Author of The Land of the Wilted Rose, of the The White Mahatma Quartet, Anand Ranganathan studied Chemistry at St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and went on to pursue a doctorate from Cambridge. A man of varied interests, he is researching dengue and tuberculosis at the International Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology at Delhi. We told you, varied interests!
Greetings my fellow countrymen! Myself I am Anand Rangarajan. Ranga for you. I work at Doordarshan which is falling under the Ministry of I&B as you know. I am cameraman and sound-recordist rolled-in-one for close to 30 years, right since the time of Gitanjali Aiyar madam. You have seen the quality of my work on DD News many times I am sure?
Anyway, my daughter Vasantha is also working in Ministry and so is my other daughter Geetha – in Urban Development and Panchayathi Raj respectively.
One day they both said to me during mealtime: “Why don’t you come into the cyberworld and start a blog like us, Appa?”
“Tch, where is the need for an old man like me”, I said. “Plus you always need to tell something exciting to the world, isn’t it, otherwise who will read it?”
But they’d hear none of it and even created an account for me on WordPress.
For two whole months, lord knows, I didn’t even touch it. Nothing exciting has ever happened to me, so where was the need?
Then yesterday dear friends, something truly exciting happened! Honestly, I am not joking! And only now I understand why people write blogs – there is this need in every man, woman, child to tell the whole world what’s the exciting thing that has happened to them!
And so dear readers this is my first post on my blog. I hope you like it. If not, then come what may please don’t write nasty nasty things down below. I am a god-fearing teetotaller with family and daughters. Once Badri my colleague – a teleprompter engineer – showed me an article by some gentleman named Aakar Patel on an internet newspaper called Firstpost. Lord Ayappa! The kind of things people had written below – oh, it took me one whole week to recover. So please be gentle and forgiving to this old man is my humble request to you, dear reader.
I begin now. This is exactly what happened:
Two days ago, our new boss Shri Manish Tewari-ji, summoned us and asked us to take all our gear over to PMO quickly. The PM had called a New Year’s Eve editor’s meeting and we had to cover it for the evening news. All hot-shot editors and anchors would be there, he told us, and we had to make sure we gave equal time to each.
But, sir, I asked, what about Dhingra and his team, as they, not us, usually covered 7RC and 10JP? Boss told me Dhingra and four others had been suspended indefinitely for not editing a PM clip properly. So it was left to me and Sharma and Kharbanda to handle this.
Anyway, we lugged all the gear to PMO, where Mr Narayanaswamy accosted us and enquired if we were the carpenters he had asked for. When we said no and told him why we had come, he directed us curtly to the conference hall. Inside, all the famous editors were already sitting. So many faces I recognised – I even smiled at some. I spotted Mr Goswami and Mr Sardesai and Mrs Ghose and Ms Dutt and Mr Aroor and so many others. There were newspaper editors too, like Mr Ram and Mr Gupta. They were all chatting and giggling and gossiping. In this pleasant atmosphere, I and my team set up our camera and other equipment. Soon we were ready.
The PM entered the room and suddenly there was silence. In fact, the silence lasted for a long time even after the PM had taken his seat. I looked enquiringly at Kharbanda but he indicated that this was normal and the camera should be kept rolling.
Half an hour went by. The PM spoke or not I’m not in a position to tell you – because, dear readers, it is evening time and I wouldn’t lie to you: I must have dozed off – this while standing behind the camera! Sharma elbowed me and I opened my eyes in panic. Anyway, nothing much was lost – everyone in the hall was bored to death. They were nodding their heads but so lazily. It was sheer torture for them I could tell.
After 40 minutes, Mr Narayanaswamy barged in and announced that everyone should proceed towards the lawns for drinks and snacks. There was nearly a stampede, I promise you! The room emptied within seconds. Mrs Ghose even forgot her vanity case. When everyone except my team had left the room, and Kharbanda and Sharma were packing the equipment, without thinking I found myself strolling behind the chairs where these editors and anchors were seated a minute ago. Every chair had a Bisleri opposite it on the rectangular table, as well as two Nataraj pencils and a plain GOI notepad. It was the notepad that interested me. Quickly, I tore off the facing pages of the notepads of as many editors as I could before two SPG commandos came in and started looking suspiciously at us. Shortly afterwards, we carried our equipment and left the hall.
Oh, what a long story, dear readers, but believe-you-me, this was just the preface! My first blog is not about me, or this story; it is about those notepad pages of the editors that I managed to tear off and purloin in the nick of time! The subsequent blogposts – now that you know the background story – will be much shorter I promise you.
You want to know what those learned fellows had been scribbling in their notepads while the PM was delivering his speech? Ah, now I’ve got your attention!
So here is what I’ll do: I’ll post one notepad page for every blogpost of mine – oh, believe me, I have so many pages to last me months – of Barkha, of Sagarika, of so many others! But for now, for my first blog post, I have decided to start off with the best of the lot – and it comes from your favourite hero: yes, dear readers, none other than the fast-track court himself, Mr Arnab Goswami!
Here it is, Mr Goswami’s notepad page:
How about that, eh – an exclusive that even Mr. Goswami will be proud of!
I hope to be back, dear readers, with lots more notepad pages and a glimpse into the inner-most feelings of our heroes and heroines.
“Rajdeep! Rajdeep!” I hear you shout, “Barkha, pleeeease,” “Shiv!” I hear you scream! Ha-ha…you’ll have to wait for my second post.
Meantime, mind it, and a happy new year!
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