Friday, February 03, 2006

Flushing the TOIlet



I wonder what the hell is going on in the minds of the simians who manage the tabloid known as The Times of India, whose creative nicknames include Slimes of India and the TOIlet Times.

My parents have always been a follower of the Indian Express for as long as I have been able to read the alphabet. Even then, they used to acknowledge that TOI, though partisan, and a butt-kissing servant of the Govt. of India, did used to have real news on its pages.

Somewhere in the early nineties, I had my first serious look at the TOI. I was shamelessly mesmerized. The thickness of the newspaper could only mean one thing - more probability of a cartoon somewhere in side. Infact, I forced my parents to subscribe to the Sunday Times of India so that I could enjoy Mindsport (a puzzle column) and Hagar the Horrible. The front pages never interested me that much because I was getting the daily dose from IE and the good old Doordarshan.When I moved to the college hostel, my long attachment with IE was broken and a new one with TOI was forged. And believe it or not, it was still because I read only the cartoons and nothing else.

Then one day, I began noticing the supplement "Delhi Times". Nothing much, a collage of photographs of forty something socialites, semi-naked movie stars, insipid interviews, pointless articles. Needless to say, I was hooked. Delhi Times used to be the paper we used to carry to the toilet for timepass reading. What we didn't realize that it belonged there, and thus, we shouldn't have brought it back. Nonetheless, my fascination waned pretty quickly.

Until they snatched me back with www.indiatimes.com. The sleaziest tabloid I have seen in my life! After watching some utterly crappy (I am really out of adjectives here) 'news' and raunchy photographs, I sensed a strong sense of deja vu.

Just have a look at the 'headlines' posted at the beginning of the post.

An Egyptian ship carrying 1300 people sunk in the Red Sea, but Aishwarya's compatibility with Abhishek is more important I guess.

By catering to the basic desires of the masses, the TOIlet times has succeeded in raking loads of moolah. Like Microsoft, it has some top notch businessman in managerial positions. Who possess the skill and the audacity to sell mediocre stuff to me, just because it looks jazzy and is all shiny and glossy! And the sad part is that there is hardly any newspaper left (apart from Hindu) to provide us with real news. Even Indian Express is a shadow of its previous self.

I guess until things improve, I would never have to worry about the shortage of toilet paper in the country.

6 comments:

Asterix said...

>At 2:10 PM, shan said...

>I've always switched between OI, >IE and Asian Age(hope u remember >that). Asian age made a lot of >business by selling gujrat riot >stories with lot of masala. They >used to write things like 'a >pregnant woman was slit open and >the foetus inside was burnt....'
>Bull....not even weirdest vampire >movies have such scenes.

I wonder why your comment doesn't show up on the main page. Anyway, I will always remember Asian Age as the newspaper which always carried B-grade quality photographs (the content was ok, but photo-quality was pathetic).

Anonymous said...

Dude, my hostel room was full of TOI :D, and you and Lalli used to be the first ones to snatch Delhi times from me :P.
-Varun

Kusum Rohra said...

The situation is actually turning more and more pathetic, along with horrible ToI we now have DNA, and Hindustan times too :(

Now daily morning at the station I place a bet in my head that which will be the least crappy of them all, and surprisingly I am always wrong.

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