Thursday, April 2, 2009

To me

I know it's seems odd and not possible, but somehow I have the word 'journalist' written on my job profile.

As part of my job, as is with every journalist especially the arm-chair sort, there's not a day that goes by without calls. The constant introductions every five minutes, the repeating of names (like mine or Sholin or Jolandra or Balakrishnaprasad Subramania Kumaran Harisundar Chattopadhyaya, without insult to anyone or any community) over phoneline static, the interpretation of Hindi-, Bengali-, Konkani-, Kannada-flavoured English.

It was going great yesterday. Everyone decided to speak to me, although most times the conversation ended with: "I don't know much about this. Please contact Mr/Ms X, who will be in a better position to answer your query." I finally got the elusive Ms X and rang her up.

(Heavy traffic sounds. Honking)

D: Hello, may I speak to Ms X please?

X: Yes, speaking.

D: I am Dielle D'Souza calling from the P... A....

X: Who??

D: (very slowly, trying to be very clear) Dielle D'Souza from the P... A...

X: Yea? ok?

D: I'm doing a story on dolphins and I wanted your help. I spoke to Mr S and he told me you work with dolphins. (bla bla bla)

X: Yes, I do, but who did you say you are again?

D: I'm Dielle D'Souza from the P... A...

X: Is this a joke?

D: (to self) What?? Would I call sources to chat them up just for the heck of it? Waste money and time? Introduce myself to random strangers who will almost never get my name... and screw opportunities for developing a source like I did the other day?

D: (in conversation) No, this is not a joke. I'm sorry to disturb you but I'm doing a story on dolphins and was told you work with them.

X: This is an April Fool's joke isn't it? (laughing) Who's this?

D: (almost cracking up) No, this is not a joke. I'm really doing a story and I need your help.

X: (between bouts of laughter) I'm sure this is a joke...

D: No Ms X, it's not. (watching everyone around crack up incontrollably and finding it very hard not to laugh)

X: Listen (laughter), could you call me back at 8 o'clock please?

D: I really need your help. Will you be able to speak to me then? (to self: and not think it's an idiotic friend on an April Fool's loose-end)

X: Yes yes. Call me at 8.

D: All right then. Thank you.

(Puts phone down. Bursts out laughing)

Call at 8:05pm unanswered. Story up with someone else's two-line quote.

Happy April Fool's Day.............. to me!

Note: This post was not meant to hurt the feelings of anyone/any community. If anyone/any community does feel insulted, I apologise profusely.

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