Thursday, May 31, 2007

Of Cows and other demons....

A friend and colleague, who is more of a environmentalist than he likes to admit is taking me along with him to the badlands of Uttar Pradesh this weekend. Now, other than the fact that he supports Manchester United, he is a fairly nice chap even though I have quite a few books with me, including 'the Reluctant Fundamentalist' which I'm told I must read. Anyway, I don't know how the 'Green Post' veered towards cows, but it did. Now, the point has to made that it is Amit Varma who is Indian blogdom's #1 cow expert, and Amit in case you read this, I have to admit, again, that I love your Cow posts.
Now, what is my opinion about Cows? As an unabashed Delhi driver, you know the types who weave through roundabouts because everyone else does, I consider cows a traffic menace. Ironically, last night while driving back from Defense Colony where I had gone to meet a friend I took a turn and almost rammed into one of the species. I've been lucky, but some of my friends haven't - no injuries, but paying 40 grand to repair your car's front end isn't cheap. What I also hate about Cows and this happens way too much is that Cows project the worst image that India can possibly project. Even sensible European chaps sometimes mention to me, "Jaaa, India, that is where Cows on the road, Jaaa..." Worst of all, you can't even deny that this awful fact is true.
But, the question posed was different, do Indian cows have it worse than American cows? Well, after my last trip to the States, which was three years ago, where thanks to my cousin Bro and the joys of Wendy's, we ate lots of cow, I would think not. Now Indian cows roam the streets have a free hand to crap wherever the heck they want to and even have sex in the middle of the road (comical scene from my school days, we once saw a Bull mounting a cow in the middle of the road at Yusuf Sarai - we didn't have the Duiscovery Channel or NatGeo to show us animal sex those days), and best of all, Indian cows don't get eaten. If they die, all religious feelings are forgotten (as they are when these poor cows are transported to Bangladesh) and that is why we produce so much leather.
Then again, we don't eat Cows here, we use cow urine for such interesting purposes as purification and well, there was Morarji Desai. But, after careful deliberation I think that cows don't have it good anywhere, either in India or the US. But that isn't an excuse for them to hang about the roads. You know, thats just dangerous. Of course, if you were to print my thoughts on how we should regulate our roads, I would regulate myself off the road as well. But later I guess.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Green is the colour this season

Edit meetings tend to be quite dull nowadays because everybody, and I must admit that even I have been guilty of this, wants to do a 'global warming' story and the rather vague impact tglobal warming will have on India. Here is the rub, while I don't disagree that there has been significant global warming, the Indian media has failed in getting the message across, because while we want to 'promote' green living on the one hand, lifestyle reporting has been the flavour of the season for the last two years and rampant consumerism and being green are more or less mutually exclusive sets. Sure, you find some 'Fairtrade' products in Khan Market, but for god's sake, you expect people to put off their air-conditioners in the summer, or even for that matter spend shitloads of money building more environmentally friendly houses.
You see, while the West carries on about global warming and former politicians make boring movies and believe me, I know the habitat of Polar Bears is sinking, what I don't get is the white man telling India and China to cool down development. The more I read stories about global warming and how India and China are contributing increasing amounts towards raising the global temperature, the solution the West is devising is telling us to chill out. You don't build dams, you shouldn't run air-conditioners, low-cost air travel? Bad. Seriously, the hipocrisy shown by the west is getting to me, and what is more upsetting is that South Delhi kids who sit in air-conditioned offices and use ten times the amount of water that someone in a slum does, lap it all up.
Here is the problem. Sure India is contributing more towards global warming and the solution isn't writing solutions the West wants us to adopt. Because global warming is going to lead to Mumbai sinking, eventually. Heck, if Bangladesh goes under (and it will), we'll be flooded with 150 million refugees, perish the thought. But, we have to devise our own solutions, because you're not going to put off your purchase of that Rs 10 lakh Honda or take that flight to Goa. Even if you do, try and convince six million people to stop buying motorcycles. Blindly follwing the Greenpeace agenda will not help, sustainable development is a joke - because sustainable development intends to keep us a third-world country while the West carries on with their lifestyle. I'm sorry Mac, it ain't happening. Eat less beef!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The joys of air-brushing.

