BY: SUMEDHA GROVER
The story I wanted to do had been overdone already. Another one that I found required a lot of leg work. The one I finally wrote ended up being a learning curve I’m not likely to forget.
Offices are closed on national holidays. All of them. Or at least the ones you need to get information from. I sweet talked people into getting private numbers and begged and pleaded for their time while listen to a string of cuss words from the other end of the phone. But well, I don’t understand Tamil so they rolled off my back pretty easily.
That’s the only good thing that has come out of not knowing the language. Sign language is my saviour along with a tumult of broken Hindi and English interspersed with “Tamil teriyada” and “Tamil illa”.
The MTC bus depot at Thiruvanmiyur is a constant stream of passengers running to get into a bus before realising it wasn’t the one they needed to board. And among them I stood lost and confused without a story and a scathing email.
Running from pillar to post. I learnt what it really means as I ran, walked, hobbled from one dusty office to another and watched the clerks stamp time sheets. The flow of information was more of a slow drizzle.
About 50 calls and 70 text messages later I had two quotes and a couple of leads which I took back to the tapri outside college. The leads vanished as quickly as my coffee.
A few more searches, a few more numbers led to better information that I struggled to put into words as the clock ticked away.
Technology has a way of failing you right before deadline, almost as if it knows your last minute anxiety isn’t complete unless the laptop crashes and the internet decides to stop working on every other device around you. Serves us right, maybe?
PS. Panorama is horrid. Standing in public trying to take one is worse.