All posts by Neeta

A lady journalist in permanent Azad mode, observer.. Developed a balcony garden, lover of rains..photo & video journalist

I'm single, so what??

Whats with people & their inquisitiveness regarding any person’s marital status? It’s infuriating to be asked all the while why am I single? As if I’m incomplete, something’s drastically wrong with me & deprived!! Grrhhh
I get very pitiful glances and more than that 100 reasons for marrying are given without being asked for. Earlier it would piss me off, it still does coz my singlehood is by ‘Deliberate’ choice-I guess this concept doesn’t exist in India?? Even among males? I’m NOT single due to lack of choice or failure to find an adaptable man-who I really don’t know is roaming freely somewhere in outer space!

Formalities are needed sometimes I think. Personal questions like weight (another sensitive issue is talked so loosely in our society), sex or lack of it, child bearing & marriage…are spoken immediately after people open their doors onto you. Its literally like a Hindi comedy film! You ring the bell & people greet u with “My look how much weight you have put on/lost! Why are still single? ” Etc etc. At least it happens so very often in our Indian families, even educated friends. Worst still-time is running out on you! wots this supposed to mean?

Then you have relatives who have the gall to their daughters-who obviously seem to lack any thinking powers- that stay away from this atya or mavshi or her influence will rub off you. May be they’d really get some wisdom if they care to see… 🙂

then is NOT wanting to have children…gosh have committed an offence? looks like. My bod clock never clicked away…its continuous all cycles purrfect…i just do NOT want kids, tho’ I luv them. The luv of my life is my best friend’s son…amaan…he brings sheer joy to my life. I’ve brought up kids, have had cousin’s daughter take her 1st step in front of me NOT them…isn’t this what all paretns go thru’????

I wonder why should my marital status affect any person. Unless people suddenly have begun envying me! I really think it’s a conspiracy that all these unhappily married ones want us singles to join them! The every 2nd police officer asking me “don’t mind ma’m but are u married?” i think they’ve already presumed my reply so their smirks say it all..

I told my arthur roda jailer friend one day, ma’m i’ve planned now to tell anyone who asks whether i’m single either that i’m married or widow, coz then it will evoke some sympathy for me. She takes the cake man, she told me, “aga nako, don’t tell divorcee else they’ll think ur over smart & u asked for it. say ur widow!!”

On a serious note this all irritates. Earlier I would try & reason, look I’ve a long way to go. Then I had career, then stopped short to study, since I graduated all seemed to be in a rush to get me married. Reason-i DONT look the studious types or wanting to study further types??? Most suspected that taking a break from my career wc had not even kicked off meant I’m throwing a hint at my family-I’ve someonetucked away. I’m still searching…hehe

But the worst is, people’s presumptions -Being single means being ‘AVAILABLE.’ Every married man eyes us single women. I’ve had married wanting to buy me lingerie of their choice. I’ve no qualms because they have been my friends & gifts are always welcomed. On serious note, I’ve tried to explain to them that they should surprise their wives too by buying them lingerie more than me. They dither.. feel their choice may not suit their wives’ and fear rejection from their wives??? Hello happily married i thot??

Each married male at whatever age wants to have an affair. Have they seen themselves in mirrors? UGHHHH – Its really infuriating to know that they think they are doing charity by telling they would like to have an affair with me coz they can’t see me alone!! I try & explain that I’m single NOT available & more so I ain’t deprived man!! Difficult to explain…firstly look at most of the men around. Does anyone even think I’ve lost it?? over 85 percent ko Na shakal ya akkal hai…less said the better.

Men have sex on top of their minds..it is gender reality..i’m fine wt it. Such is not the case with women-our reality. life is easier for us women. To top it all my drive & energy is focussed on getting a dhasu story, when I get, its like total orgasm!

Same with food, flavours & meeting people. As for companionship, I have enough, no dearth of it. Friends, acquaintances, parents, many old uncles & aunts who like my company…my friends, their children, all keep me occupied. As for me being looked after I’ve already begun preparing 2 kids for it –my friend’s son & my cousin’s daughter. Jokes apart life’ young, who knows who i may or not meet..its ok. Ashrams are there to take of me!