I'll start a signed blog in the first week of June, but until then, I'll keep on posting here and even after I start, a few posts might weave their way onto this blog as well.
One of the books that did the round in my college hostel 'Residence' as we called it, was a title called 'A History of Girlie Magazines'. It was a fairly detailed book, going back to the earliest days when printers managed to put 'picture porno' onto paper. The Rare Erotica blog, totally unsafe for work has some examples. Anyway, by the time we get to Hugh Hefner and Playboy, you get a fairly detailed description of the art of airbrushing. 'Airbrushing' was something a 'negative artist' did to remove blemishes on a body and girlie magazine publishers took it to a high art.
Of course, air-brushing has today been replaced by photo-editing software, but the concept remains the same, altering images significantly so that they bear no resemblance to the original. Everybody in the industry does it, entire covers and lead images are altered to make them look 'more dramatic' or 'more perfect' and most people are none the wiser. The skilled eye can still make out the rough edges (look at the background image through a pair of spectacles for example) but usually that would be nit-picking, and with many photographers in the industry unable to operate their cameras (I once narrated a story here about a photographer who had set his camera on Auto-ISO among other things, that was rather hilarious).
Anyway, this is not a tirade against photographers or photoshop artists, but against a recent ad-campaign by a TV network. The network which has faces of some of its most prominent anchors plastered all over billboards must take the cake for 'airbrushing' excellence. You know the channel, but all I have to say is this, the job they did on the Managing Editor of the channel is mind-boggling. Then again, I guess they had to, otherwise you would not have been able to pick out his face from the background. Nothing against dark-skinned people, but keep things to the realm of plausibility! No amount of lighting, OK, maybe 10,000W of lighting could have made that guy look so wheatish. Talk about misleading advertising!

Friday, May 25, 2007


Work has been pretty hectic of late, just struggling to get things done therefore, the number of posts happens in spurts instead of regularly. Read a few stories about blogging all over the place and people talking about blogging as a huge social phenomenon. You know something, it isn't anymore. I'm not saying blogging is passe, but really to call it hip is missing the point. Other than very few people in India, blogging has not become an effective medium to make money, and while I like this blog of mine a lot, maintaining a blog can get very hectic for someone who does have a fairly regular job. I might be writing this because I'm tired but I have to admit that while some people like this blog several other people have told me to tone down the content on this blog. I personally feel that the content is a lot 'cleaner' today than it was say a year ago, but I get the message. Anyway, I also feel that I should come out with a 'signed' media blog in a while. Not that it will be toned down in any which way, but then again other clowns can't accuse me of hiding under the cover of anonymity. This is not the last post here, but you will see a signed blog from me within the next few weeks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I almost got trampled by a bunch of lunatic cameramen and videographers at the Civil Aviation Ministry today where Praful Patel was showcasing the new colours of Air India. The rush was insane, can you imagine one hundred people trying to capture an image, first shoving the reporters to the background (of course, it is all about an image isn't it?) but I really didn't expect the level of abuses that were hurled around by the two 'camps' (Still and TV) to each other - all this while the minister was talking, how there wasn't a fistfight heaven only knows. At the end of the conference cameramen of all hues were climbing onto the table. I could consider myself fairly seasoned, and I've been pushed around by the cameraman desperate for a shot - but at this event? These are occasions, like in the West where news organisations should seriously start considering pooling resources.
Take another example, at the GM Chevrolet Spark launch recently, the GM team had organised a dance show recently. Not that dance show was exciting, but it might have been had we seen it. No, instead a bunch of photographers, evidently none of them working for a dance magazine just crammed the front of the stage, and really no-one got to see much. I didn't quite see the point. Maruti had a dance show for the launch of the Sx4 as well, but had specific areas for photographers, and for God's sake, have photo-calls separately, don't allow goons, because I'm afraid that is what these guys have become, to take over shows.
On another note, I think everybody's favourite #2 business paper, Papermint is in a spot of bother because their advertising supplement, imaginatively called 'Campaign' will have to change its name because the advertising magazine Campaign which is produced by Haymarket is being brought to India by Haymarket's Indian arm, which is run by Hormazd Sorabjee and has had considerable success with Autocar.
And of course, St Stephen's has appointed Valson Thampu as Officiating Principal. I don't know what to say here, and even though Thampu taught me (as did Anil Wilson) and he is a very nice guy, I mean he always marked me present even when I missed his classes, I have to admit that his classes were quite on the dull side. No, they were horribly dull. Not that Anil Wilson's classes were any better, but that man was a decent administrator. With Thampu in charge, I hope the fear of the place becoming a Fundamentalist Christian haven where Jerry Falwell would have felt at home don't come true. That said, Thampu has very good ties with many of the left-wing teachers in college, so things may not be as bad as some people expect them to be. I know there are a few emails floating around, but I'm not buying into any of them. Anyway, I boubt we will become 'Stevanians' now. Ad Dei Gloriam!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Quick post..

