Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the News

Print media faces a lot of competition from the electronic media these days. But a few years ago, newspapers and the evening news were the only source of news for the majority. And that is why, if any one of us gets mentioned in the news, it would be a sensation.

There are few common reasons for you to be mentioned in newspaper
  1. you are a politician / leader / in social life
  2. you are an actor / player / celebrity of any sort
  3. you are an important government official
  4. you inaugurate something / you deliver a speech
  5. you are a criminal
  6. you are a victim
  7. you achieve something
For the common middle class people like us, only the last could be applicable. Obviously, getting published was a very great thing that could happen to us.

The first occasion when I appeared in news, was when I ranked second in a drawing competition in my 3rd standard. Competition was organized by Sakal News Group, so it got published automatically. My teachers informed me about news in school, and congratulated me.

We weren't subscribed to that paper then, so we specially bought it from the stall. We read the news and read it to many others. But my rank was mentioned 3rd instead of 2nd, a little disappointment for me.

One year later, when I ranked first in 4th std., and also won academic scholarship, my school gave a press release regarding that achievement. It was published in all language editions of Lokmat. But a different mistake this time. My full name Akash Pradeep Khot, was printed skipping my first name. So the headline was "Pradeep Khot gets a Scholarship". It created a lot of confusion in friends circle of my father. Some of them actually asked him about it.

It was the last mistake I think, later I was mentioned properly. In years further, I appeared in news many times, for achievements in drawing, competitive exams, school gathering etc. The excitement of getting recognized that way was decreasing with the growing age. But the reactions, congratulatory wishes, from people were same every time.

I have paper cuttings of almost every news that I appeared in. One of my friend keeps the whole news paper if he is mentioned in it.

In 2-3 years after school, I did nothing worth that recognition. In engineering college, when I won prizes in fests, events I was mentioned with everybody else in news, but no excitement this time. Once, I won a title of "Marathwada IT Idol" in a competition held at a very small scale. I was not at all joyous or excited for it because of its scale. But when it got published, and the way it was written, people who knew nothing about it, felt I had something really great. I was flooded with wishes, and appreciation. Even I enjoyed the undeserved hype for one day, thanks to print media. :-D

Now, we have social media. You don't need to wait for the newspapers to get public, one status update is sufficient to reach out to hundreds of people with anything to share. Everybody is a celebrity here with his personal space. So absolutely anything and everything is celebrated. A simple status with no great content can also enjoy many likes.

But in times, when there were limited mediums to get public, I am proud to have done something that was worth a news. :-)