Story of a lost journalist

April 23, 2010

A confused stand on Tharoor

Filed under: Political — Cris @ 01:32

I know everyone and everything in Kerala is now talking or writing or tweeting or social networking about Tharoor. I thought I will blog my bit.

My stance on the issue – that’s the problem. I am confused. Used to like him as a writer long back. When he planned to enter politics, just like many others, I too thought an educated and experienced man could make a difference. But somewhere along the line – during campaign and afterwards – I felt this hypocrisy. A smiling pleasant face which was somehow not genuine enough – the smile or the pleasance I mean.

I am politically quite ignorant and I have no knowledge to make any comments about his political career or the controversies he ended up in – the cattle class or the Nehru stuff or even the IPL franchise. I hear the story and then a hundred thousand remarks and still stay baffled, with all of it going right above my head. My feeling comes only – too naïve to say this – but it is only a gut feeling. The way he looks at everyone, the way he sits fiddling with his mobile (tweeting?) for most press conferences when someone else is making a speech, the way he expresses, smiles – just all of it gives the impression of someone doing a job he doesn’t really like. It is a whole air of artificiality that I smell.

I am not here to do positive or negative campaigning. Cause like I say I simply don’t know enough. I wasn’t happy or sad when he lost the seat. When I hear all my friends saying how sad it was, when I see some others saying he deserves it – I stand without an opinion. It is good to have educated people to govern us, it is good to have experienced people to lead us, it is good to have well-read articulate leaders to guide us. But all I look for in people – in politics or in any other job, in persons I get to meet and those who are my friends – is genuineness. I just want them to be real, in all senses.

Now my gut feeling is trivial. You don’t judge a political controversy by gut feelings! So I stay silent. So why did I have to blog? Just to make my stand clear to myself – that I have the right to stay confused just like others have the right to have a clear head!

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April 15, 2010

Frustrations, frustrations

Filed under: Personal — Cris @ 02:04

I can’t stand people with attitudes. And I am meeting more of them every day, given that meeting people is an irremovable part of my profession. I enjoy meeting people – only, I am not quite the social kind – talking on and on and calling on and on for no reason – is not my cup of coffee. No. My enjoyment ends with the meeting part. No new friendships need spring from these meetings. Contacts, yes, but friendship, no.

Wait, I was talking about attitudes. Yesterday I interview a shop owner – I spent at least two hours for it to go there, walk around the shop, take pics, wait to meet a couple of directors – and at the end of all that – he says “Sorry but you can’t use my name or photo.”
“But if I don’t use your name, the story loses credibility”
“No. Sorry mole but no. No names.”
“Hey I am not asking you to tell your opinion about an attempted murder. It is about your own shop.”
“No cant do that. No names, please. If I had known it before, I wouldn’t have given the interview at all. Wont give you my card too.”
This from a 60 year old man! Was it about the age-old belief people held that if your name comes on paper about any comment you make, then you will be in trouble? Or was it that he wanted a big paper? Or was it that he was in fact doing some questionable business???
In any case, I felt quite offended and luckily my editor let me scrap the story.

Today morning I call a lady who is apparently having a fest at her shop. I ask “Hi, I wanted to know about the fest that you are having…”
“It came in The Hindu. Didn’t you see?”
“Ok… I called you for it before but then you were a little undecided.”
“Yea but you didn’t call me two days later”
“Ok… it is on now right? So if we come today, we can cover it? Get some photos?”
“Hmmm I don’t know. Maybe. And I may be there only in the afternoon. Call me and check”

Third instance was just now. I called another lady to write an article about Vishu. She was apparently not interested.
“Can I come now to see you? Will you be free?”
“No I am going out right now”
“When will you be available?”
“I wont be here for two days”
“Ok… then can you tell me over phone…”
“What is the use of putting it now in your website?”
“It is Vishu and people would like to read about it.”
“I am going out now”
Cluck.

What is with people? Or is it that I am saying something wrong. I tell a junior kid who joined work recently to also listen and not just talk, I get a volume of replies including a lot of I don’t care what you think to others were better.

Ok, I decided it is me.

Cos there is more. A bad joke – which I took offense at – has put some distance between some people and me. Not a huge thing but it’s there. Gave me the feeling that I brought it on myself. It is always good to keep a good distance from people, they say. I never believed it but now I get a feeling it could be true. I love jokes but I guess I draw my lines somewhere.

It is a day of frustrations. The only good part is that I love my work now. I love the scope of it. I know I am not making use of it and have just started learning. But it is still great. Trivandrum seems like a whole big world open in front of me and I stand there like a confused kid not sure where to go or what to do.

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