It breaks my heart when Arthur Schopenhauer says, “Journalists are like dogs. They begin to bark whenever something moves.” Not fair.
On the judgment day of Sanjay Dutt’s trial, television crews camped near the court premises to give us the first sound bite. Reporters were seen adjusting their cameras and tapping their microphones to avoid any last minute glitch. Just when Satish Maneshinde, Sanjay’s lawyer began speaking, there was chaos as reporters jostled and wrestled to capture the moment.
Interestingly, there were some unsavory animated voices coming from the background. Sample a few:
Abbe dekh ke, cable hai. Saare giroge.
Neeli shirt wale, haath neeche kar.
Mike upar kar yaar, sir phodega kya.
Taar kheench. Taar kheench.
Side ho, yaar Side ho na. Kitni baar bola hai. Sunta kyon nahin be?
None of them is manufactured. And I didn’t even have to strain my ears. Remaining perched on a building for the sake of a perfect camera angle or waiting in the sun can be demanding. And then to jostle to set the microphone closest to the speaker’s mouth, even as the rival reporter places his arm pit over your nose on a humid hot afternoon is indeed commendable.
Needless to say, one has to be attentive at all times. If you go for a piddle to bless the nearby bushes, a historic moment can be lost forever. As for the rival channel, he will needle you by announcing, “Your channel is first to break this news.”
At a time when the allies of the government are leaving in a huff and rats are abandoning the sinking ship, it is the duty of reporters to observe whether Mulayam was actually smiling or grinning after any meeting. The twitch of his eyebrow, the squirm of his lips and the tenor of his mumble is of utmost national importance right now. Naturally, television reporters are the first ones to tell us about the flip-flops of whimsical allies who are throwing tantrums and blaming it all on ideological differences. The television reporters tell us whether we are safe for a few months or doomed to be killed either by the tiger on land or the crocodile in water in 2014.
While jokes about the ubiquitous television question, “Aapko kaisa lag raha hai,” have been done to death, the question remains an all time favorite. If a family member is sentenced to jail, the others are bound to be shocked and upset. Trust the inquisitive nature of some reporters.
Reporter: Sir Dutt parivaar ka kya reaction hai?
Lawyer: Sab upset hai.
Reporter: Matlab kya bahut upset hai?
Lawyer: Kafi upset hai.
Propriety deters them, but what they really want to ask is, “Kitna upset hai, thoda detail mein batayie.”
All this for the benefit of viewers. No wonder, reporters and camera persons are indispensable despite the raucous background scores. Mind you, this is one background score which is ekdum original.
Picture Courtesy: Google Images/Instablogs.com