The pain, shame & gloom….

Hi,

these r thoughts that i had written during the Bombay riots in 1992. A lot happened during that time..visions that i still see, events that are vivid. My niece’s wedding was on Dec 6, 1992, when a BJP leader from Pune hugged my late brother-in-law, congratulated his leaders & himself.. Ecstatic that they had pulled down the Babri Masjid, I could feel the chill on my back coz i could envisage the events that would unfold in the next few days. Days? Seems the thread is broken forever..

i will be honest-i had NOT expected the killings to be so random, many & violent…worse still the repercussions  that a good community feeling has ruined our  society worse…Bombay was forcibly converted to Mumbai.

My father, sister & I still proceeded to Bombay the next day we thought of getting on wt our normal lives come what may. We left Pune by train & it was shocking- had to pull down shutters, fm Kalyan people had begun throwing stones at the trains, delays & people rushing wt fear in their eyes when we did reach VT. As we neared Girgaum there was not a soul on the streets..reminded me of the dark window days of Indo-Pak war.

For 2 days we managed to live on few foodies that were at home. I had to try innovative things to fill our stomachs, like crushing garlic into paste mix it wt butter for garlic-butter-paav & other such things…we had to threaten our father who has a habit of going out at unearthly hours like 5.45am! Good time when prowlers target unarmed people in tensed situations, why even police had resorted to all sorts of tactics…meanwhile baba & I would have Indo-Pak war coz his predicament & mine clashed. In addition i have a friend-Altaf, who’s name is a give away. So less said the better..it was tough for his family too that was uprooted from their home in Tardeo..life was not the same for all for few months. Years after normal life was restored, the Shaikhs could not put up their name plate! These are my thoughts…

1.

The air is tensed & the skies rage with hues of fires
Little children, youth & adults are gripped in a mania
Reason, is visibly absent
All perform ‘acts of duty’ with utmost loyalty
For whom? As inexplicable as the acts of violence
Ironic, you see hatred more on faces of those who pulled down the Masjid
Revenge is for those who saw their place of worship crumble

They have sent fear down streets of ‘Bombay’
No bearded man or a burqua lady is being spared
Men are forced to pull down their pants
witnesses ensure there’s no one circumcised!
Majority indulgences in thrills to satisfy their sadism
Scared they will be out numbered soon

Is this the triumph of any religion?
Who are these victorious soldiers?
What medals should be conferred on them for merciless muders?
Children have died, women raped & riots on the streets
Arson, shooting and houses destroyed as clouds of smoke blur the horizon
Sounds of swords, bottles and tube lights ring in the air

Are we the same peace-loving Indians? Is this democracy?

2.

‘This is just the beginning,’ warn the hardened Hindus
The quiet tolerance has disappeared
They smirk devising heinous plans
These frenzied have become the voice of majority
But most civilians are mere mute participating in a vicious game plan
Do they realise they are being used?
A chill is sent down our spines as the commissioner orders shooting a baker’s family
While in the suburbs a politician is cleared of carrying arms & explosives

Blame game has begun whilst a gangster has initiated a new terror chapter
A blanket of fear has covered the faces of common people
Bombayites witness one of their worst nightmare
While our government turns a blind eye to all destruction
Gory visuals leave all benumbed, sadly not shamed
The world watches Bombay change from cosmopolitan to communal

3.

The war continues..Now even the middle class has taken to looting, killing & force
Unfulfilled desires surface, as the rich too grab from the muck
Confusion surrounds the goals & motive for rioting, people look dressed for some haloween
Except no sweets are asked at the door, they break-in to spread terror

Anger, pain, and isolation have embraced the scary souls
Haunting memories make them shiver
Lights are out in mohallas where all whisper in fear
Nameplates are missing from doors & many tip toe towards nearest city exits

The homeless huddle in clusters & cries of children echo the over crowded stations
Platforms have disappeared under sea of humanity, all look in stunned silence
Only heads are visible-caps or burquas many have still retained their lost identity
For many the journey of migration to safety has begun, destination still unknown

4.

