Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Times of Chennai

When the Times of India (TOI) started a Chennai edition, we subscribed to it, assuming that it would provide us with some comic relief from the ponderous and stodgy People's Daily of Chennai (PDC) aka The Hindu articles and communist propaganda. In other words, it would tell us who is doing what and to whom. However the Chennai TOI has come as a pleasant surprise. It's not only chock full of news right from the first page, there is nary a nubile nymphet to be seen nor a fluffy article about Angelina Jolie's 15th adopted kid and her pet cat. The news coverage is actually quite impressive including a few science (occasionally pseudo science but that's expected in any paper) articles in the Trends section. Of course almost all the foreign articles are sourced from agencies (expect the occasional tripe from Chidanand Rajghatta) but then it's better than having one's own reporters providing news with a tilt as in the PDC. As a compendium of news from different sources, it's adequate. Even the pictures near the masthead which usually used to be of some beauty queen or equivalent, now carry pictures of Amar Singh or M. Karunanidhi (called familiarly Karuna by the newspaper, a serious case of lese majeste if ever there was one). And as good old Wodehouse may have said, only if the other contestants were Sir Watkyn Bassett, Roderick Spode and Oofy Prosser, would these worthies ever have a chance of winning a beauty contest. Of course there is fluff but it's been banished to a pull out Chennai Times but it's pretty dull -- one can only get so interested in the antics of Namitha or Asin and Kamal Hasan. So the question is - what is the reason for this barren landscape -- is it because
  • The TOI is trying to be a serious pretender to the PDC throne
  • There really is very little so called Page 3 happenings in the city compared to Delhi and Mumbai.
Something tells me it's the latter. Who pray are our equivalents of Shobhaa De and Parameshwar Godrej?

4 comments:

Anant said...

I guess page 3 would be more interesting in Madras if you had punks driving over labourers who are sleeping on the sides of the street in their BMWs or Scorpios, or if you had the ugly rich shooting barmaids when they do not serve them drinks.

On the other hand, does the paper report the lectures of Kripananda Warrier and Ragothamma Sastrigal on the little known nuances of the Ramayanam, in T. Nagar or in Mandavali or Mylapore?

Vani said...

TOI Hyderabad edition has lots of Page 3 news and pictures of nubile young things and their 'friend's (a reference used when that person is not so important to have a name!). The pitiful state of 'Tasmac' stores may be contributing to less-than-jolly life style for residents of this city leading to lack of party happenings.

kapil said...

First nit-pick

its = possessive of it
it's = shortened form of 'it is'

(I thought you had read "Eats, shoots and leaves")

Second nit-pick

Blogger doesn't seem to like text mode browsers using OpenIDs!

Rahul Siddharthan said...

Anant:
I guess page 3 would be more interesting in Madras if you had punks driving over labourers who are sleeping on the sides of the street in their BMWs or Scorpios,

Here you go...

or if you had the ugly rich shooting barmaids when they do not serve them drinks.

Here you have the ugly police arresting girls who drink at night (and the Tamil press egging them on).

Vani:
The pitiful state of 'Tasmac' stores may be contributing to less-than-jolly life style for residents of this city leading to lack of party happenings.

The hotels are well stocked (and permitted to serve the stuff), and as for private parties, those who want the stuff know where to get it...