A column on stories that didn’t make it

If there's one thing reporters in Chennai dread more than they do deadlines, it’s summer. Going out on an assignment at around 11.30 a.m. with the harsh sun beating down on her, this reporter was thankful when a glass of chilled fruit juice was offered to her by a kind office boy during an interview. After the interview, when the PRO of the firm said “Do you need anything else?” The reporter couldn’t contain her curiosity and asked, “May I know what juice that was? It was great but I couldn’t figure out which fruit it was.”

Not so smart

Smartphones can be pretty dumb. Bloopers are easy to explain to friends. But they can be embarrassing when you are a reporter communicating with your sources, as one of our colleagues recently discovered. She was texting a company CEO, apologetically explaining why she wouldn’t be able to attend an event that evening, saying “I won’t make it, unfortunately.” However, her hand slipped before she ended the sentence, and her iPhone autocorrected it to, “I won't be able to make it, uncle.” She looked at her phone in horror, paralysed. Then it beeped with the reply, “No problem, sister.” Fortunately, the CEO had a sense of humour.

Oh deer!

We set out as a group into the tiger reserve a little after dawn. Some twenty of us, led by a guide from a tribal community, walked in silence, taking in the early morning sounds of the forest. Gradually, the team split into smaller groups that set out in various directions. I stuck to our guide, for he seemed dependable — he also gave me interesting trivia about the forest that went into my story. The path narrowed; we spotted fresh elephant dung along the way. Our guide stopped and looked around. “They are close by,” he said, his eyes scanning the vegetation. Suddenly, a loud trumpet tore through the silence. We trekked further on, hoping for a glimpse of the elephants. My heart raced — would we come face-to-face with a herd? We lost hope as we neared the end of the trek. But a pleasant surprise awaited us as we turned a corner — a herd of blissful spotted-deer!