Déjà vu ?
Argh! This is maddening! Now how the hell am I supposed to come up with something on a day’s notice! Stories aren’t cultivated in factories! Why can’t they just do what other channels are doing! Flash the latest breaking news, animate the events and there you have it!
“We are breath-takingly different” My foot!
“We bring you the REAL news” Ha ha ha!
“Stories you’ve never heard before” Now that’s so true! But HAS ANYBODY CHECKED THE TRPs??!
121 All India Engineering rank, but I wanted to ‘follow my dream’. Wish I had known that my ‘dream’ involved coming across the craziest of people, keep taking rounds of the filthiest places, get blotches of sunburns all over my skin, dig out stories after stories. And then what? They call another bimbo who runs an Exclusive Report and I see my name Pop up somewhere.. not to mention the meager amount I am paid for the fucking effort! But if I quit.. Ooo if I QUIT, I’ll be poured with a hundred..no a thousand..no a GABAZILLION.. ‘I-told-you-so’s.
Somewhat annoyed, since my chain of thoughts-ARGH! The unjust bastards! What do they think of—was disrupted, I replied in a “Huh?”. I turned around to find a man, probably in his early sixties, dressed in a sherwani with a karakul hat.
“Will you be kind enough to guide me to the Prime Minister's residence? You see, it has been quite a while since I was last here. So much has changed! I feel like a foreigner in my own city! Ya Allah!”
Prime Minister's residence!- Those few words worked like fireballs!
“Well…..it’s a long walk from here. Maybe you should take a taxi…”
“Hah! No, No.. I can do with some walking” he said, almost mocking at my suggestion.
“Er, do you have an appointment, Sir?” I asked, obviously curious.
“I don’t need one” he stated. And going by his loud expression, I could tell that he was fairly offended.
“..oh! I meant …because if you’re late then it would be better—“
“I am in no hurry. Shukriya. Khuda Hafiz.”
Now blame it on my job, but I smelt a story there. So I went ahead and said,
“Okay.. Do you mind if I join in then? I am Anita, by the way..”
“Sure! Mubashir Allahuddin” he said, finally with a smile.
“So.. you’ve been away?”
“Yes, seeing the world. Britain, France, China.. Everywhere! But our mulk has no competitors!”
“The air smells so nice without the British around. Ah! I have spent sooo many glorious years here.. My ancestors belonged to Shah Jahan’s court. We had royal blood in our veins. But it was all ruined. Power can make even the finest horse go wild. See what his son did. Got all the temples demolished and lost the goodwill of his Hindu subjects. Now Islam doesn’t preach that!
“But I don’t know much about all this. The history accounts can’t be trusted y’know. Anyway, I was born in Lahore. It was the time when Gandhi came into prominence. Just see where he is now!”
“Yes! The Father of—“
“My father was always with the Congress. Attended all their conferences. Ah! He was a great man. His name was—“
“Um.. Mohammed Allahuddin?”
“Oh yes! So you know him!” he exclaimed. And rambled on and on and on.. But strangely though, it all sounded familiar His narrative…even his face now. I could almost complete his sentences. Was it a déjà vu? I couldn’t say…
“I had to leave India in 1956…”
“1956! So it has been a very long time!!”
“..amm..yes..not so long though” he said, sounding a tad confused. “But then every moment away seemed like ages!” he added with a smile.
Finally when he halted, it occurred to me that I could use his story for the next show!
Aha! Now history does sell!
There were thousands of rapturous bubbles bursting in my over-excited little head.
“Umm.. Would you liked to be interviewed, Sir? I work for MetroZone News. People would love to hear your story!”
“Well..why not!” He grinned
Halleluiah! I have a story!
I excused myself and rang to the office.
“Ritu! BANG! I got it!”
“Oh you did! Whew!”
“Yes!Yes!Yes! So should I ask Mubashir ji to come over tomorrow?”
“Er, what did you say his name was?”
“Mubhashir.. Mubashir Allahuddin.”
“Hmm.. Anita.. Did you read today’s newspaper?”
“Huh? Yeah, of course I did. I have it with me right now”
“Then check out the fifth page”
“What the—Ohhh!!!!! DAMN ME!”
I rushed back to my old man, and asked,
“Sir, can you tell me the name of our Prime Minister?”
“Why… Pt.Nehru, of course! What kind of a question is that!”
Poof! See..see..SEE! We really don’t have any shortage of lunatics. What a crazy job I have! Crazy people, crazy places.. Am I going crazy now?!
And then, I took a deep breath and chanted..
I love my job…I LOVE MY JOB…I love my job…