The Media jamboree surrounding the Naresh Trehan episode got me wondering of one thing on Saturday morning, it must really easy to manipulate the media. I mean, for a long time none of the channels even bothered to look at the other point of view and didn’t think twice of ‘creating’ the ruckus that they were reporting about. Anyway, the only impartial coverage was in a couple of newspapers, including the Times which actually bothered calling up some other doctors to get their opinions, and the entire issue isn’t that cut and dry just yet.
Anyway, I found myself at AIIMS today morning and while I had an appointment to meet a doctor, I was taken aback by the mass of humanity at the place. Honestly, if there is one place in the world I dislike it is hospitals, of all hues, but government-run institutions in India can just amaze you with the mass of people. And you somehow realise the crisis of healthcare delivery that this country in going to face very soon and it is surprising that the media hasn’t caught onto this sooner.
While AIIMS has become a political minefield between Dr Venugopal and Dr Ramadoss, our health minister, like several other ministers in the cabinet has been bothered more with petty issues than with the general state of healthcare in the country. The key problem is education. See while Ramadoss and Arjun Singh want AIIMS to let in more ‘oppressed’ classes, on the basis of a 1931 report, and if Arjun Singh has his way they will probably reserve seats for minority communities also.
The problem is simply this, we have nowhere near the number of good educational institutions and the ones that are good can’t find teachers – because teachers are paid peanuts. So what happens? Institutes like that belonging to the ponytail are allowed to flourish, where the philosophy is that, lets talk socialism and let me drive a Bentley. Irony is a delightful device isn’t it? The places where teachers want to join don’t allow them fair terms on outside consultancy jobs.
The students from AIIMS, IIT or IIM who do become teachers don’t become teachers in India. Come to think of it, at least Naresh Trehan did come back, so what if he became a superstar, as a doctor told me, the man ruled the institute with an iron fist and all said and done, Escorts didn’t have a high turnover of doctors, even recently.
But the issue remains, is India training enough doctors and specialists in any field for the demand that we have nowadays? The short answer is that we are not. I have always though of most media schools out there to be loads of crap, and most of the people that we end up taking from media courses tend to be quite ordinary.
I emphasise the term ‘most’, there are always some really good people, but of late as sheer rote-performance has become a performance barometer, quality has taken a downturn. But more importantly, even in media schools as the quality of teaching staff has taken a nose-dive, and that gets reflected in the quality of students.
Anyway, these are only my two paise for the day, I’ve been a bit busy of late so I haven’t been writing lately. Promise a bit more over the week.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Whaling around

In the past few weeks I have been fortunate enough to fly on the Airbus A380 twice over, I was a part of a team of the first set of Indian journalists to fly the plane during a demo tour of the Orient, and recently when Vijay Mallya brought the plane to India ostensibly for Kingfisher's second birthday party, I managed to wrangle another flight. Fair enough, Mallya's flights were loaded with all sorts of Bombay B-list celebrities and some journalists who were trying to act important. But, I didn't care really, I just enjoyed the flight on this massive behemoth of a plane. I mean, they call it the WhaleJet for something you know, it is freaking huge. I was seated on the wing and I shot this video as we approached Runway 27 at Mumbai airport. The wing is massive, I flew back to Delhi on a Airbus A321 and that looked and felt puny in comparison.

Friday, May 11, 2007


You can't help but be impressed with what Mayawati has pulled off in Uttar Pradesh, a clear majority in a state where people thought that clear majorities disappeared with the Babri Masjid. But, the question is how did everybody get their exit polls so spectacularly wrong?
One defense goes that some parties encourage their workers to be bullish in Exit Polls, but that does not really cut it. Everywhere else in the world, Exit Polls are more or less a proxy for the actual result, but everywhere else in the world they don't have so many voters over such a widespread area. Though I don't buy the defense, remember the time when UndieTV was still Star News, their Exit Polls were pretty much on the ball. Nowadays, everybody gets them wrong.
While I do not disagree with the concept of Exit Polls, I believe the amount of competition between channels has led to a pretty crazy situation where everybody is trying to trump everybody else. The problem is that the electorate has unerringly managed to trump every exit poll over the last few years.
The solution?
I see one clear option, it is unpalatable to several channels, but I believe that there should be some sort of co-operation, I mean a joint Exit Poll between say most of the major channels. But you see since the editors are too busy having sex, I doubt that will ever happen. But it is an idea, right?
But, I hope sincerely that Mayawati can pick Uttar Pradesh out of the doldrums and put it back into the spotlight. The state has suffered from a decade and a half of coalition politics and according to the last available statistics had a horrible infant mortality rate of 85 deaths per 1000 births and the that is just one part, other statistics make for equally grim reading. UP, for most Delhi-ites is Noida, but UP is not Noida. UP is a lot more and I hope the state can become a lot more than just a place that provides us corrupt politicians and bureaucrats!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

More mobile stories.

