The morning newspapers

August 26, 2011

This was brought on by a discussion on Facebook, after I’d posted an observation, that the front page headlines of newspapers remain the same all the time… Vikram Hiresavi suggested I begin to get along without newspapers.

When I am in the US, I do get along, for the most part, without the daily newspaper...I don't find the need for them. However, even there, on most mornings, I buy the St.Louis Post-Dispatch, as I like to scan through it for the local news (that's how I learn of many events...and, for example, I learnt that there were newborn Cheetah cubs in St.Louis Zoo), and I like to get myself my usual tiny cup of coffee and browse. In Bangalore, of course, newspapers form a big part of our mornings.KM wants several financial papers, so we get the Deccan Herald, the Hindu, the Business Standard, and the Business Line. Sometimes I get the Economic Times, too, and on Sundays, the Times of India as well. I come back from my walk between 6.30 and 6.45 am, and the Wait begins. No matter how many times I tell my newsagent that I want the newspapers delivered early, it's past 7am, and usually 7.15am, by the time I hear the sound of the newspapers. The sound of the newspapers?....our news delivery boy ( Chinnu, a young man who goes to college after this morning job is done) wants to save time, and to avoid another scolding for being late, by sliding them down the passage leading to our apartment, and vanishing down the lift or the stairs before I can come out! When we moved into our apartment, the previous owners had used a longish slab of granite for something else. I had that made into a kind of bench, and I've put it on our balcony. The newspapers are placed on this, and I get KM's tray of tea ( This KM Tea Ceremony requires a post of its own. Nothing other than Darjeeling tea will do, and it has to be brewed specially in a slightly warmed teapot, and served on a tray with a cup and saucer, and a strainer) and my tiny cup of filter kaapi (I've become used to the "baitu kaapi" amounts in the Darshinis...I love the small amount of piping hot coffee, that I can have without worrying about calories or caffeine.) Sometimes, I cut up fruits and we have a platter of mixed fruit, too. You'd think that when we have so many newpspapers, we'd have got into an amicable arrangement about who reads what first. Oh no. BOTH of us want to read the Deccan Herald first, for some unfathomable reason. However, we generally compromise. I am the one who likes to read the various supplements of the newspapers...KM is the one who likes to read the weightier columns, the opinions and, of course the financial news. Sometimes, we compare notes after reading one newspaper, and it's as if each of us has read a different newspaper, so mutually exclusive is the content that each of us reads! Of course, one of the attractions in the newspapers, for me, is the cryptic crossword. I love doing the Economic Times and the Deccan Herald ones (the Deccan Herald Saturday crossword is like a treat that I look forward to every week...aha, tomorrow is Saturday!) and though I don't like the Business Standard crossword too much, and actively detest the Hindu one, I'll stoop to doing them, too, if I don't have a choice (if the Deccan Herald is not delivered, for example). Along with the Newspaper Ceremony, I also have the TV on. I say this because I don't always WATCH the TV, mostly I just listen to the old songs...7am to 8 am, it's Hindi movie songs, and then it's Tamizh classic movie songs. At 8.45 or 9am, I also tune into Madras "A" and listen to Arangisai, which features Carnatic music. On Sundays, if I am home (it's usually my nature trail day) I listen to Rangoli on DD1...again, old Hindi songs. The newspaper time is often punctuated by a Skype session with KTB and her parents in distant St.Louis. Since MS took over Skype, the voice quality has become dreadful, so we tend to use Google video chat instead. It's a delight to watch Miss Hurricane Hair at her dinner, playing with her toys, or showing us her books...and to speak with the several friends who drop in during the evening. At about 9am, the NC comes to a close, and KM goes off for his shower and preparations for the drive to Hosur, and I begin to think of the kitchen chores, and my work for the day....I fold the newspapers neatly and KM takes some to Hosur with him, and I stack the others in a cupboard, to be given to the old-newspaper shop (the money is donated to a charity at the end of the month.)

So it’s going to be a long while before I give up the newspaper habit!