Monday, June 18, 2007

One more Thoo coming up

Met Shilpa yesterday for the first time after the Budget Session, when both she and I braved the entire charade for a few good stories. And she happened to mention (or rather, refresh my abysmal memory) that the Monsoon Session is soon upon us.

Bleeeaaarrrrggghhh, in my opinion.

And for those who are keeping score, the monstrosity is coming up in July. Keep you posted on it everyday. Why should only I suffer?

An Uddhav Thackeray conference

One thing is clear...and that is, our party position is still not clear.

We're still waiting for daddy to stand up and tell us whether we intend to support old what's-her-name for President or not. Or, on second thoughts, let daddy not stand. He's withering away by the day, so if he's hit by a stray gust of wind, that's the end of daddy. Let him call a press conference securely strapped to a sofa chair in our little home in Bandra and give his decision.

Will the decision come tomorrow? I don't know, depends on daddysaheb. You know how it is. At his age, he forgets his own decisions the very minute he makes them. Of course, we save the day by writing edits on how single-minded daddy is. What we omit to mention is that there's very little mind left there anymore, single or sunny side up. Still, we were brought up to be kind to senior citizens, so we're humouring him.

Anyway, the delay is working to our advantage. We had nothing else to talk about these days, and we've only just realised one thing about the press: that whatever we give you, you'll print it.

So I've called you here to request you to not rush daddy into making a decision. Heaven knows he needs half a day just to grasp what we're asking him to think over. Just yesterday, we messed things up a bit, Sanjay Raut and I. We got so frazzled with the media reports and questions that I seized daddy and shouted in one ear, "Aho baba, tya Pratibha Patilcha kay karaycha te sanga na!" and Raut bellowed in the other, "Aajach sangtay ka aajhi phone switch off karun thevu? Sagle mediawale amhala prashna vichartayt, ani tumcha ithe timepass challay!"

I really regret having done that to him yesterday. Not only did he panic initially and start shooting off his mouth at everyone (and everything) in sight, but he took my newest camera and beat me on the head with it (bang goes any chance of putting up an exhibition this year). After which he leapt out of bed and locked Raut in the bathroom. Then he calmed down a bit, had a sip of healing beer, and asked Neelamtai who was cowering in the corner, "What were these two jokers talking about? Pratibha who?"

See what I mean? Don't rush the guy, he gets nervous.

And anyway, we have to think about another complication which has just arisen: as usual, Sushma Swaraj has jumped all 21 guns by announcing that the NDA supports Shekhawat whole-heartedly. Hmph. As if we count for nothing. Bhale aadmi ki koi izzat hi nahi iss desh mein. So we've sent Manohar Joshi to Delhi to go and wring the bloody woman's neck before she makes any more bizarre statements.

What is he going to say there about our decision to support Pratibhatai or not? (Long pause) Only that daddysaheb has still not decided on the issue.

Please come and meet daddy tomorrow. It's our Foundation Day and we want you to come to the party. He may or may not talk about it tomorrow, you know how temperamental (read: loopy) he is. But there will be snacks and juice, and we can brief you on what you can go back to your offices and write.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hike hyuk hyuk

Consider the following:
- A University topper takes up the first job she sees and starts work just four days after her final exams end.

- She starts work at a salary much lower than what the rest of the department makes. Works alone on a bi-weekly supplement, heads a team of over 25 people, produces good issues consistently, doesn't take holidays and constantly learns. Her editor is happy with her, the department's VP says that DK+ is the best of all the Response supplements and that the editorial coordinator (me) is doing a commendable job. All this for Rs 8,000. And she still finds reasons to smile.

- Then she begins looking for jobs because sitting at the desk, rewriting others' copies and producing issues is not really what she's cut out for. So she quits the exalted Times Group and sits at home.

- A month later, she finds employment with Mid Day. She is assigned the medical beat at a salary of Rs 12,000. She has no clue what she's supposed to do, has a very bad self-image and thinks that she'll be asked to quit within a month.

- 11 months later, she quits because she's sick of always looking at the small stuff. She quits in the same month that she may have got a pay hike in. But she quits with some solid reporting experience and finds that investing in the right people at the right time reaps good dividends. She makes some good friends who love her unconditionally. She finds the love of her life, who she loves unconditionally.

- Two months after sitting pretty at home, she lands a job at a Pune-based paper. After four months of mounting frustration, she suddenly finds her rhythm. She is signed on at a salary of Rs 19,000.

- Six months of working later, her probation period ends in a blaze of glory. She is given a hike of 2k and is officially recognised as a good reporter by those who matter. So she now has a happy editor and a great senior to work with. The great senior, by the way, is a fount of information on everything and also keeps her amused from time to time with spirited mimicry of all and sundry.

- 2005 to 2007, from Rs 8k to Rs 20k, from shy and reticent to confident and reasonably talented, from angry little girl to spirited fighter with a sense of humour, from a girl who scoffed true love to the girl who eventually found it...this is the story of my life.

June 12, 2007. I love me.