When you sit and end up discussing technology with friends, those conversations can go late into the night, discussing the rights and wrongs of what havoc the spread of information is wreaking on our pulpy brains. However, and I have to really admit my father was prescient about this, the spread of camera enabled mobile phones has revolutionised the way Indians treat pornography. Heck, it has encouraged an entire generation of peeping-Toms, and one could argue that worse, it has encouraged an entire generation of people to take their clothes off in front of the camera. Some of the videos that are being shot and floating around the internet are what my old driver would have called 'chicken tikka ke andar ka masala'. I never did figure that out!
Anyway, why am I mentioning this? Well, in the past two years at least two anchorettes have been 'caught' on mobile camera. One was an anchor for a south Indian channel, the second an anchor at a Noida based Hindi channel ostensibly owned by a political party. Unsurprisingly, when the latter quit to join another organisation she was horrified that almost everybody had seen that clip. But now, thanks to the exploits of an anchor in a Delhi-based Hindi channel on a network better known for its English channel has been caught posing, pretty much letting everything hang (this was no 'secretly filmed' video). This is a channel famous for the fact that almost every woman who makes it big there has to (and I quote a friend here) 'Do the boss' (of the channel). What is even more surprising is that on the other front, this channel has a strict policy in place, but that seemingly doesn't apply to the vernacular.
I mean members of the looney right go around beating up priests and attacking art exhibitions, but at one level I think that they're losing the fight to impose their perverse sense of morality on us. I mean, when it comes to their version of morals, extreme-Hindu's and extreme-Muslim's show an uncanny bonding and even attend protest rallies together, even though otherwise they would have no qualms about killing each other. Again, I would like to clarify that I am not passing moral judgement on the topic, go ahead shoot videos (as long as both parties are consenting) and go ahead post it online - trust me, short of some of the new Nokia N-Series devices which are sweet handsets, few other handsets can really resolve images, let alone videos very clearly.
Really people, this is not good porn, even when it comes to homemade amateur porn, man I could have done a degree on the subject when I was still in college. And anyway, when it comes to Porn, nobody, nobody, comes as close to insanity as the Japanese. Hey, I still read anime, and even the watered down (you know the ones where they skip the part about tentacle monsters) comics make me gag at times.
Anyway, on another note, back to important things in the media. A lot of people are currently leaving CNN-IBN to join INX, from reports, INX is poaching technical people by the bushel and deskies are running away, frustrated that their stories are reported by good-looking but air-headed dumbats. However, after seeing the first show of 'A Matter of Taste', I can pretty much assure you that 'The V' is not Tony Bourdain or even close to Keith Floyd. Listen, I watch a lot of T&L, and I can guarantee that the food show that Padma Laxmi hosted on India was much better. Whats with those 'pregnant pauses' while chewing.
Oh, and I have come to the conclusion that journalists who do not do their homework should be, well, shot, but since that would kill off half of UndieProfit, we can't exactly do that can we?

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tum media waale...

