I loved getting up late as a young girl and like parents of all good girls my parents never approved of it and conveyed it to me nearly every day. The best excuse I could come up was, the moment I open my eyes in the morning I want my newspaper, without that, it is difficult for me to open my eyes. The only newspaper we bought was Hindustan Times and before eight o clock it belonged to my dad. He may not like the idea of my waking up late but handing me the newspaper before he read it was too much of a sacrifice and fortunately he never made it. My parents efforts to wake me continued as did my resistance. After I got married the problem of the newspaper continued. My father-in-law tried to adjust by sharing the newspaper but we had to order another newspaper because I like to read the whole thing at the same time.
Now after 24/7 news channels and internet we switch on the TV or the internet the moment we open our eyes in the morning. We have no appetite for breakfast till we come to know what happened in the world while we were sleeping. Why is it so important to know what others are thinking, saying or doing, no matter how trivial, nonsensical or destructive. Not only that, we are also ever ready to lend our eyes and ears to the ‘experts’ offering their expert comments on the happenings, the analysis of which takes us nowhere. We want to know what has happened, is about to happen, what can happen or what should have happened. Spending time on daily news, especially current political affairs was a complete waste of time, some of my learned friends would always tell me and I would agree with them most of the time and continue with the addiction. We may curse the media for going berserk about trivial details of our political and other celebrities but the truth is that our newspapers and news channels have opened our eyes many times to the lurking dangers in our cities.
My friends from Mumbai always used to point out that I am living in a dangerous city where people are rowdy, push each other, break the ques and are not bothered about rules. In defense of Delhi, in a typical meri Dilli meri shaan style I would tell them that Delhi is a lively city, people may be loud but that is because they are large hearted (Dilli dil walon ki). Thanks to our news channels I found a lot of fodder to counter my Mumbai friends and relatives. The Thackeray clan came to my rescue. I gloated about how we in Delhi are Indians first and treat people from all over the country in the same way (North Eastern Indians please forgive, you might not agree with me). My expectation was that Mumbaikars will be apologetic about it and explain the merits and demerits of the case, I myself understand a few of these things. They could not be cowed down, Rahul Gandhi’s Mumbai visit proved that aam Mumbaikar is as civil as they claim to be. Once armed with the greatest media story of the year, Rahul ji’s travel in the Mumbai locals and the famous ATM story, it was the Mumbaikar’s turn to be on the offensive now.