Friday, September 30, 2005

Of Quakes and Quake Experiences

Believe us, Sovi Vidyadharan is certainly not having fun in Uri.

There are no mobile phone towers, no cyber cafes, no shops in the quake-hit regions - virtually cutting off the disaster correspondent from the rest of the world, as he strives to source stories amidst the devastation all around.

The only cyber cafe in Baramulla and those in Srinagar shut shop at 6.30 pm and for Sovi, who returns from Uri and adjoining areas late at night - these are of little help.

The rare sight of an STD/ISD centre on the way may be welcome, but the long queues of quake victims and army jawans waiting to talk to their folks back home is an unsettling one.

The only option - dictate stories to someone in Delhi over the phone (after coming back to areas which can boast of a mobile tower).

"I am practically celebrating Ramazan with the locals," says Sovi, pointing out that he hasn't had anything to eat since leaving for Uri at 8 in the morning.

The Dravidian lad's also caught a cold from staying out in the chilly winds and that's only made matters worse.

A back-breaking journey of several kilometres in a hired Tata Sumo, the barely there roads to Uri and Tangdhar are a cliffhanger of a test for even trained drivers, who manoeuvre with dangerously little room to spare.

Add to that the clouds of dust which swirl up and sneak inside the vehicle at regular intervals - "I have only had dust for lunch," says Sovi.

His only other companions - the myriad army trucks which pass his vehicle at regular intervals - are not something he looks forward to on the narrow roads.

One inch here or there, and one could go tumbling down into a cavernous gully. Sovi can certainly thank his lucky stars he seems to have an experienced driver.

Our message for Sovi - Hang in there buddy! You are with us in our prayers.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Of Debjit and Several Treats

Debjit Chakraborty, our Crisil guy, has got it made.

The Bengali babu is currently enjoying a month-long stint in London - his third foreign trip in the past year.

Add to this the fact he and wifey Ruma just shifted to a brand new pad AND they are gonna have a baby AND recently celebrated their third wedding anniversary.

Boy! you sure have a lot of reasons for demanding a treat from this guy.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Of New Jobs and Haemoglobin Counts

Swaty Prakash, whose haemoglobin count had gone for a toss just a few months back, is now slowly putting her life back together.

On September 15, the chirpy damsel started work at the Hindustan Times as a deskperson.

More good news in store - hubby Manas is voyaging to Oman on a three-day junket to flag off a boat reprising the historic trade route journey from Muscat to Dwarka - a journey first undertaken more than 5000 years ago.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Of Farewells at Railways Stations

Ambika Pendharkar was all smiles while departing for amchi Mumbai despite our combined efforts to make her shed tears of remorse.

The comfy journey in a swanky new Rajdhani Express, coupled with free icecream every two hours, may have forced her to take a joyous view of the proceedings.

But now we are not so sure. Bet you miss the Capital already, Amby.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Of Sneak Pics and Abhijeet Sawant

Mriganka Dadwal, who after her anchoring stint on Zee Business seems to have forgotten her friends here, is certainly enjoying her time hobnobbing with celebrities.

A little birdie told us of the existence of a photograph which links Mrigs romantically with Indian Idol Abhijeet Sawant.

Clicked by a vicious cameraperson while she was interviewing the dude, the nit pic is currently the subject of a nation-wide search. Don't worry, We'll keep you updated.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Of Punjabi Weddings and the Indian Navy

To be precise, Shivika Kapur jumped on to the marital bandwagon on August 10 last.

Mrs Sood (she hates being called that) has already returned after honeymooning in Darjeeling and is busy settling in at her Mumbai residence with hubby Amit, an engineer in the Indian Navy.

The wedding at Delhi's posh Tivoli Gardens was a tony affair with typical Punjabi fanfare but even so the highlight of the evening was Shivika's grand entrance in a resplendent scarlet lehenga.

Bet she would have won a Best-Dressed Bride contest anywhere in the world.

Of Cricket Controversies and Hotel Food

Avishek Roy, who went off to Gwalior for covering 20/20 cricket, also got a decent impact in the bargain.

Add to that, the sights and sounds of the Scindia kingdom and you know Avi must have had a nice five-day trip.

The only hitch - the hotel food didn't quite agree with the Bengali lad. Well, we all know there's no such thing as the perfect assignment.