Are these crackers heralding a New Year or gunshots & blasts?
Shimmering sparkle have set the streets on fire
The epidemic of religious frenzy has spread wildly
Humanity has been thrown in a whirlpool of pain
Most have been uprooted, is this a war?

The markets are closed & goods vanished
Only ashes remain on the ground
Hunger is the last worry on their minds
Fathers are prevented from going to work,
Police arrest thousands from only one community

Leaders cry for strong action but the administration fails to deliver
Is this the city I was born in?
Everyone seems to have joined hands to claim their share of ‘power’
These are plain chess moves & the reigns in the hands of conspirator
Madness continues as even noble attempts to restore peace seem superficial

The culprits are at bay, but rest live in a world of suspicion, hostility & revenge
All have been used & abused, but the conspirators sleep well
The crack is now evident, they have succeeded in dividing us
All we can now do is plaster & paint,
But we will never be able to hide our shame

5.

My journey on the BEST began being seated on the last row
My serenity was broken suddenly by loud sounds of laughs and loose talks
The hooligans rushed to squeeze next to me What was the excitement?

After many days this travel was possible
The bus was full as my eyes searched for rescue from the taunts & jibes
Ahead sat a lonely man isolated from the rest
His beard was a give away, my saviour was right there!
He like few had still not shed their respect.

Travel trails

Mumbai’s local trains have always been talked of, more by ‘outsiders.’ Sudden tales of Samaritans, or horror stories crop up more details follow in the columns…But even as a Mumbaikar or preferably Bombayite I NEVER identified with the monsters who travelled in these trains. I know they’re packed like sardines-apt name, considering the odour too wc often is rattling for someone like me who has a very sharp nose!

I don’t like being pushed, period! It brings out a beast in any person & I see that everyday. Free advice, jostling, pushing & human beings cease to exist as beings, we become like furniture pieces, eg. Instead of asking u, requesting u like decent normal beings, WOMEN (???) suddenly fucking poke in ur arm, shu shu…kidhar utarna hai? Sometimes I look dumb, vow I love it, brings out the worst in them. They speak in dirty hin-mara as in Hindi-marathi, call me dumb, extra smart etc. Else I say don’t know i’m undecided…or pick up a fight saying muh se bolna haath kyu lagati hai…& wipe off her touch frm ma body!

The other thing being speed…yucks! Everyone wants to chase, run, be there first. Always wondered why don’t we make great sportspersons? may b the sports minister should just contact the Mumbai’s local railway authorities, or come & do a recki of our stations! PT Usha will be put to shame. Jostle, push, wanting to get out first!

I LOVE buses…they meander thru’ all streets, the pace is the driver’s u can ‘SEE’ loads fm the windows…yes there r probs in buses too..especially if u have to go under the arm pits of sweaty, smelly ones!! yuck! I dont know why in our country like sex many do NOT like deos!! we r like this only baba. Smelly, stinky even in the mornings…NO wonder people r put off with each other.

Now on Tues 23rd Jan, I decided to inflict torture on myself- so no fucking suburbanite can accuse a townie (why me? coz i’ve even travelled in Virar trains, have gone standing for over 1&1/2 hrs starved, thirsty, all ready to pee) of NOT experiencing the travails and problems they go through daily! Sounds very magnanimous & charitable na? So from Mahim I took a train to Malad!

Firstly it was the 1st class, if you thot there was any ‘class’ difference, just keep it at home & scoot off. Of course I stood at the door, but how! 4th standing. On both the sides women of all sizes-NO probs man..but these very comfortable women take objections to others’ sizes.

If ur on the big side ‘bai ga…kay hicha vajan, dekho na moti…if ur thin, she ga baya, kay hichi katadi, bochtat meli…so on so forth. So on both the sides of the coach this is the case, with remaining all of us squashed from all sides.

I really wonder how daily travel in these trains can help people retain fat is a miracle! Then one mod gal got in fm somewhere. Tapped me once- some 460 volts lightening went from my toes to ma head! I hate anyone touching when I respect someone else’s space i expect rather demand the same. thx to my mp3 player, I’m less hot-headed now tho’ enough for the amount required to stay sane in Mumbai’s locals.

