I was going through the weather forecast in the papers here. Nothing to write home about. But it reminded me of the weather forecasts that we get in Times of India (TOI) Bangalore.
On March 4th we had torrential rains for about two days, plunging the mercury down several degrees to the right side of a cool weather. I remember the article that came in TOI the next day.
"Mr. K from the Meterological Department confirmed that it rained in Bangalore yesterday. He predicts more rain in the next 24 hours."
It was cloudy and it didn’t take a weatherman to predict that it would rain, leave alone ‘confirm’ that it had rained.
However at the slightest change in weather, TOI will badger this poor man for news and he invariably ends up looking like a fool.
I remember a news item that came in TOI when Playwin was a big draw.
Family commits suicide due to Playwin!
Or something to that effect. The news went on to allege that the family had run into huge debts due to bulk purchase of Playwin tickets. The Playwin outlet was ransacked by angry crowds and the owner was in hiding for days till police restored normalcy. Deccan Herald later reported that the family was in debt due to a failed business transaction and that the suicide had nothing to do with Playwin.
However TOI continued it’s inflammatory reportage till failing circulation figures forced it to pull up it’s socks. TOI still has readers due to its glitz value but Deccan Herald has surprisingly held onto its subscribers and increased its circulation with a few changes, like the Metro section (which is an excellent read).
Then TOI started a Food Review section and my aunt believed one such review and went to the "Thattu Kada", an supposedly authentic mallu restaurant. The 'restaurant' turned out to be a garage and the food was the pits. The naadan fish curry turned out to be fish boiled in water and tomato sauce thickened with cornflour. She wrote an angry mail to the reviewer, who merely added a "disclaimer" to her reviews after that. Deccan's food reviews on the other hand is very reliable.
This reminds me of the lament of PR people...that unless you invite a reporter and the photographer for do's they will not report. And Press people are the worst behaved at Event Luncheons and Dinners. For a Golf tournament in which my Dad participated , the Press people literally blockaded the Cocktail counter, not allowing even players to have a drink. In fact I have coined a term for them "Professional party goers".
There was a time we took two copies of TOI and still fought over who got to read it. Nowadays the sole copy of TOI lies unread. Namma Deccan Herald is the chosen one, at least in my family.
Moral of the story? When in Bengaluru do as the Bengaluru jana do.