Skip to main content

Going to a Sarkaari PC

As a journalist, I get to go to many press conferences (PC). But I find the sarkari ones the most amusing. I went to one such PC the past week. Here's what happened.

As against in a typical 5-star hotel banquet room, this one was held in an auditorium. There were many visitors, but hardly any journalists. Or so it seemed. So many guests There was a large stage where the dais was there and as typical as a government way of working, the dais was quite large; around 6 odd people were slated to address the PC. In a private-company organised PC- much like their lean style of working- you'd find only about 2-3 people on the dais.

The guests arrive, most do with their entourage. But they don't go to the dais straightaway. The emcee takes the stage, welcomes the guests and then one by one starts calling out the names of the people who are slated to sit on the dais. People applaud as if catching a glimpse of Sachin Tendulkar. The room is full with people; sarkaari PCs seldom run empty. I am told that's probably because most of the seats are occupied by company employees. Ah well, that could explain why so many people were in suits and boots.

The game starts. The emcee begins by thanking (so profusely you'd think the world goes around thanks only to the people on the dais) one and all that 'matters'. No sooner that the people get settled on the dais than they are unsettled once again. The lighting of the lamp. Very Indian governorship. A big stand with many lamps is placed either at the edge of the dais or just below it. The chief guest lights the lamp amidst traditional Indian classical music being played in the background. Massive photo opportunity. I remember my childhood days when newspapers used to carry pictures of such lamp lighting moments of many events, every second day. The chief guest takes time to smile at the camera at the same time he lights all the lamps; and there are plenty lamps to be lighted, so more photo opportunities. Cameramen scramble to get a glimpse of this historic event.

The game continues. 'Respected and honourable members of the dais' are back in their seats, adjusting their suits, buttoning or unbuttoning (as the case may be) in a very dignified way after an accomplished task, as they settle down. Now, comes the token of appreciation. Flower bouquets are presented. One by one, pretty ladies come and present the bouquets to the 'respected and honourable members of the dais'. Mind you, this is a sarkaari PC- grounded with traditions- so the ladies are clad in sarees. This is not a Kingfisher Airlines PC or anything! More applause. As each 'respected and honourable member of the dais' gets presented with a flower bouquet, there's a huge round of applause.

The PC now starts and one by one, each member gets to come on the podium and gets about 5 minutes to speak. They speak, thank people before they begin their speech, thank people after ending their speech, talk to journalists, answer their queries, give one-on-one interviews to TV channels and then they go away. We return back to our offices with quotes and start writing our stories for next day's edition.

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

US-64 DRAWS TO A CLOSE; WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

As the country oldest mutual fund scheme, now US-64 Bonds, are set be redeemed, it’s tough to find an equally alternative investment. There are some that come closeThe oldest mutual fund scheme in India, Unit Trust of India (UTI)’ Unit Scheme – 64 (US-64), will soon be no more. After more than 40 years of existence, curtains will fall on the US-64 bonds that mature on 31 May 2008. UTI has already sent out letters to all bond-holders about the redemption; investors are told to submit their original certificates, take their money back and leave.

For investors like Kolkata-based, Kumaresh Mukherjee, 72 it’s the end of an era. Soon after he retired from Philips India, he invested his provident fund corpus in fixed – return instruments like company fixed deposits. An electrical engineer by profession, in 1995 he also invested Rs 12 lakh or around one-third of his retirement corpus in the erstwhile US-64. After years of above-average returns, then trapped doors and turmoil that shook the Ind…

Pay Credit Card Bills Through ATMs

Tired of being ignored by ICICI Bank credit cards by being left out of their premium services despite being a loyal customer, I got myself a new credit card by HDFC Bank. It's another thing that HDFC Bank promised me a gold card with a higher spending limit, but then threatened to give me a silver card. When I strongly protested to their ways, they issued me a gold card, but with a much-lower-than-promised spending limit. I think the credit card companies ought to be made more accountable through stricter laws that are widely publicised (I recently read an RBI advertisement in the paper that if a credit card company rejects your application for a credit card, it has to give the reasons in writing; I never knew that!!!) and ought to made to pay for promising one thing, but delivering something totally different. SBI Cards too chased me for a month last year and promised to give me a platinum card with a high spending limit. What I finally got was a much-watered down Gold Card with …

Teachers at Hindi Vidya Bhavan

Being a huge fan of the late Behram Contrator, the founding editor of Afternoon, I have read many of his legendary column, 'Round & About'. In one of them, he makes a poignant irony: that although teachers are our torch-bearers throughout our school and college days, give us education and make us capable of facing and surviving in this world, they would always remain in that one place, while their students would go places in thier lives. Like a teacher would still be at the bus-stop waiting for the bus, all throughout thier lives, while the child will grow in status and stuture and pass by in car. I found that to be very true, so I look back - the least I can do, and appreciate the teachers who have taught me and have a hand to make me who I am today. And while I am at it, let me also tell you about some of them who, unfortunately, I did not like.

I did my schooling (SSC)from Hindi Vidya Bhavan (HVB), Marine Drive, Mumbai. I passed out my school in 1992, so this post will …