And finally yours truly got a job, without any contribution of the Cover Letter
. Being a reporter is fun, especially when you have more people than one believe that you are worth a 5 digit pay-cheque. The writing is seldom fulfilling, what with the inverted pyramid and Gonzo meted out the step-motherly treatment. However, every journalist has bursts of self-indulgence. That is how columns that look from the reporters' rather than the report's lens are born. You might be familiar with weekly 'City Lights' feature from The Times of India. Likewise, my newspaper The Free Press Journal has a section called 'Bayside Banters
Here are some of my contributions to the same.
Plaster of Paris and clay based idols are passé, the ultimate form of eco friendly Ganapati is Flash based. With several websites floating the computer software generated online worship convenience, your theism is now just a mouse-click way. You have an assortment of choices- from flowers to incense to the diya, all 2D offerings now come synced with the divine melody of cymbals and the temple gongs. You can also sing along to the aarti recordings and offer the e-prasad. Some websites have gone overdrive with their enthusiasm. Now you can offer a coconut to Balaji, Ayyapan, Rama and Shiva among others, à la carte. If this trend catches on, think of all the roads without traffic snarls, of all the lakes without post-visarjan muck, of all the areas without the din of brass bands and shrill police whistles. Think of all the peace and harmony. After all, isn't that what religion is all about achieving? Any food snob or Masterchef aspirant would rather dunk their heads in a bland bowl of Gazpacho soup than have a go at local culinary delights as 'Gobi Manchurian' or 'American Chopsey', that have nothing to do with authentic platters. In a similar vein, so would Anglophiles from a range of indigenous usages and terms. Top on their list would figure 'prepone'. The second spot will be jointly shared by Facebook inventions: 'unfriend' and 'invite'. So bothersome is the usage of the latter that a domain has been invested into by the URL isinviteanoun.com. The entire website has only ware on display: 'Nope'.
Some of the other notorious usages include 'I'm making a viral video', which is like saying 'I'm making a blockbuster movie'. What takes the cake, however, is, 'flash mob'. After the delirious response to the one held at CST, everyone wants to have their own. There have been a slew of news articles, fed by PR machines, of course, that talk about flash mob being organized at several la-la-lands. If the irony didn't sink in yet, perhaps it's time you gift yourself a dictionary while we dial a Grammar Nazi for you.
Come the month of September and you see a sudden spurt of social campaigns by enterprising media students seeking to "make a change". With sincerity dripping from their faces, they appear absolutely committed to their cause and confidently speak into the cameras, giving interviews to the news-hungry media. With initiatives pertaining to clean-up drives, discrimination towards the under-privileged, fighting stigma and creating awareness, these college-going youngsters go out on the field, hold sessions at various public places and rope in celebrities. Somehow, inadvertently, these campaigns fizzle out in a month or two. Where have these students gone? What have they achieved in barely a month or two? The answer - these campaigns are launched as a part of a college assignment and once the marks are received, the classroom-presentations are done, the 15 minutes of fame achieved, the insignificant questions like 'What next?' cease to be relevant for them. Students get busy in another assignment. Media moves on to some other similar campaign by a fresh group of youngsters. The consumer has fresh noise to look forward. Everybody wins, except, perhaps, the cause of the campaign. But then, with the decreasing attention span, does anybody notice that?
As Smart Alec once said, 'If internet was a nation, cat would be its national animal'. From its meme being introduced on the internet imageboard website 4chan, the cats sure have come a long way. Cat images and videos have been making users go LOL since 2006. With this overwhelming praise in place, it was but obvious that a fur-specific celebration be in the offing. And they got its long awaited due as feline-fanatics in Minnesota in the US of A finally decided to hold an Internet Cat Video Festival. A first in the potentially long line of many film festivals was held on August 30th. Quite unsurprisingly, about 7000 of entries were submitted of which 78 were shortlisted and screened.
With lakhs of internet users and cat-owners in the city, all that remains to be seen is when the Indian version of the Puss in Shoot takes place. On a related note, celebrity cat Crookshanks, responding to the festivities said, "Now I too can haz film festival."
* I have been guilty of the same. The rant is a form of self-flagellation.