a consultancy. you can interview me for your paper. also show me the article before it gets published." (hoo babe, get a grip!!) it sometimes feels like getting a freak show together, the one in the fairs where they have a one-eyed man, and an ape man and things like that. but i guess it's all a part of the game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

i discover that my pics aren't deleted after all. Hail modern technology!! anyways lotsa important stuff happening..I got the lead for Metro Malad. also made a local footballing kid look like a martyr. bonded with my chief reporter (I don't think she likes me too much..thinks of me as a pesky little rookie or something). Rajdeep was in Xavier's lecturing the kids on the role of media. Never mind...i don't even want to opine on that.

Shibbs and I have to go and interview yuppie joggers today.

Monday, September 15, 2003

so now, I am Crime Buster Gogo. haha. have to cover local crime stories. which includes networking with the anti extortion cell and the DCP's of vrious zones in Mumbai. anything from Pappu Pager to Mannu Mobile gets covered.
have already faced my first disaster at work. went to the Bandra fair.(now, why would anyone in their right senses visit that's crowded, hot and dirty!!) clicked a lot of nice pics, generally kids blowing bubbles, kids crying, oldies hogging, shockingly coloured sweets (i think I will get cancer just at the mere sight of the get them in every colour from jet black to fuschia pink!!) and shibbs and i trudged our way along, interviewing people of all shapes and sizes and temperaments...and after a long tiring day, discover that none of the snaps had actually been taken. these damn digital cameras. i hate technology.grr!! hmph!!

but had a nice evening, went to this chinese place called Five Spice (I am sure the waiters are Nepalese). had a huge dessert called Mission Impossible! stood true to its name. It was monstrously huge. had to rope in suhas and geeks to finish it.

got to do a screw-JW Marriot story now.

Sunday, September 14, 2003

so, now i am the water lady, where people from Timbaktoo write to me to solve their water problems. also do a few celeb events. those are the ones i dread, coz i never knwo what to ask them. Shibbs is getting asked out to lunch by her readers. she calls me The Battleaxe. go figure that one out.

tried watching an italian film, then a chinese film and then finally settled for James Bond.

"Nostalgia is a hopelessly all encompassing vice; and it is hopeless, because it constructs a world that is never a 'now' but one that 'was' or 'could have been'. - Sanjoy Hazarika.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

a little bit of self indulgence and a little bit of self patting my back...

this is more rewarding that i thought. a report on the BMC screwing up on water supply and wow!! the media conscious BMC improves the water supply. so i am little kicked about the thank you calls and the congratulatory mail. people call up to say that have daughters with my name. so is this what they call feel good journalism??

this whole local reporting thing rocks!! i mean you get so much space to follow up and bring about changes.

met a senior from ACJ at work who seems to have met a certain someone from ACJ. she is feeling extremely underachieved now. haha.

a busy day today, have to report on an unrepaired subway, playground that has become a dumping ground and a snow park that is going to open soon. all in the same breath.

I am now the Evil-Temptation-of Satan for Deepa. hahahahahaha. (evil laughter).

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

i am tabloidised beyond redemption. but my policy for now is "think local act global". yeah, yeah, there i go rationalising again.
well, thank god for small mercies though. at least i don't get to do stories about people who have septic arms which are about to fall off and are miserable about not conceiving for 16 years and voila! they experience a miracle thanx to the mount on Bandra!!
shibbs needs to go in for confession. i am convinced about that. haha. the number of divine interventions she has been having this week...

well, met this creep from xavier's. orgo or some such name. was trying desperately to sound articulate and smooth. thought i now look philosophical and have drastically changed from college days. his role model is our very own smooth talker from ACJ. (no prizes for guessing who.) why is this world infested with xaverites?

Vijfart is heading to the land where women deck themselves to go to the loo. hope he remembers me when he becomes rich and scandalous.

Stephen King is the baap of horror. have spent about a week of sleepless nights dreaming about mutant vultures and creatures from the oozing fuschia pink blood.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

well, had a good weekend. have been redeemed by Shivani and have also been dubbed as a good sport by her. life couldn't get better.
On a slightly depressive plane though. have been let down. not that i just realised it though. but was just reassured of it. hence the depression.

Friday, September 05, 2003

scaling new Snake that is. reached 333.
midday is the ony place that not only knows about acj but also likes acj students. in fact they have a special pay package for acj grads. yipppeee for Midday.
i wonder what Ram will think of this, after endless hours of lecturing us on Tabloidisation and Dumbing down.
there was math in the midday test. all those dreadful percentage sums. i could just picturise my dad in front of me yelling at me for making silly mistakes. what is it with dads and maths!!