Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watching the News at Vadodara Railway Station

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.


rads said...

heh! Enjoying forbidden fruit does make for some truly funny posts :)

Idling in Top Gear said...

Haha - perfect. Reminds me of a time when I introduced myself to my Taiwanese neighbor and he kept nodding, even after I had asked to borrow a screw driver. I repeated myself once over again before (correctly) guessing that he didn't know English! And I love Captain Obviouses that happen to be leaders - always telling us what we all know must be done but not how it can be done, which typically is the only thing preventing people from getting it done!

Ram said...

I fell off my seat laughing, to the alarm of my co-WORKERS, who appeared to be calculating the possibility of this CUTE looking guy (me) being a nutcase.

Brilliantly funny post:)

Gradwolf said...

lol brilliant one! Do they still show mile sur mera tumhara?!!

Anna Bond said...

DD rocks man! :)
I'd give anything to catch an episode of 'krishi vignaan' again.

Vivek said...

Your kids actually let you watch TV.
How do you find the time?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

DD is rocking. I saw one analysis show the other day. Made my day.

silk smitha and disco shanti said...

shenoy saar...if u ever get time..try watching DD rajyasabha....u will njoy it even more..!!!

Escape.... Great Escape said...

India does not need a 24 hour news channel. 30 minutes of news a day ought to be enough.

Maddy said...

life is life - isnt it?

Preeti said...

Rephrasin Escape, i feel India doesnt need entertainment channels, news channels ought to be enough!

Alfred E Neuman said...

Your post did make me nostalgic. I hope Salma Sultana (she with that rose tucked behind her ear) and Raman (the one with the boring face) are STILL around! The equivalent of Krishi Darshan in Hyderabad was called "Paalu Chelu". Believe me in those days, I could tell you exactly how pigs were fed as well as the right ratio of Urea and Malathion. Thanks for bringing those menories back!

narendra shenoy said...

@rads - thanks!

@idling - my uncle, who used to live in NY tells of his mother (who could speak only kannada) and his neighbour's mother (who could speak only Korean) having long conversations, like from 8 am to 5 pm. And most curiously, my uncle's mother would insist on speaking in Hindi, of which she knew roughly as much as she knew about Korean. Her logic was, how could a Korean lady understand Kannada?

@Ram- Hahaha!

@Grad - They did not. Come to think about it, I'd LOVE to see that again.

@Anna Bond - Krishi Vigyaan! Yes, we watched the marathi version of that, called "Amchi Maati, Amchi Manse". Our generation knows EVERYTHING about urea.

@Vivek - I don't get to watch any tv at home. Which, from what I hear from my friends, is a blessing.

@cynic - the way they feed you the official take is sweet!

@silksmitha - There is a SEPARATE program for the RS proceedings? Democracy! You cant beat it! Must watch.

@Escape - True. We used to be better informed then than in this day and age of 24x7

@maddy - Sure is!

@preeti - Hahaha! Valid point!

@Alfred - Yes! As I was saying, our generation knew EVERYTHING about urea. And probably a helluva lot about malathion. Let the younger generation challenge us.We shall overcome.

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

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.

We are not worthy!


Eye for India said...


Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

agree with 'silk smitha and disco shanti" should sooo try watching rajya sabha...hilarious!!! :D haha....loved the post!!! had me laughing like crazy!!! Great post sir...n btw, ive finally got hooked onto wodehouse now! :)

Anonymous said...

I, too, long gave up TV for political reasons. It has kept me getting re-elected from the same constituency year on year. I am now thinking of retiring from politics.

Lakshmi said...

An interesting blog...first time here

Aquarius said...

tooooo good...