The melodrama of everyday news.


Last week on the final day of our company meeting, we had an inter-departmental quiz contest based on current affairs and other general knowledge. To our horror we realised that from our accounts team of 8 women, nobody reads newspapers. Myself included.

Its not that we do not glance at the news and have an outline knowledge of what is happening in the world, but ask us the chemical name of Meow-meow (Mephodrone), or the exact number of seats won by AAP in the current assembly elections (67), and we were dumbfounded. I have always found reading the newspaper very depressing and hence I skim through it. But on seeing all the others in my team sailing in the same boat, I was shocked.

It is true, that even now in almost all households, the men can sit with their cup of tea and breakfast in the morning and read through the newspapers while women make breakfast, get the kids ready, plan meals for the day etc etc before leaving for work or starting other chores of the day. In my office team, all of these women have kids aged between 2 to 15 years and I am sure they must be juggling a lot of roles before they come to office by 9.30. I have seen my mom do that forever (although dad does make coffee for her and she gets those 5 minutes of peace drinking coffee) , and my mom-in-law makes fresh breakfast every morning even before we have gathered our senses together, newspaper kept aside till then. My baby is now 6 months old and my mornings are way busier than ever before, but that is no excuse for me. Even before the baby, I found very less time and inclination towards news.

When we were kids, my dad would everyday sit with me and The Times of India, and we had to read the headlines and atleast one entire article of my choice from the first few pages. I always found myself going over to the centre of the newspaper to read editorials, I loved them and still do, but the main pages were dreadful. And dad being the disciplinarian that he is, that ritual of the day could not be bypassed. 20 years later and there has been no change in my attitude. On the other hand, my husband voraciously reads all the news albeit on his tablet /phone. All real time. No stale news for my man in the next morning’s newspaper.

Long time back during a period when I was anxious and upset, worried about life, I had read some motivational book that said “Don’t read depressing news in the morning”. I do not remember any other details in the book, but this line became my alibi. I absolutely hate to read everything that is wrong with the world every morning. For instance todays news : “Greece debt crisis – markets set for a crash”, “BEST bus mows down 2 women” and so on and so forth. The Black Monday would then follow me through my Tuesday.

Of course, this as I said earlier is not an excuse. In global times like these, we have to be aware of what is happening in Mulund, a tiny suburb of Mumbai as well as the new metro opening in Chennai or the gay couple marriages legalised in USA. Although the later has been made hard to miss by all those Facebook rainbow filters used by folks in India, even when the desi section 377 bans LGBT rights.

But technically, if it can still be called a newspaper, I love the Bombay Times. Such happy and gay times, who got linked up with whom, who is starring in the next movie with my favourite actors, which destinations in India are a must visit before turning 30, 5 tips to get that acne free face and those hilarious sexual advice columns, all are my preferred items of “news”.

Nevertheless, let me go pick up my phone and go to the Newsreader app and see if there is any sign of the service tax to be reduced back, or if any import/export concessions will be allowed for our high-tech machinery under acchhe-din. Because I am a Chartered Accountant after all, and for Jignesh – business is business.


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