Humko kya milega Saheb?

I sat there fiddling with my pen. I was proud of the pen. It was a steal when I bought it but was quite a piece now. The pan-wallah was taking forever in giving me the bit of information I asked for. This piece of news (rather scandal) was worth the wait and the pan-wallah was making sure I paid for it well enough with my time. Every time I looked at him expectantly, he assumed an air of self-importance and swelled up a bit (or at least, I think so). I had time to kill, so I strolled out to the next shop.

A rather non-descript skin-bones boy was hopping around busily, giving away tea and samosas to the customers. He came to me and I ordered the only thing the shop served, chai and samosa. Before I could bat my eyelid, the boy was back with a cup of chai and a plate with two samosas. I thanked him and started eating. But he didn’t leave. He seemed to be frozen. I looked up and asked him, “What is it?”

He said, “Aap reporter ho Saheb?”

I said, “Haan, main reporter hoon. Kyon?”

He said, “Kyon aaye ho aap yahan pe?”

I was somewhat annoyed with this question but since the chai was good, I decided to say what I usually say to people who ask me questions like this. I muttered, “Ek report likhni hai newspaper ke liye.”

He nodded and left. I was puzzled. His nod made me feel strange. He didn’t respond……

I called out for him with a generic ‘Chhotu’……….he returned.

I asked, “Kyon re? Aisa chehra kyon banaya?”

He replied, “Is report ko kal newspaper mein aap sansani banake chhapoge?”

I said, “Haan, bahut BADI khabar hai. Saari duniya ko pata chalega. Bahut scandal hoga”

He didn’t look impressed. He asked, “Isse to aap bahut famous banange na Saheb? Aur bahut paisa bhi milega?”

I admitted that it was true. But I couldn’t quite guess WHAT was on his mind. Where were these questions leading? What did he intend to ask really?

He sat down on the ground and asked me a questioned that rattled me to the bone, “Saheb, aapki khabar se humko kya milega? Peene ka paani? Rehne ko ghar? Khaane ko khaana? Kholi mein bijli? Is basti mein kuchh badlega kya Saheb? Aap khabar likhoge, aapko paisa milega. Akhbaar bikega, akhbaar walon ko paisa milega. Log padhenge, ghar pe baat karenge, aur do din baad bhool jayenge. Aap paise wale aisa kuchh kyon nahin karte ki hum jaise gareebon ka bhi kuchh faayda ho Saheb? Hamaari basti ki khabar se sirf hamaari basti ko hi koi faayda nahin hoga Saheb. Ye kahan ka insaaf hai Saheb?”

I pretended not to hear what he said and focused on my chai and samosa. I don’t know if I had any answers at all………….I don’t know if I will ever have any answer…………

(PS: I apologize to those who don’t understand Hindi very well but I couldn’t get the feelings right in English)

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8 Comments

  1. Sudarshan said,

    September 2, 2007 at 5:34 pm

    Whats apparent might not be obvious.

  2. Pritesh said,

    September 2, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    Quite ironically, dictionary states the two of them as synonyms………..ahhhh………..semantics leads you to believing in things that aren’t (to quote Raman Uncle)………

  3. Sathya said,

    September 2, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    Bahut hi khoob likha hua blog ..

    Agar aisi ‘scandalous’ khabar se us pan-wallah ko kuch faayda hoga to woh chai samosa chhod ke sirf khabar banayega!

    Aur doosri baat – Aaj itna commercialisation ho chuka hai ki akbaaron pe koi achhe khabar nahin likte, sirf aisi scandalous khabar jiske wajah uske akbaaron bikh sake. In sab ke upar, akbaaron ko sarkar ke taraf se subsidy bhi milta hai!

    A classic case showing the abuse of ‘freedom of press’!

  4. Pritesh said,

    September 2, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Sathya, I think you missed the point. This blog doesn’t stress upon the work of reporters. It focuses more on WHAT it is that the people down there (scandal or news subjects, if you may) REALLY need………

  5. Neha said,

    September 2, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    ok i don’t understand hindi. so. 🙂

  6. shyamala said,

    September 3, 2007 at 7:35 am

    what is sadly obvious is that today’s press can’t feign a “vouching for truth” campaign and get away from the chotus of today

  7. sarles64 said,

    September 3, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    At least the Chai and Samosa was good, eh? Can’t front on that!

  8. Pritesh said,

    September 3, 2007 at 10:51 pm

    True Shyamala Madam…….I couldn’t agree more……….


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