I told her she could go ahead if she wanted but no need to touch me. After a while I thot I had become a hanger. Felt being pushed on my neck. I snapped at her telling her firmly wt glaring looks ‘don’t touch me, coz if I did the same u won’t be seen standing.u can go without disturbing me.’ Ofcorz I was pleased with myself smiling fm ear to ear.

Caught the attention of another smiley & endowed woman who stood next to me…she too was being pushed around. She smiled & informed the woman to chill –something to that effect. She was happily pushed by a kid as we spoke. Thx to ma mp3 I said aloud, ‘wots wt these people, are these women or animals?’ kiddie heard me & said its not right to call women animals, very humiliating and Shrewd (??? English baby) smiled & said its a compliment…english i tell u! She lamented she didn’t push deliberately bcoz some woman was getting off. Wots wt ‘had to’ was forced??’ isn’t there a mouth to say excuse me?? So I got one more chance, said its not u only girl its all here who want to push. We are all king kongs in this compartment.

We 2 women chatted & meanwhile suddenly one lot of women stormed inside the coach! Pushed? Its an understatement! Seriously by then my 36 size had been reduced by quite few inches!! Hands felt like they’d left my sides, feet ceased to exist. One typical kobra girl screamed, aga bai tumahra duppata gira hai, sambhal na! Another went on lecture a girl (like me in the middle) how she had stood incorrectly & how if she moved a bit all could stand in a better way. Best part is all were standing perfectly well! No one was imbalanced – except us who were being jostled, de dhana dhan! This conversation contd, some idle women butted in it saying sahi hai kaise yeh khadi hai wt sound effects like chaha. Oh! i forgot all this is interspersed with hard knocks in the ribs, boobs, strong nudges, etc. some like me anticipate & push back my elbow, push hard into the stomach of the nadia hunterwali!

Other thing is Doling out free & uninvited advice is the birth right of Indians! Im sure we all have heard how if ‘Tendlya (as in Sachin Tendulkar) had played on the off-side, then he would have hit a four, how tendlya should field, bat, etc, or ganguly ko ab cricket chodna chahiye…or even more remarkable how the actors should run their lives, kaise yeh aj kal ki ladkiyan adjust nahi karti na?

Ya if the advice of female train travellers is taken seriously then they will have problems with even two commuters on board. They have a problem, that’s the bottom line. Plus god knows wot frustrations? Looks they are not taken seriously in their personal lives so they compel others to listen to their phookat ka advice.

I talked aloud with the other woman, wots the problem? Free advice is being given all around but no one has been left behind on the station? Then suddenly some women began inquiring, where ru getting off, kidhar utarna hai?? Chalo chalo aise beech mein mat kade raho, all the while pushing, shouts of aah, ouch, arey kya kar rahi ho, pair par ho hato pl…sounds very corny I know…arey thoda side mei jao na..agar utarna nahi hai to beech mei kyu hai?? Nalayak, kay baika, etc etc

I could see all wanted to be a the gate first! So I told my friendly neighbour, all want to go first? Its a fucking race! Wonder then India hasn’t yet produce one fastest sportsperson, these women should participate instead. Ofcorz women ignored me like plague ..wc is ok…I wanted to make a statement & I got it straight from the heavens above!

Then andheri came, ai age chalo, kya kar rahe hai, yeh kaisi auratein hai becch mein khadi hai…more pushing fm the gate into us helpless ones. I was by then falling behind on the seat, coz the rest is only for waist below! I thot most of these women were frustrated & wanted to say it aloud wc I did ofcorz…in addition I loudly lamented, seems we Indians don’t like sex & its obvious we are deprived of it, that’s why we see women fight like this everyday!

By then my friend fm The Hindu saw me & was in splits to see how I was indulging in self-inflicted torture. She even said now she knew the secret to my weight loss, wc ofcorz is noticeable but I also think I had shrunk by 10 kgs on that very journey.

