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!