The following is a fictionalised rant on actual events that took place last night and that continue this morning in Mumbai. This rant is from the point of view of the Indian news anchor who showed exemplary stupidity in covering a grave, sad and gruesome attack that otherwise needed coverage that would calm nerves, provide privacy to the affected and provide secrecy to the security operations in dealing with this.
News Anchor (NA): This just coming in… terrorists are in the Taj and Oberoi hotels in South Mumbai and have taken hostages from among the guests. There are celebrities among the hostages, that’s the news coming out of the hotel and we have our reporter out there. Over to you Kedarnath.
Reporter: Hi, I am just outside the Taj Hotel that has been attacked by terrorists. I have the hotels paanwala with me who’s shop got the full effect of the blast outside the hotel. As you can see he is covered in red (sic) blood from top to toe. Sir, can you tell me what happened when the bomb exploded outside?
Paanwala: Oh yes, while I was sitting in my booth and handing out paans to the guest after their dinner, the bomb exploded about 50 meters from my shop. The shock of the bomb blast caused my customers to spit out the paan and as I was facing them, that red stained paan ended up on me.
Reporter: Oh so this is not blood on you? It’s paan stains?
Paanwala: Yes sir, that’s right.
Reporter: Who was that oaf who sent me this guy to interview? I want real blood. Can someone get me some real blood? How tough is it to get some real blood at this place.
Camera pans erratically as the reporter charges past the cameraman and the screen cuts back to the studio.
NA: Ok we are back live in the studio, sorry about the interruption. It seems our cameraman was attacked by one of the terrorists who is randomly firing out into the crowd. There is a lot of confusion out there… as we just saw, the paanwala seemed to have been suffering from retrograde amnesia and couldn’t accept the fact that there was blood all over him. Lets go down to Nariman point for our reporters live coverage of the situation there.
Reporter: I am at Nariman building where a tense standoff between police and the terrorist gunmen is happening.
Camera pans to the poor cops holding their ancient single barrel rifles. A barrage of automatic gunfire hits them as they take cover behind vehicles. Some of them move next to the news van.
Reporter: I am right in the middle of this gun battle outside the Nariman building. Looks like the terrorists are aiming at the journalists now, they are trying to extract maximum coverage by attacking us.
As the reporter speaks, a policeman in the background is felled by automatic fire from the terrorists. The policemen hiding behind the news van crouch down to avoid the gunfire. The reporter shoves the mike in their face to get their reaction.
Reporter: Sir, how do you feel about this situation?
The policemen slowly rise and take aim as the reporter keeps blabbering while facing the camera. The reporters mike that was shoved into the policemens face is now in line with the cops ass as they stand up to fire back at the terrorist. One of the cops unknowingly farts into the mike while the reporter keeps blabbering at the camera, still ignorant that the mike is up the cops ass rather than in their face.
Reporter: Wow, that was close. Did you hear that? Bullets are flying all around me and it’s a war zone out here. Looks like they are launching rocket propelled grenades against us.
Louder fart and the reporter ducks.
Reporter: I think it’s a chemical attack, I can smell it.
Reporter gags and the camera goes haywire.
Back to the news room.
NA: Our team is now under attack with weapons of mass destruction. Looks like chemical warfare is taking place against our journalists to ensure that the real story doesn’t get out. I think our journos are in line for a lot of medals for their acts of courage.
NA (off camera):Where’s my PA? Make sure she gets the names of the list of journos out there? I need to ensure that medals are due to those guys. Need to fax the list to the Home Ministry today. Which medal should I apply for? Vishist Seva? Maybe, I too should apply for the Padma Vibhushan for leading the charge in this coverage.
NA: We are now going down to the Taj Hotel where some of the hostages have been rescued. Hey is that Salman Khan? He’s injured, looks like the terrorists attacked him. Let’s go to our correspondent there.
Reporter: Thank you studio. I have actor Salman Khan with me with a bloody nose. Sir, how did you get this nose job?
Salman totally sloshed and blurry eyed surveys the damage outside.
Salman: Hey, Shah Rukh started the fight, he punched me in the nose and all mayhem broke lose. I had nothing to do with it.
Reporter: Studio, I have some breaking news here, Shah rukh Khan punches Salman Khan in face and mayhem breaks lose. Salman injured and bleeding on way to hospital.
NA: What about the terrorists?
Reporter: According to Salman, Shah Rukh created the mayhem.
NA: All bunkum, get back to the terrorists please.
Reporter: Hey I have Bobo the celebrity monkey here with his trainer who has just been rescued from the hotel. Tell me Bobo how was the ordeal in there?
Bobo: keekee kaakaa, keekaaa, kaakee
Reporter: Bobo seems to be worried about his car key. He has lost his car key. If anyone has seen the car key please contact the following number #$%#%#%#
NA: Further breaking news, we can see the commandos moving in to rescue the hostages from the north side of the building. Hey, we didn’t know there was an entrance there. Looks like the commandos found a loophole through which they could enter the building.
Oops looks like the terrorists found the loophole too, they are firing at the commandos and the commandos are going down like ninepins.
NA: Now, lets zoom into one of those windows in the hotel. We can now see the terrorists watching our news channel. The terrorists are watching OUR news channel. Yaaayy! That shows that we are the most up-to-date channel and irrespective of caste, creed, colour and nationality every person on the sub-continent looks up to us. You can see our channel creating history.
As I write this, the idiotic banter of news anchors is going on. I am in office and viewing the updates on various websites, all I see is cameras shoved into hapless faces. The journos seem to be terrifying everyone in their path, creating confusion and preventing anyone from doing their job while the news anchors virtuaously drone about how they are taking extra care in the line of fire. I wish someone sends them into the hotel. They would make perfect cannon fodder.