Thankfully by then Malad, or should I say Mallad (as gujjus pronounce) arrived! I was shocked to see lesser crowd & really was disoriented after alighting on the platform. Truly my sides pained after I sat in the auto…

New year's over

Thank god! The new year frenzy’s over. I can’t understand this whole buzz…rush to celebrate anything especially public displays of New Year, Valentines – gawd i hate that celebration & those darn idiotic protests to prevent those who wish to display their sex, luv, romance, friendship (wc few do) publicly. ggghhhrrr….

pressure to spend more i think..more so each outdoing the other. Affordability is last of one’s priority. Then the dresses -do they undress more? This reminds me, a good designer friend of mine has gotten me latched onto a hobby..’observe’ all people who come to Marriots. I anyways luv to observe. We stand on the small loft, a corner adjacent to the coffee shop; i nearly fall down crouching holding onto ma sides seeing how people dress to come to a 7-star hotel & how they eat at the buffet. Sorry, its NO prying its all out in the open. Since this precarious lil spot’s bang opp to the famous pub-disc of marriots u can see them all!!!!!

so now i can breathe lil easy. Now that new year buzz. No one prying into ma private space of celebrations, forcing a resolution out of me (even at this age!) no one showing too much inquisitiveness reg my exercise regime, food restrictions -wc i have NONE; too much curiosity of ma sex life, altho’ they confuse it wt a love life -wc is NO one’s concern. So then pronto my horns stnad out, bitchiness oozes as i reassure all, “I may b single but honey im NOT deprived!” sending these catty ones murmuring abt ma atitude, how i need someone to mellow me, etc…

The these sick celeb wishing smses…gawd…replies. Now for every small thing there are mass smses that plague our in-box. Makar sankrant?? didn’t know there were smses for it..pl wish people didn’t just talked sweet, but smelt sweet, coz people in this country don’t know that deos r available for even Rs 50; More than anything why can’t people behave sweet here? Mumbaikars r out to kill each other even if someone like me walks aimlessly, looks lost on a railway platform. Its like u gotto have a look of a killer wt the eyes focussed on ur target! gosh..dont people breathe easy???

So now i can sit back & see that as the calendar gets old i can bravely display it on office table, coz these rascals steal stuff! Every yr my friend anne margaret gets me the HDFC table & wall calendar, wc was stolen by someone when i walked on Jan 2 in the DNA off. Stealing is in some kleptomaniac’s DNA!! ok..off to a bad start for this week. will write more later

Pitts

We are a nation of sensitive people or is that an understatement? we had a showdown wt Brad Pitt’s bodyguards. That most bodyguards are like our very own naukars or chamchas of stars & politicians..the saying goes, “har naukar ko lagta hai ki woh maalik hai!” applies to these bodyguards too….

first in Namibia where those bodyguards bashed public, then pulling the collar of a phirang media person then a showdown wt our parents…We our bloody Indians…but we are also proud to be so. Sadly we still suffer from the colonial hangover. And as usual none of the channels have realised that authentic media is different from Papparazi…wc these channels insist on calling us including theselves..morons i tell u!!

Then the fact that they bodyguards have been abusive. If Pitt thot the arrest of his body’s guards was the pits then well he needs a second dekho. One of my friend photographer was told by the gora “come out & see if i don’t fuck you.”

Now now…did we accuse them of us calling us names?? i really wish i was present at the spot!! How i wish miss saying behenchod…to these goras..well same as what they called us..anyways that’s life of covering goras..

last time i remember Bill Gates came when Gowda was PM?? Well one hand lady -that’s her surname- who’s of the sizer of a pot insisted we CANT switch on the lights of our video camera since he has been disallowed from going into the sun…yet we robbed few visuals wt the lights on! Im paid to get a story & my commitment is to my job so i will get the expected visuals & story

She put her hand on the lense…a mistake she didn’t realise till the moment i pulled her hand away & threatened to break her bones very sternly but politely…i told her she may be paid by microsoft but Im NOT…

Diwali happenings

ya its been a month since i’ve written. A lot has happened in this last month.

Finally Khwaja Yunus’s mother can see a ray of hope. Its a pathetic story of a young Muslim youth who was an IT engr who had come down to Parbhani to get married. Instead of getting married, he was rounded up the police. They called him on his cell & said he was reqd for investigations, he was at a picnic & asked the police to come halfway so that their time would be saved. I’m yet to come across a ‘terrorist’ who wld go out of his way to help the police! & police called Khwaja terrorist.

having said this..Khwaja was then rounded up taken by police to Mumbai on the pretext that he planted the bomb in BEST bus Ghatkopar. All the others including Dr Mateen, a forenscic expert were put in lock-up. They were termed ‘terrorists.’

