I don't get to watch much TV, primarily because I don't carry enough weight in the protocol line-up. On the odd occasions that the TV does happen to be unoccupied, my mind is. Occupied, I mean. Not with much, of course, just the usual "what's it likely to be for the next meal? Broccoli or Lettuce?". Or I happen to spy Shilpa Shetty in one of her famous comic moods and drop off into a coma.
The upshot is that I get to watch virtually none of the excellent stuff that is shown on the various channels, particularly the DoorDarshan News.
I saw this channel for some 2 hours last night, waiting for a train at Vadodara railway station in Gujarat. Now these guys are seriously good, the DD News people. Pravda and the Xinhua could take their correspondence course.
The star draw was PratibhaPatil. Yes, that one. She was addressing a bunch of industrialists (I could tell from their pot-bellies) and the newscaster summarized her speech.
"Dr Pratibha Patil told the gathering that companies should increase their exports by 5 % per annum."
Cut to Nandan Nilekani, Vijay Mallya, Anand Mahindra, Kumarmanglam Birla and a few other captains of industry slapping their foreheads and muttering to themselves "THAT'S what's required! Now why didn't I think of it before".
Then they showed a clip of Hon. P. Chidambaram addressing the Houses of Parliament. " India is nowhere near recession", said His Excellency. And then, surprisingly, he asked Ashok Kumar Rathod to fill water in coach C-7 of the Jaipur Superfast Express. It might have been PA system, which erupted into loud speech every once in a while in the waiting room, but I wouldn't bet my ass on it.
Then a bunch of stockmarket specialists, looking very happy that they hadn't jumped of the balcony after all, were commenting on the latest Sensex rally. An expert was asked questions via satellite phone or whatever inter-galactic communication device they use because we heard the question clearly while the said expert, who kept nodding his head sagely and smiling the smile of the Buddha, didn't show signs of having heard a thing.
Then the anchor asked him "Rameshji, can you hear me?"
And Rameshji says "No".
I fell off my seat laughing, to the alarm of my co-passengers, who seemed to see nothing funny in all this and indeed, appeared to be calculating the possibility of this weird looking guy (me) being a nutcase.
Seriously, I'm enriched for life.