"You guys are such hypocrites, you'll bend over for a corporate if they went to you with a wad of rupees." This is not post-coital talk, but the general anger expressed towards my profession by individuals ever so often. Well, more often than I would like to hear, but I have given up trying to defend the indefensible. Because the fact of the matter is no matter how sincerely you work on a story as a reporter, someone in marketing and ad-sales will find a way to screw you over. That is if your proprietor doesn't first.
But then again, we are a bunch of hypocrites even before marketing and ad-sales enter the frame and say, "Well, you know what, these guys have just bought a large advertorial section, be nice to them." You just buy your way out of having bad news written about yourselves, and you have to give full marks to the Ponytailed Guru of Weirdness, a man who had his Bentley Continental scraped of its factory paint and painted what can be politely called TGIF Electric Lemonade Blue. Which though cool, is somehow not Bentley!
Anyway, so how did this entire problem arise, why are journalists here always travelling on one junket or another. Heck, I even overheard this maniacal conversation where a bunch were discussing the coffee-shops in Munich airport. I mean I travel a fair bit too, but auto-magazine reporters take the cake and stuff themselves in the face! Of course, if I bitch too much about junketeering, I'll be branded a hypocrite, or worse - Jealous. No, that would be a mistake, I'm only jealous of TV journalists who have orthodontic work done and well, I think that is about it.
Anyway, to cut to the chase, at the end of the day, producing a magazine or newspaper costs money, serious money. And I'm not just talking about salary costs - salaries are a small part of the cost, the biggest component of a publications cost is the paper. Now, your average Times of India in Delhi or Mumbai would have paper worth at least Rs 10-12. Add in production costs - that is running the press, employing a fleet of reporters and taking care of the management et al, it costs close to Rs 15 to produce a copy of that paper. A paper you buy for Rs 3 at the most, now the people back at the office don't get all that money, because someone has to pay the distributor. Yada yada yada!
So someone has to pay the cost. Therefore, the reader pays for it through shitty content and the advertiser pays for the reader to get that shitty content. That said, I must compliment both the Times and The Pioneer for brilliant 1857 packages, quite interesting, and I loved Neelabh's illustration of 1857 Delhi in this city's edition of the Sunday Times. What is particularly interesting to note that in the 150 years since the bloody uprising where quite a few sins were committed by both sides, and the concept of encounter killings didn't exist, see both the Mutineers and the Brits committed quite a few atrocities that would make even some of the stuff that happens in Sub-Saharan Africa nowadays seem pale by comparison.
So some of you might argue that the Hindu doesn't operate like that. Heck, the problem is that some people in the group want to operate that place like that therefore The Hindu is today a battleground that isn't making much money. Better than the Deccan Herald where factional fighting is going insane according to friends from Bangalore. But, a paper has to make money, because for god's sake, as journalists you need money, right? You want a cushy life, not the salary of a government clerk. To achieve that your organisation has to sell more papers and more ads, vicious loop isn't it?
It really isn't that bad, it really isn't that advertisers can call and dictate terms. No, they don't call and ask journalists to be fired or transferred, and corporates don't call every day asking for certain stories to be done. They work through PR agencies usually for those things to happen, but yes, ever so often you do hear of a story about something bad happening to somebody. Heck, I had a former colleague in EchTee who when transferred to Chandigarh was convinced Mukesh Ambani had him moved. Nobody had the heart to tell the poor chap that his sheer incompetence was responsible, but anyway.
Of course, there is a subtle dichotomy here, what happens when the newspaper buys a stake in the advertiser, like Bennett has been doing. Can Bennett technically even write a negative story about Kishore Biyani, or paramount Airways or any of the other companies they own. That is a problem I have, I mean it isn't Times writing a story saying that Timesjobs in #1, at least on that front, the story copy has Indiatimes in the copy, and most people know that Times owns Indiatimes. But, its the other bits I find peculiar, though I haven't seen a Future Group story in a while, will either ToI or ET have the 'Disclaimer' line in the copy.
Anyway, I've been ranting too long. I should get going now!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Morals of policing.