During the interrogation Khwaja was beaten…he was a lean boy, so he cldn’t take beatings beyond a point. He died & succumbed to the torture meted out to him.

Dr Mateen saw this. Meanwhile police picked his body & took it to Uran..an island off Mumbai. There they have allegedly burnt his body. Khwaja’s parents launched search for him & filed a petition in court, demanding that Khwaja be brought to them dead or alive!

The police meanwhile drew up action-filled bollywood ishtyle drama of Khwaja escaping…the investigating officer Sachin Vaze, made up this plan saying that Khwaja was handcuffed, the car taking him via Parner -archiac road that NO one travels on today to go to Aurangabad. They say he ran away with Police station log book when he was handcuffed! and their story goes on…

However much to the dismay of the Ghatkopar police, Dr Mateen spilled the beans in court. He said he saw Khwaja was beaten & he vomitted blood & thereafter he died in a day. Dr Mateen was the only one to say Khwaja died of torture.

The Mumbai police had litle to lose had they to say Khwaja was lean & could not take the ivnestigations, max 2-3 policemen would’ve faced suspension, but more importantly they would’ve saved some shame & name! Today 14 policemen have been arrested in this case & 29 are alleged to b involved in this crime.

The sessions court also held a fantastic encounter specialist Praful Bhosale guilty. In this case I can say he was made scape goat by his seniors. A genuinely nice officer, but the rest have escaped & are now being asked to get out of Mumbai by the court. Till now the home dept & police have protected the errant policemen.

However the involvement of police became one political issue. Sad but true the whole force has been used by politicians. Today Bhosale’s out of the force i really wonder how much Shiv Sena & Narayan Rane’s helped him. They staged demostrations..but Bhosale was found guilty wt 3 others. If Khwaja would have been some Dayanand & say the policemen were either Dalits or Muslims, would anyone fm any party have supported these police? Then patriotic & nationalist pride & spirit is all 4gotten.

Khwaja’s paretns meanwhile fought hard to clear his name. The villagers in Parbhani out casted them or avoided them. Soon as the turth began unfolding they were re-accepted. The family lives in poverty & their well-earning son has been killed.

The family was promised Rs 5000 till Khwaja’s death is known but what’s unknown is that they have not been given this money till now. Khwaja’s father also died a broken man. He fought hard to save his son’s name & give him a respectful last rites, but has been deprived of it. Now Hashiya Begum too is trying.

Meanwhile a very senior IPS officer said that the Mumbai police want the Yunus’s family to take back the case. The police approached Abu Azmi-yes i know he’s a politician that most luv to hate- but he has stood by Yunus’s family. He got them to agree, police were going to pay a crore, yes. But then the police tried a dirty trick they said they will give money ONLY on condition that Hashiya begum says she received a call fm Khwaja!!!!

so now finally court has begun ordering the govt & police chief to take action, else the transfer of Pradeep Sharma? Khwaja’s mother says this eid is just lil different because at least some small steps towards justice are being taken. However she strongly believes that the day her son’s killers are arrested, it will be real eid for the family!

Horsey sounding tvwalas

Is it that i’ve become intolerant-wc i just love if it sounds so-or rather the truth is that ALL TV anchors & reporters look alike & sound horsily LOUD!! they’re like shouting into ur face…outshouting each other, huge frowns on their faces, as if the world has fallen & they are THE only ones to witness it. On top of it they are THE ones NOT informing u, but TELLING it to you the way they WANT it to be…

The truth is that if Barkha breaks news on one channels-YES with that frown, u have rajdeep do the same, Ashuto-o-osh on another, some bhaiya on Aaj Tak (definitely NOT punya prasoon), Dibang on another & someone on star. If a person hears them all on various screens they sound the same-SHOUTING/BELLOWING wt their lungs bursting out…Hands vigorously moving around in air & ofcourse the famous BLINKING…& at the end u wonder if anyone has given u the REAL information…What’s with Indian TV & shouting? they all also look alike…Its NOT a joke…bcoz their expressions are the same.

