May 28, 2008

Fascinating gatepost

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.


Anonymous said...

Wow Dilip, you live in some pretty fancy neighbourhood dude. Treat sachin Tendulkar as just another man!? Spare a though about TV channels, 24/7 on their toes so that we don't miss important developments like this one. What will the poor guys do otherwise? I just hope its not the beginning of a full frontal attack on the poor house. The vaastu will be laid threadbare. Whoever has had anything to do with it will not be spared. Both living and dead. I mean India TV will have a dedicated episode(s) of some sadhus in conversation with the ghosts who live in Sachin Tendulkar's house.
Enjoy the neighbourhood dude, it will be a happening place for some time.

Prakash M Kini said...

I guess that sums up the story of "news" in India. Make one when theres none.

R. said...

ok...i happen to like the word svelte, it conjures up all kinds of images of long legged women in nice slinky attire...somehow this post spoilt it for me (and you used the word thrice!!!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, you sure live in a posh neighbourhood. Somehow reading your blog made me think of you living in a more modest sort of way.

Jai_Choorakkot said...

Is this the same place you used to write about, somewhat in this vein:

roads as bad as last year, as flooded as with the last monsoon, telephones down longer than last time, 'net outage etc.

or: is that the defn of posh :-)

or: have you moved?


Anonymous said...

Looks like you just a chance to be on TV ;) What, you did not gush? You are going to be edited out :)

Anonymous said...

Looks like one of those found its way here. Well, you will surely have a lot of him, since he is out of a couple of international tournaments now. I wonder, looking back in retrospect, would he have chosen to take an extended break and skip the biggest domestic tournament ever or rather be in a position where he is now. But then thats another matter altogether...

Kavi said...

So now, you have a chance to 'express your feelings' with every swing of Sachins fortunes !

You can give expert opinions on how to execute a deft cover drive. On Anger, advice. Passion...all on national television !

In India, you cant stay far from cricket !! Hmm ! Hooked. Or stumped. Or bowled...!!

Sidhusaaheb said...

'Feel' is an overused word in interviews on television news-channlels these days, especially if we include the Hindi version as well, of the question that you were asked, which goes like, "Aap kaisa mehsoos kar rahe haiN?".