A weekly column on stories that didn’t make it
The thing about being a journalist is that you rarely have time for your self. You know the whole drill…research, interviews, filing stories, editing copies, making pages. So when this reporter had to buy a new phone, she just had an hour to decide and buy it, after which she had to rush for a press conference, without familiarising herself with the phone or its ring tones. At the event she kept hearing a low, appreciative whistle. Assuming it was the journalist seated next to her acting smart, she changed her seat in fury. But the whistling didn’t stop. She stormed away. Back safe at her desk, in the office, she was perplexed when she heard the whistle again. Turned out it was her new phone.
This reporter was at a photo exhibition of an artist who looks at the world differently and photographs himself in his lopsided world; walking vertically up a tree, sitting on top of a lopsided chimney and at the edge of a rock. In one particular picture, the artist is walking vertically up a rocky mountain but he’s not alone; an insect had placed itself right next to him, on the frame, as if trying to match this feat. “And you thought this was tough,” it seemed to be saying.
A vicious contest broke out between two groups of Indian tour operators and journalists travelling together on a bus in Sri Lanka recently. While one group was from Chennai, the other was from Mumbai. Initially, each wanted to make an impression but eventually, it only ended up in creating a considerable tension between them. Just when the situation threatened to get out of control, a journalist came up with the idea of an antakshari contest. The Chennai team did not know Hindi or Marathi songs while the Mumbai team did not know Tamil numbers, save one — ‘Kolaveri di.’ So, the contest began with both teams singing it. Both teams were unwilling to relent and just when moderators were wondering how it would end, the Chennai team was asked to sing a song beginning with ‘Ja’. They brought the contest to a peaceful end, singing a song that made everybody stand up — the National Anthem.
Raising the bar on dal?
Reporters tend to go everywhere on work. They also tend to forget that everyone doesn't know that. As one journalist discovered, much to her embarrassment. She was at a party and at one point everyone started discussing the dal at a city restaurant. “Oooh, you won't believe how good the dal at the Puzhal Jail is,” she gushed. It took her a while to realise why the room suddenly went silent, and the other guests started quietly edging away.