March 11, 2008
Two interesting interviews today and both completely different. My first was with Tanya Wood of the International Federation of the Red Cross which was a useful insight into an organization of undeniable value to the world. So often whenever disaster strikes some region on the planet the first group in to help alleviate suffering is the IFRC.
My second interview was with, and without my notepad this may be difficult to remember, Jafar Mir Abdullah, the Nawab of Sheesh Mahal, Luknow. That being said and when i was given the dossier by my able assistant Heidi I thought someone was pulling my leg and having me interview an Enid Blyton character. A quick spell on Google told me that the gentleman in question did, in fact, exist. There were some odd bits of trivia that also turned up in my search. According to the Times of India there have been some questions raised about the man’s lineage. According to the newspaper the last verifiable Nawab died without issue towards the beginning of the last century and claimants to the title now are relatives of his wife. There was also a reference to the current “Nawab” in which he accuses anyone who questions his bona fides of ignorance. The paper went on to say that there was no documentation to support the current Nawab’s claim as he says the paperwork was “eaten by termites”.
The gentleman is here as a guest of the University of Trinidad & Tobago to speak about India’s observance of Hosay ( a Shia festival that is also observed here) so I just went with the flow. I am not sure if he really is “Your Excellency” and given the fact India is a republic I don’t think such titles even exist but what the heck..if someone wants to be an Excellency I am happy to oblige. There wasn’t much light shed on Hosay but he did speak at length about the tradition of Muharram in Lucknow. I know very little about Shia tradition other than the basic roots of the festival but it certainly made for a unique interview. According to the goodly Nawab all is rosy in Lucknow and who am i to disagree.
I have been thinking a lot lately that my current work situation leaves a lot to be desired in terms of a regular schedule. I love what I do and can’t imagine doing anything else but I am starting to feel that three years of not having regular days off and having to make special arrangements to get away for a weekend is not an ideal situation. It would be nice to plan things more than a day or so in advance and not being able to spend time with my friends on weekends has become rather taxing on my social life. I will have to add fixing my work schedule to my list of things to change this year.
January 6, 2008
It was a good but different day at ieNews today. I called the newsroom before I got there and Melissa Wong told me things were dry so i started to worry about having to pad but when i called back an hour later we were almost overflowing with news. News and particularly weekend news is a strange beast that was. By the time I arrived there was a good selection of stories and things were looking good. I lined up the newscast trying my best to ensure that adjoining stories were by different reporters..not an easy matter when we only have two working today. So things were going well and I was keeping an eye on a pending story following up on a 15 year old boy who was beaten to death with a cricket bat with a male relative waiting for the footage to come in. When the cameraman came back and Melissa looked at it she called me over and we realized we had an interesting situation on our hands. Our cameraman was the only one with the family when a male relative called in to one of the family relatives cell phones and she put it on speaker. After listening I realised we had a confession on our hands and an additional threat to other members of the family. An interesting situation where the news station actually captures news but with several interesting legal questions that arose.
What to do? Melissa and I listened again as Giselle continued to churn out stories that she was destined to read at 6:30 as I had opted to read Sunday news. We eventually decided that we couldn’t carry the sound clips because the other party was not aware he was being recorded and we couldn’t verify that it was the actual person calling. There was a confession involved so I called my police contact ( after dubbing the tape and hiding the master just in case) and he had another officer call me to ask for a dub. By this time we had word the man had surrendered to police but our material could clearly be of great importance in a case. We carried the story as #2 in our lineup concentrating on a family living in fear while a killer was still on the loose. Once I get legal advice I may carry some of the footage tomorrow before it all becomes sub judice.
As news was about to go on and all our stories were in my cell rang and it was Sheppard calling to invite me to an impromptu small dinner up Ft George Hill. When Peter and Naz invite me for dinner I seldom say no. Naz is a great cook and their home is wonderful not because it is grand but because it isn’t and yet they have turned it into something wonderful. It was to be just Peter and Naz and me and Robin but eventually Shalimar and Felix became part of the event. I arrived after the news and Naz and I nibbled artichokes, cheese and crackers. Eventually the rest of the group arrived and it was a pleasant evening with much conversation and dishing the dirt. Omar aka Grommit called at around 11pm to say he and Brent were off to a lime ( Trini parlance for hanging out..but somehow more than that) at Sky so I wished them both well. With the strains of the Temperature fete at the stadium wafting up the hill and possibly also the sounds of the Out of the Blue fete at QRC I realised it was after midnight and I bid adieu to one and all and now am back home blogging to you.
Off to bed now…noticing that Flow is working again. I used to think “I live here but I am not of here” ..I give up on that one…I now say I live here and I wish I could strangle several companies.
January 4, 2008
Right now the expression “out of the frying pan, into the fire” is featuring prominently in my thinking. Having ditched TSTT’s appalling internet service and switched to Flow’s cable internet service I am now dealing with 2 1/2 consecutive days of poor or no internet connectivity. What is worse is that at least TSTT would answer their help lines ( albeit never with a useful solution and most often denying there was a problem) whereas Flow puts you into an endless loop of recorded messages ending with a beep and then simply drops the call. I don’t know about you but I cannot sleep peacefully without a good internet connection and no internet connection generally requires self-medicating. I cannot check my email, I cannot do the finicky fact checking that my Fodor’s writing requires, I cannot chat with Astrid, cannot do a proper blog entry in both places, cannot feed my new facebook addiction, cannot check the news very 5 minutes as I am wont to do, cannot sneak a quick peek at TMZ.com, and cannot get hints for possible stories tomorrow. In short not having a good internet connection screws with my life. I know what you are saying, think of those halcyon days before the internet when people read books, chatted, and generally found peace and serenity in their homes. I say listen here….I have all those things on the net as well and I don’t have to leave my couch or smile when i don’t feel like it. I think it is safe to say most of my friends with the exception of Robin are also hooked on the net. This is quite a handy situation as we all meet online at some point during the day. I am not much of a phone person with most people ( including family) and my main aim during a phone conversation is to terminate it before it turns into a numbing rambling experience. On the internet I can just type brb and actually go off and do something or stay on the computer and give the other party a breather. I was especially hoping to see how Muz and Binky are doing in Barcelona this evening as they generally find an access point wherever they are. At least they are returning in 3 days bringing my local friend contingent back to full strength. Speaking of friends …yes Omar…GPRS on your cell phone does use up your phone credit. Don’t be doing that when you are in Tobago and nowhere near a Digicel outlet. Will try to upload this and mirror it on .Mac tomorrow. If it doesn’t work..well to hell with it. Thanks Flow!! You freaks of nature.