Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My First Time (at the Assembly) and Other Stories

There is this new brand of clothing that has opened up shop at a mall near my office called Urban Yoga. When I bought a ridiculously expensive pair of trousers from there yesterday, they gave me this cute little brown bag with spiritual stuff printed on it. One line I liked was that you are new with every breath you take.

That is so true to the life I am leading right now. Every moment is different, every day brings with it a thousand new experiences. One such special day was June 21, 2006.

I must have written somewhere on this blog that politics holds a special charm to me. It is filthy, disgusting and all that but I have always enjoyed keeping up with the ones who 'lead' the country (do not ask into what!). My office happens to be just a few minutes away from Vidhan Soudha, the seat of power in Karnataka. At least twice a day, I go past the imposing building and each time I get thrilled (for want of a better word) at the sight of it. I had always wanted to go inside and watch the proceedings when the Assembly is in session.

Getting a pass can be a bother but thanks to a friend, a fellow journalist, I got to go in. It was marvellous. My friend took me to see the Legislative Council and then to the Assembly. The rules are strict, no mobiles, no bags, nothing. I was shown where to sit by smartly dressed assistants. The visitors sit in galleries around the well of the Assembly.

I peeped down. The well is beautiful with green carpeting and mahogany tables and chairs. The Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy was answering a question about a major project that had lead to a lot of controversy. Arguments soon began to fly back and forth with the Opposition advicing the government on various issues. Soon a fight broke out among the Opposition leaders and they almost began to hit each other. Sadly, that was when we were asked to go out, to keep the dignity of the House, I suppose.

That was the end of my first time at the Assembly. I did want to stay and watch them fighting! Ma thought I was demented to go and look at the crazy politicians when there were live telecasts on television. But then, I haven't really been listening to my mother for some years now! ;-)

Yesterday, I did a story on Elgin Talkies, the oldest film theatre in Bangalore. It has existed from the time the Lumiere Brothers first screened their movie in the country, from 1896 that is. The owner was a very friendly person and told me a number of stories of crazy fans. Apparently, hero worship was so much in those days that unemployed people would steal and bring coins to throw at the screen when their favourite heroes came on screen!

Then there was another programme I went to, a very fundamentalistic Hindu programme. Today, just as soon as I am done blogging, I shall be going to interview a high profile naked Jain saint who is in the city.

This post is full of different stuff, unrelated paragraphs, I know. But then, this is how my life has been. Very different. I come from a family of doctors, engineers, teachers and bankers. Almost no one is in humanities. Even today, my extended family fails to understand why I chose to be a journalist. I do not have a one line answer. A love for ability is not it. I suppose it is the joy of meeting people. I have been talking to people the kind I didn't even know existed. I have been listening to stories I didn't think was possible in a civilised society. Perhaps that is what brings me here. I don't know. Like Woody Allen once said, the heart just wants things; there is no reason to it sometimes.


Karthik L G said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karthik L G said...

It looks like a fairytale job ur doing. congrats and always enjoy ur job.

have realised something .. if we start loving the job we'r doing , the job will start loving us. as we discussed the other day 'its all in the mind'

Ashley said...

Where I live, some of our best politicians were once journalists. You get inside and see things others do not have ready access to.

I foresee there will be a PM Deepa in about 15 to 20 years!!

Deepa said...

True Karthik, I am living a dream. Like we discussed, it is all in the mind. You can teach yourself to love what you do.

A lot of politicians in India have a journalistic streak in them as well Ashley. But me as PM, no thank you. I would rather write about the PM than have to face a journalist writing about me.

Shiv said...

So you got the glimpse of the 'elite' representatives of people fighting !

I'm sure it would have resembled the chaos in KR Market.

Where was this Elgin theaters? Nice to see that you are into covering some old links of Bengalooru..

Enjoy the job, journalist !

Deepa said...

Shiv, Elgin continues to function in Shivajinagar in a street off the Shivajinagar circle. Ask anyone there they will take you to it.