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Sunday, 24 June 2012

13 Until I Die! [Chapter 1: Maneka Gandhi and the Indian Peacock]

Serious journalism took a backseat after I came to Dubai in 2006. Partying hard after work was ok! [but looking for my pictures on party pages not so!]. The UAE's long ‘to-do list' [mostly defining ‘what not-to-do’] failed to impress me or my career graph … I wanted to be a hardcore journo when I started working in Dilli…

In early 2000 trainee reporters were called ‘cubs’ [this sentence makes me feel ancient]. It was an exciting start with United News of India (UNI), the oldest news agency in the continent [if no one else is claiming it now!].

Call it good luck, my first assignment got me my first ‘breaking news’.

It was a press meet by animal lovers at the WWF (World Wild Fund) - hosted by animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi. The speech was scheduled on a sleepy weekend at India Habitat Centre. [Googled to trace the date – couldn’t find. Online media was not popular those days.]

It had all the usual suspects from the media [worried - if Gandhi would keep the evening 'dry' as usual]. I was trying hard to ignore the Editor of The Sun (a Nigerian newspaper) seated right beside me. His bright smile [like a white moon rising and drowning into the night sky] was baffling me. Especially because he handed over a note to me ‘You are as pretty as an Indian peacock!’ (along with a spectacled smiley face). I looked up and spotted the spectacle. The Editor of The Punch (another Nigerian newspaper) necked out from behind ‘The Sun’ and I saw the moon rise and fall again – yet another spectacle.

[And I always thought peacock was male!]

I got the scoop anyway. It was hidden in the last para of Gandhi’s extempore. [By then most of my other colleagues had hurried to the buffet tables to yap-yap on better things.] To my delight, and my news editor's, my find was a front page runner.

HORSE WHIPPING BANNED IN INDIA. [UNI wires its news in all caps even today].


Next day I met him. Everyone remembered the story of the 15-year old Karmapa who in a Bollywood-type escape reached Dharamsala after crossing the highest Himalayan passes in the midst of the winter and the hesitations of the Indian government to grant him refugee status. At that time, many believed that he had been 'planted' by the Chinese to create confusion in Sikkim.  But good news came for the Tibetans as Kalon Tashi Wangdi, the minister of religion and cultural affairs in the Central Tibetan Administration announced to the press in Dharamsala that he had received word: "The Government of India has formally communicated to us that the XVII Gyalwa Karmapa Ugyen Thinley Dorji has been granted refugee status in India." Thus, Karmapa was meeting press in Delhi tomorrow.


to be continued…

General disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or reincarnated is not a coincidence. No animals were injured during the making of this novelog although some monkeys may have their feelings hurt. Sorry.


Recap:












11 comments:

Darshna, theconnectingloop said...

Good one

bluvian said...

thank you :)

Nassem.e.Sahar said...

U never Told me Abt This.

Actually that gentleman meant

Indian PEACOCKNI.

bluvian said...

hahaha peacockini!!! hina i must have told u i think... ;)

Nisha Sanjeev said...

Hey, you've got a good style. Crispy tone woven in satirical and pun hues....

bluvian said...

thanks nisha :)

dubious wanderer said...

loved it!!! chose the right words.. grt style with super humor... esp liked the way u unwound events.. i seriously think u can write fictions.. :)

bluvian said...

thanks dubious wanderer :)

preethy said...
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preethy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bluvian said...

thanks preethy :) am so glad u found time to read this :)