Reading the newspaper was something that I used to do regularly till college got over, or till I guess I left for Ahmedabad. Being there, there was seldom or no access to newspapers – all news I read was online and that was pretty much enough between work, chatting with my cousin and mom, and of course, with my colleagues in office.
After I returned, somehow, I did not make it a point to read newspapers except for the comic strips that appear in The Hindu’s supplementary papers. Calvin and Hobbes, to this date, remains my favorite, and would remain so till I breath my last. I sometimes wonder if I got much more philosophical because of Bill Patterson rather than due to Vedanta. 😛
This evening I decided to take a ground check. I read The Hindu – dated August 8th, 2011. Of course, unlike my dad – who reads the papers as if he was about to appear for an examination the next day (questions being asked based on the content of the paper he was reading) – unlike him, I glance through the headlines and very rarely go into the main details of a news item.
Even as I did that, I realized my chance lethargy about the newspapers – and more focus on comic strips – was in fact a good decision.
One of the first things that I remember about reading today’s paper was a court order on the usage of the term ‘Thalappakattu’ in shops!!! To the uninitiated and unfamiliar, ‘Thalappakattu’ is a type of biryani, famous throughout the state of Tamil Nadu, and it’s authentic source is said to be Dindigul – a district very adjacent to the famous temple town (now more of a city) Madurai.
Shops boasting the name are not that authentic these days. In fact, on my way to college, there’s a roadside shop with that name. However, never in my dreams have I thought that this would cause a stir so far leading to the courts! I could hardly imagine judges saying, “And so the bench orders ‘Thalappakattu’…..” 😀
So much with biryani!! Let the judges have two or three plates of the same. 😛
Newspapers mean robbery, murder, accidents and frauds. No!! What I meant was, isn’t it a common saying among people to say, “Newspaper la eppa paarthaalum kolai, kollai dhaane irukku!” (There’s only news about murder, robbery etc. in the newspapers!)
As usual, The Hindu had its average usual dosage of news on a couple of murders (see how a serious thing like that is made a mere statistic! :P), a robbery and a major accident (photo included, mind you).
Okay, after all these serious stuff, I thought I’d get some lighter things on the newspapers. Indeed, I was right! There was a joke on the JokPal bill – oops, that was supposed to be LokPal, but never mind the typo! The meaning remains the same anyway! 😛
Anna Hazare is set to go on another hunger strike on August 16th or so because apparently, the LokPal Bill as suggested by the Government is more of a Joke-Pal bill than a decent one recommended by Hazar & Co. Phew! How much more hunger strikes? The Govt. is getting used to that now – so much so that it doesnt bat an eyelid anymore when the term “hunger strike” comes up on the radar. Credits to that goes to MK – Remember former TN Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi going on a hunger strike? Yeah, that was the best joke and one prominent journalist-dramatist-artist by the name Cho made one heck of a joke out of it.
Finally, we end with something that always interests me. US military offensives in places like Afghanistan. A recent NATO strike seems to have killed the wrong targets – women and children instead of terrorist and insurgents. Would this end, ever? I used to think only time will tell – but nopes – oil reserves and Middle-east domination strategy are the key players here. ;(
Finally, the verdict stays unreserved 😛 Comic strips, with Calvin and Hobbes (even if repeated editions) are far more insightful and broadening than news. It would be great if Bill resumed Calvin and Hobbes again, but even in its absence, the strips that come out these days are by far awesome. Whether they keep me glued to them or not, they will definitely keep me away from the main paper. If there’s anything truly very important, it would reach my ears (or eyes) some way or the other. 😛