In one of the 'Smart Cities' of India, an urgent meeting was being held at the office of a prominent 'Media House' (say, a News Channel 'Y' - Company). The overall head ‘Mr.H’ was in a foul mood, and sitting along with him are his executive deputies ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. (Note - to promote gender parity, the company and Mr.H specifically have stopped addressing employees as a certain 'Mister' or 'Miss' - many people scratched their heads as to how it would help in gender parity.)
“Have you seen the TRPs? We are just falling every day. Any new ideas for tomorrow's 'Breaking' headlines apart from the regular news, people?” thundered Mr.H.
A - Sir, yes. My team has a special report on the recent developments in medicines of Drug Resistant Tuberculosis and we could air it...(Everyone looked at A in plain disgust)
Mr. H - That's all right, A, I'll listen to you later, any others?
B - Why yes, sir. I have an excellent piece. I have interviewed the second cousin of the now estranged husband of a hospital attendant's wife of Country ‘S’. (Everyone except A came to attention and showed great interest. Country ‘S’ was the place where a celebrity passed away recently and already Country ‘S's investigators ruled out any suspicion of the death. None of them bothered even asking whether the hospital attendant actually belonged to the related hospital.)
Mr. H - Ah, now we are talking. Hold that thought. Any ideas to match this?
A - Sir, but that is preposterous. What can we gain from such an interview? In that case, I have an interview from Mr.M, a famous agriculturalist who clearly explained a new suggestion to deal with the problem of Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Red-Gram farmers of Telangana State...(Oh my god, does ‘A’ never stop? Everyone kept wondering with contempt.)
Mr.H - Farmers? The only day we care about farmers is when we remember Lal Bahadur Shastriji. Jai Khet.Or what did he say?
A - It was 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan', sir.
Mr. H - Yes, who cares what he said? Right. Now, let's give a chance for others...
C - Yup, Mr.H. Check out what I have - A comparative and detailed analysis of box office collections of all films of 2017 & 2018. We could invite fans of heroes and they could sweat and fight over these statistics. Struggle over Statistics - How's this for a title? (An applauding laugh by everyone except of course ‘A’ followed)
Mr. H - As long as they fight, it'll be good for us. (Chuckles)
A - But, why do we need Headlines on entertainment when we already show entertainment news separately? (A was spoiling all the fun)
Mr. H - That's because...ah...
D - Now, ‘A’. Don't be so pedantic. And speaking of new ideas, I have one myself. I observed that when President ‘Q’ (of a foreign country) smiles in a peculiar way on any given day, then on that day, ‘Mr.Z’ ( a cricketer of our country) is certain to do a century. We could dedicate an entire day to investigate this link... (Everyone except A was amazed)
A - Are you serious, D? Mr.H, if investigation is your only concern, then I did some work, collecting data across various start ups in Bengaluru, interviewing budding entrepreneurs - their views and proposals which could further enhance our Ease of Doing Business Rank or about the NPAs of banks which I did last week....(A was so boring)
Mr. H - Ah, yes thank you A. For now, we'll go with ‘D's thoughts. (A round of clapping and cheering for ‘D’)
A - Mr.H, I can't bear this nonsense. You are ignoring me for too long. For weeks I've been requesting you to at least listen to my proposals. They involve issues of national importance. Medicinal properties of new species of plants discovered or an informed debate of Federalism or even a dispassionate analysis of India-China problems without hyping up Doklam issue - you've never given me a chance. So I Quit. (Much to the relief of others)
The next day, news channel 'Y''s ratings shot through the sky. Every person was glued to the channel's exclusive headlines on a link between President ‘Q's smiling pattern and the century making abilities of ‘Mr.Z’.
A rather dazed ‘A’ thought to him/herself - 'So, that's the Headlines for the Day...
Place and Date
#16-7-16, Bhramara (Ground Floor), Saladi Jamindar Street, Palakollu (West Godavari) - 534 260, AP on Saturday, 10th of March, 2018.
'So, that's the Headlines for the Day...(Satire/Fiction)