Times of Oman
Nov 25, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 11:14 AM GMT
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August 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
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I refresh myself with a bonus cup of bed-tea, and invigorated set out in search of the morning newspaper.  As per the standard protocol developed due to the daily-delayed deliveries, I scan the foliage and tangles of all bougainvillea creepers embracing the boundary wall; explore into and in between the potted plants; prostrate down to scan under the parked car and then my eagle eyes fly atop the boundary wall itself.

It is nearing 10am on a Friday morning and there is no sign yet of the newspaper. Meanwhile, umpteen desperate peeps from the balcony at the garage roof have already ruled out the high probability of the newspaper having been served there again and the grave reality of its lying there limply and paying homage to putrid carcasses of tens of its predecessors. Thanks to my newspaper vendor Jamal, the rolled newspaper missiles are hurled in all directions.

Dying for the news I switch on TV and flip through the news channels to get some whiff of the latest news.  It is my second attempt to see whether they have opened up the shop having since done away with the stale repeat telecasts of the programmes from the yesternight and recorded news. My expectation is still alive as I await them to return from the concerted commercial break of twenty minutes.

I know it will be stupid on my part to try my luck with any other channel as they have gone wise and foreclosed all your escape routes. As all news channels have resolved that it is time for you to get entertained, you have to abide by their wisdom or simply quit. Fine, let me have some breakfast and come back.  I also need to go and take another inventory of the garden and the courtyard.  May be Jamal had come. But I did not get to hear any thud or explosion, though.

I have come back.  Let me see, what they have now.  I am looking for some Phata-Phat 50 news-pack on a Hindi news channel where they promise full fifty items of news in just five minutes.  Oh, but it is the long commercial break again. Let me have a look at something interesting on other entertainment and family channels. Oh, no! How did I forget that the synchronised concerted commercial breaks are their joint-venture to combat the menace of disloyal and unfaithful viewers! They will soon return to deliberate on the health and wellness of the business sector. 

All channels have those programmes in the same order and to coincide with so that any unfaithful captive viewers like I cannot divert their mind to other mundane issues when serious matters like doctrines of criminology are being discussed nation-wide.  Just think of the poor news channels; what amount of efforts and resources they invest to record an interview with a celebrity or a programme. They have the right to run it repeatedly all through the day, for weeks to come to recover the costs.

Why also blame them when they incessantly run sensuous social scandals serially to tip the scales of their target rating points? And that is how you see each of those channels grading themselves as the best and awarding number one positions inwardly.

Now, it is enough news. Let me attend to my weekend obligations towards the household and the family. I will come back in the evening when all news channels will sit together to debate on issues of national importance, like which politician said what of others during the day or on an issue of popular interest.

The illustrious panelists will dissect the genealogy of the utterance and the host will join the bandwagon pitching for one bloc and by ignoring or shouting down those with disagreeable views akin to an arrogant Daroga thrashing the accused brought to his thana and then coming merrily to the scripted conclusion.  It will be E-time again, followed by recast of oft-repeated programmes and teleshopping sessions with tickers of the 'Breaking News' running constantly, refreshing you on what happened during the last three days. 

Let me have another trial for search of the missin

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