But why are they telling us? I thot TV is informing thru’ visuals, showing pictures & frames that speak LOUDER than their voices & words! But sadly the focus instead of visuals is the loud sounding ‘reporter.’

The channels have to grow out of cutting live chats wt their reporters all the while. This ideally should happen if the reporter is on the way, they are yet covering/shooting the incident & meanwhile, the channels cut live to their journos or take phone-ins. NOT constantly cut to their reporters…

Journalist's tales…..

when i joined journalism i had absolutely insane, cynical & rude (mildly put) seniors who imbibed a certain spirit in us, made us sit up & think abt our profession, that we MUST have a certain discipline, passion & COMMITMENT -altho’ many among them did NOT possess it is another issue…

We were put through gruelling times & believe me it was UNFAIR…seniors who ridiculed our ideas but passed them onto someone else in a jiffy! Seniors who rubbished our ideas & few months later we’d see someone else’s by line to the same story suggested!! worse still seniors who said our stories were worth trashing & would carry the same day wt their own bylines!! Yet, these very seniors taught us a lot thru’ their example & otherwise.

Some rare good ones were confident of themselves, tore our copies and made us re-write in simple conversational language…made us unlearn all that we’d learnt. Some even led by example. We could discuss the world wt them without having to fear ridicule. They taught us to produce a ‘dhasu’ story! They helped us smell news that’s likely to become BIG….

Even today if there’s anything that makes me smile sincerely, is when i get a dhasu story, covered wt the same amount of passion that I had began my career with. Today i’m a dinosaur!!! Old & forgotten species..Yes in the day new era of news people like me are nearly forgotten.

Today-spare me if a sound like an old Parsi aunty-(wc i’m proud if i do sound), MOST news organisations are hiring young, just-out-of-college kids, anorexic, who wear minimal clothes wt shakal but NOT necessarily akkal. Many who are abso immature & to top all they are in journalism for MONEY & QUICK FAME…what quality of news are we going to expect? They are asked to bring bytes & stories are made like desk-top pieces in the studios.

There was a sonic boom- a ball of fire wt a loud sound- airforce exercise wc was to take place across the seas but mistakenly was conducted across the residential areas of Karjat in October 2oo4. News telecasted- one channel said a Plane crashed & later at least apologised. A leading Hindi news channel said one plane crashed into three pieces but NO clue of the passengers. The sabse tez said they sighted an UFO!! Yes…then for 3 days the channels forgot all abt this news. No astronaut, scientist or minister saying anything. It was later confirmed that it was a sonic boom!

One more black day was when the Mah CM was to be declared, the news reporters fm channels were in their rush to get exclusive news first. so they prepared the son-in-law of the former CM (now central power min) as their main source!! I was moving b/w the State assembly, Cong & NCP office. By afternoon i was informed by my friends in Cong & NCP that Vilasrao had signatures of 47 MLAs & he had staked claim to become the CM else he would cause rebellion.

It was the BLACKEST day for TV news. Sabse tez went abt giving detailed report & live phone-ins abt how Sushilkumar Shinde had become the CM…i was in NCP when my friend fm Star news called & asked how come my favourite bet had lost the chance …I told him he had wrong info. NDTV ran similar news but thks to Rajdeep he pulled up the local bureau head (famous crime reporter) & they actually apologised. He ridiculed that their source was son-in-law of shinde since he proved to be very stupid & dumb! pranab mukherjee had filled in rajdeep wt all the details….. others forgot all about apologising.

Recently again sab se tez declared that the living deputy chairman of state legislative council had died-vasant davkhare-when the person who died was NCP min vasant chavan.

More recently when Mahajan was shot by his brother channels ran a breaking news that he moved his eyes & fingers!!

Sadly whatever may b the case I don’t hear many complaining….

blast from past

the July 11, 2006 blasts in Mumbai surely rocked the city…whatever anyone may say….damn all those ‘spirit of Mumbai’ ball talks…people have NO goddamn choice but to go for work. We work for shit organisations where bosses are complete arse holes whether govt, NGO or otherwise…anyone person says they can’t make it either they cut half day or full day pay. this is the fate of a normal working class person in our city.

