The Local Chachi

Neighborhood Gossip

Back in the days (so I have been told), there would be a neighborhood local Chachi who would be the one processing all neighborhood news and sharing with the ones who cared (or didn’t). I always imagined her sitting on a jute woven charpai (a four-legged cot for gen-Y) sipping chai, surrounded by the other ladies of the local hood. She would listen to one and share it with other…of course with the added flavor of gossip to make it interesting to the ear of the others.

News is What?

What really is news? We take it for granted that we do know that it is. It is what we see on News Channels on TV, what we read on newspapers, find on social media sites. But is it?

News, we would like to believe, is Facts of events, what’s actually happening. But most newspaper, TV channels, social media feeders etc. seem to have a different version of the same news. But how can a “fact” have different versions? A lot of news fed to the people today is “opinion” of one over the other. A lot of times a biased opinion of that tends to influence people (very smartly) in a certain direction. News is not a Bollywood movie review that is an opinion on the likes and dislikes of a Friday release. It is supposed to be plain simple facts.

There are so many cosmetics around news to glamorize it that the facts pretty much get the leftover space of a fine print. In a country so driven and obsessed with everything Bollywood, we somehow may be responsible for seeking news camouflaged as a glamor. That’s how we listen, read or picture it. I guess that’s what catches attention.

Plain simple facts probably do not make news today. They need the spice, the masala, and the added pinch of opinion for folks today to swallow it with ease.
Just like in the good old days when the local Chachiji would do the same single-handedly.

Her legacy continues and so does the news. Food for thought!

(The above article is from part of my editors note on the Living Local Magazine)

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