Crouched down, the man was peering through the viewfinder of his camera at the sign on the gatepost that spells the name of the old house. To me, it had never seemed like a particularly noteworthy name, nor a particularly noteworthy sign, nor a particularly noteworthy gatepost. But here was this man, sizing it up in his viewfinder. What's the story?
Nor was he the only one. Just the latest. All day yesterday, there had been other camera-toters, though mainly TV types, assorted svelte young women stepping importantly in and out of cars, various hangers-on with nothing to do that always seem to be part of TV crews -- all peering at the house, the gate, the crumbling wall, the sign, the rubble in the front yard.
Passing by near noon, I asked one of the svelte young women, jeans and green Tee, you're going to spend the whole day here? Staring at an empty old house? I don't envy you your job at all!
"Oh no, sir, not the whole day ...", and here she motioned frantically to her cameraman to turn the camera on me, "but we want to get YOUR reaction! How do you feel about him coming to stay here?" (Definite emphasis on "feel").
Who's that? I asked, though I confess I knew.
"Oh sir, Sachin Tendulkar! Aren't you excited that he's going to be in your neighbourhood? Famous great cricketer! Coming here! How do you feel?"
OK, I suppose, I said. I hope he's happy. I mean, he's just another man and I wish we'd treat him that way.
"Yes sir, you're right, but come on! Great famous cricketer!"
I nodded, smiled vacantly and went my way. The cameraman rushed over to get yet one more exclusive shot of the gatepost, his first since he turned towards me a minute earlier. The svelte young woman, she turned to gaze adoringly at the house.