As for us journalists forget…we are breed that sucks!! we want to milk the cow but in such a shoddy manner that the cow gets bored and either dies or just sleeps halfway. Most of the channels went on about the helping hand…wc was true..but NO ONE showed or spoke of how the dead were not spared by the public. The late hockey player who died was fleeced by the very public that tried to save the victims!!

His gold chain, credit card, money??? we don’t even leave the dead alone, why blame Mahesh Bhatt, at least he’s pulling out the skeletons fm his own closet.

As for the investigations?? so much left said the better. Within two hours (thanks to the pressure fm Media & public) trains resumed. London metro was closed for 10 days. I agree we can’t afford to close down all our lines. But that part of track should have been cordone off for 10 days. No trace we have…

Later people who were with SIMI, some active some former were picked up left right & centre. thousands have been rounded off & taken to jail…illegally detained. Some beaten & abused. Even siblings of the arrested were NOT spared…i can vouch that in one family there are black sheep & often the relatives need not know what the trouble maker has been upto. Sometimes they may be aware but have distanced themselves…its possible & very normal…

May be the ivnestigating officers are from some other planet or world..who believe the alleged offender’s family is equally responsible!!

who are the REAL culprits?? What is their Main crime?? does the ATS know? we wonder. Worse still are the immature abso ridiculous journos who have been writing & showing…8 days & ATS has had NO breakthrough…10 days & no arrests still???? what is this a merry circus?

Do these journalists realise a terror attack may take years or NEVER to get to the root of this whole act/crime? How nonsensical is this pressure campaign?? Do the editors who are supposed to be seasoned journos even ask their reporters to file such stories? in fact these silly editors should be pulling up their reporters for reporting so immaturedly…

But when u hire novices and don’t train them this is what one should expect.

Bar bar…

there’s so much that has been said about the dancing bars that i may just break into a dance myself! The home minister RR Patil thinks from his heart plus he’s a good & simple man at heart…he may NOT have realised nor was he prepared for the outcome…since his very own colleagues were out to sink him on this issue!

At least one point is proved – that aba is a non-corrupt man..but then again it just should teach all a lesson that a good, simple & honest politician has little place & success in the world! The number of politicans & police who have stakes in bars is unthinkable. Especially the police. We know of stories of many journos who have gone to police stations & have been later escorted to get a peek-a-boo- with ‘free’ entry & drink couple of pegs (yes-yes free) at these bars where a plain cola costs Rs 350!! All thanks to the police.

Then ofcorz there are haftas, every night ka bandobast hota tha kya bhidu? besides some were also partners in sharing the bar profits…that’s life we may say, but obviously as a result these bars thrived. This was the main reason for aba to bring a ban on them. Did u also observe those who wrote the most of how bar dancers would be rendered helpless & how their closure would affect the society, are just some of journos who too have taken immense help, favours & even shared profits from the dance bar owners!

That’s to say about reporting on the human persepective!! So much diversity say wot?

Also i do NOT buy the common story across all bars & said about all chamiyas that they all come from extreme poverty & have six-seven mouths to feed. Well if all of us who have dependants & i include myself then just count…urself, parents, some have in-laws, babies…so shouldn’t we also get that ‘extra’ tip or money??? NOT all are dancing due to compulsions. Not all came to chamiya bars to rough it out…sorry over 65% have made it big..where r all the Trannums, antop hill dancers who lived in the first high rises wt toyotas & hondas…we need to take a real look.

But then all these arguments would have held good early on in life, when the bars first began that time certain norms could’ve been applied. Basic labour laws could’ve been used-like ensuring the dancers get minimum wages, stupulated work hours (even from 7.00 pm-4.00am) creches for their babies, no touching the dancers, etc…then automatically the bars would’ve seen their dear end…

but that’s all for intellectual debates, this all hardly holds good in real life.

Let’s see if the bars ever open…my sources say the police will delay in giving licenses..meanwhile the Maharashtra law dept will amend the law & they will approach the Supreme Court…

cheers! neeta