Vantage point

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I Deserve Respect Too!

Since the last 4 days, I have seen ATS cops paid homage to, NSG commandos get applause, Taj employees get praised, and the victims/hostages get credited for bravery and character. Made me feel left out. No one appreciates me! :(

But thank you, Rajdeep, for showing me a way to claim some credit -

The situation was was changing by the hour, and if you look at the overall picture, our television channels did an excellent job. There was round-the-clock, coverage, like September 9/11.
Television channels are always criticised for their work, yet everybody wants to come on TV. For TV journalists, there was hardly any respite as long as the tragedy continued. Their commitment deserves respect. It takes a lot to cover a tragedy of this magnitude.
One of the survivors who came on CNN-IBN said that “while the television channels were on, we felt secure.

I deserve a lot of respect too! Although the situation was changing so rapidly, I was watching television round-the-clock for 62 hours. I didn't sleep at all. Do you know the kind of commitment and discipline that requires? I haven't stayed up all night like that even for exams or concerts.

And it isn't just continuous TV-watching without any respite that kept me up. My commitment and resources were tested in other ways too. Sitting here in the US, I don't get Indian news channels on cable. So I had to follow it all via streaming video. Do you know how much harder it is to "flip channels" when watching them on the internet? It isn't as easy as just clicking a button on the remote. I had to go to the URL field every time, and pick out a URL from the drop-down menu. And I had to keep doing this every half an hour or so if I wanted to switch channels. Do you have any idea how much commitment it takes?

Simultaneously, I was also reading emails from various groups I am part of, following twitter, keeping an eye on American news channels too (with the captions on). I also had to call a lot of people in Bombay to ask if they were safe. This unprecedented level of deft multi-tasking is not as easy as it seems.

Then of course, there's the emotional toll of it all. Coming to terms with people being affected personally, watching this whole drama unfold on the screen. It takes a lot to ceaselessly follow a tragedy of this magnitude.

So yes, both Rajdeep and I deserve a lot of respect and admiration!