A reader wrote in this really perceptive line, had the Indian media been around in renaissance Italy, Romeo and Juliet would have probably run to Aaj Tak or Star News to get support. I agree, but then again, that wasn't an inter-religious marriage would it - I imagaine if Othello and Desdemona would have gone, and then Iago would have followed. Heck, imagine if Omkara and Dolly would have gone in the Bollywood adaptation?
Yesterday, the I&B Minister, and I know I'm not exactly a fan of his sycophantic tendencies or his unparalleled ability to ruin Indian football, criticised the media because he said that the amount of air-time they gave 'the kiss' (or 'the gnaw' as I see it) bordered on the insane. Then again, how much different are we from America where Britney Spears' every crazy antic gets more airtime than say the deaths of 100 Iraqis dying in American administered Iraq.
The problem with the media here is simple, while certain right-wing media outlets in the US and UK do put a moral tinge to everything, I remember during the time of the start of the Iraq War how people like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter took to the media passing moral judgement of people who opposed the US entry into Iraq, not even stopping short of calling them and their families traitors. But, I doubt they pass moral judgements on issues like this. Fair enough, the Schiavo case (where a brain-dead woman on Florida was kept alive artificially) got hundreds of hours of airtime and became a battle-ground between religious zealots and liberals, but then again that was a case that I could probably understand. But a kiss? And a bad kiss at that, I mean there wasn't any out and out Frenching was there? Why did the media, particularly certain channsl take the kiss as an affront, with anchors calling it bad, even though I never heard the word 'ashleel'. For gods sake, sue Richard Gere for being a part-time hick and a bad kisser, and I can even understand certain people got upset, but why did prime networks give this horribly bigoted and minority view airtime.
You know what this makes me think is that the editors, down to the Output Editors at these channels are bigoted themselves. But then, the channels will argue that they are only serving their constituency, "Hey if our viewers are bigoted, we'll be bigoted too." I don't get that. I always thought, at least when I started that my job, was to educate our viewers/readers to an extent, drive opinion to an extent, though that said, you should never forget your constituency, but I've always wondered if we really know our readers or viewers that well. I mean, I work in a fairly low-circulation sort of place, by low circulation I mean well under a million copies, but whenever (in a train or plane or even someones house) I see someone reading the magazine I ask what makes them pick up the magazine. Even though we can never write everything to please everybody, at least in the sections I write or the stories I do I want some feedback.
It is the media's job to shape public opinion, and by being bigoted, particularly Aaj Tak, you just end up promoting the moral police. You see idiots who came out in droves when Shilpa Shetty got insulted on a British show, but but do these people really care when Indians get tortured, beaten and raped in South-East Asia and Arabia? Nope. Lets be honest, half, maybe as much as 99.9 per cent of the effigy burning, placard holding clowns would drop everything just to get to the United States to pick up the trash and be abused by ignorant yobs. How long before they attack Page 3 parties for desecrating morals - and then again when you think of that, even I have this really evil though running in my head that thinks that it won't be such a bad idea. Must not be bigoted myself.
Anyway, I can carry on, but I have to rush somewhere for lunch right now, so I'll leave you with news that even more senior people have left an ABP publication which is going through a lot of internal turmoil.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Notes on the India Today - Daily Mail paper

I thought I would do a post on how the Indian media has created this 'moral police' monster, something that it has promoted and in the case of Star News has come to bite it hard on the ass. Talking about Star, Uday Shankar has certainly gone a long way from heading TV Today, however, I do have this unnerving feeling that G-Ban might suddenly become the lead actor in a Star serial, isn't that a scary thought.
Anyway, that post would take a lot of time and brain power, and time I certainly don't have and the brain is still processing the 500 emails that PR agencies filled my inbox with in the past six days. I don't know how long it will be before I get a Press Release celebrating International Jerk-Off day, because some releases come deathly close.
Anyway, as the first comment on my last post said, Bharat Bhushan, formerly of HT and The Telegraph, an unabashed jholawallah is taking over as Editor of the yet to named paper. I found this a particularly surprising decision, because between them, both partners on the deal are swing heavily to the right, and given the fact that certain people at IT are obsessive compulsive about the final product, I don't know how independent a time BB will have. I mean honestly, given though in HT people had to carry news items when "Madhavrao sneezed" as a former senior editor there put it, SB did give her editors a fair amount of leeway. It also remains to be seen if BB will bring along his team of dinosaurs to the new paper, and how much India Today's editorial team will and scupper the paper.
Plus, on the Gautam Adhikari front - it is reliably known, from all sorts of sources that Gautam is joining either ToI or HT. People at ToI are convinced he is joining HT and vice-versa, and the topic continues to bemuse several people. Why, I have no clue though. But that said, Sudhir continues with his hunt for a replacement for the man, and even though he got the editor's office 'purified' - no I have no clue if cow urine was used - several senior editors have turned down Sudhir, politely, because as one editor put it, "Sudhir ain't no Samir Jain. In fact, he ain't no Vineet Jain either."
Anyway, there are also reports that after the fire at HT was doused, the simmering discontent over there continues. Anyway, this was a quick gossip round-up, but given that I try and stick to large umbrella topics - like concerning how aviation journalists try and wrangle free flights and what not - I wish the listed carriers would put these flights in one of the appendices of their annual reports, that would be fun. Anyway, I have to rush for an evening dinner, so more later!

Alive I cried!

Evven thoough thanks to a friend I almost got scrunched by a wild elephant in Madhumalai National Park, I am alive. The mosquitoes at Koramangala came close though. I was supposed tto meet up with some people in Banngalore, but I got up, apologies for not meeting up with anyone, but I got caught up. Anyway, a proper post iin the evening, the day is going too be quite hectic, especially with Nokia already claiming half of it.