Home | About | Forum | Guest Book | Malayalam Version



Volume 1 | Issue 3 | October 2006 | 

Meena Kandasamy


Election times are hectic, you know, for a reporter it saps the life
and sears the flesh. Well, its really terrible yaar, this is a nation
of one billion that is going to vote, say, throw out governments and
replace gangsters. I might not be getting upset in telling this to
you, but see, being on the beat just once has toughened me man. I no
longer have the hopes I once had. This work has fed me sarcasm; look,
there are smirk lines sprouting all over my face. It was not a
transient phase. It was permanent dejection.

So, you ask me to pull a chair and sit here and explain how this
started. Curiosity shall kill you dear. Yes, I was happy when I got to
do this work. More interesting than the college beat that was my
staple, you would understand better if you had sat for hours writing
stuff about convocations and courses. This was about keeping a tab on
politicians and watching the pulse of the people. Very different.

Okay, I will begin at the beginning. Day one was about truckloads of
anticipation. See, I imagined I will take to this work like how water
takes to a fish. But I realized on day two that in the grand scheme of
things I wasn't born to be a poll-specialist. Day three, I was
restless with the study of vote-banks, longing to be back in my rut.
That was when my smart boss called me up and said I need to get a
sound byte from a big-shot politico visiting our city. This man's
party was blaming another of a mega multi crore scam, so it was
current stuff on which everyone bit their nails and wagered their
thumbs. Dumb work is also work, and I was new, so before long I was in
front of him.

Yaar, I was flaunted so badly before the party workers okay. It was my
blunder actually, I should have rang up and asked the information I
needed. But the lines were busy and the weather was romantic, so I
went to the party headquarters, flashed my press card and asked for an
interview. Not that I didn't have intentions: if I got insider
information, I might be on my way to journalistic stardom. Such things
work both ways. That man must have imagined an eight-column report and
his flashy photograph to boot, so I was seated to his right, and well,
told to wait. He was asking a possible party candidate who wished to
run for parliament about his qualifications.

That's when I was shocked man. Revolted actually. You can have no idea
what the reply was. That man said he was very rich with two hundred
acres of land and that money was plenty because he owned thirty buses
and the five largest wine shops in the constituency and that
dissidents in the opposition party were in his favour because they had
been given their dues and that he was in the good books of all the
gang lords in the area and that all preparations were ready for
booth-capture in most places. The leader listened matter-of-factly.

You wouldn't believe but just then my cell rang and I excused myself
out. I left in a huff, never turning back. The next morning I begged
to be given my earlier beat. Day four, I was myself again.

Now it feels so secure, and so clean.

You want to know the question I was to ask him. It is irrelevant,
mostly. Just a standard one on the current scam of the ruling party
and on how his party planned to tackle corruption if voted to power.










© 2006, Thanal Online, Designed & Hosted By: Web Circuit india.