From the sidelines | india | Hindustan Times
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From the sidelines

india Updated: Apr 14, 2010 00:32 IST
Kiran Wadhwa
Kiran Wadhwa
Hindustan Times
From the sidelines

A shadow moves across the window on the first floor. The shadow then raises a hand. Oh, God! It looks as if the shadow is going to open the window of the first floor of the Mirza home in Hyderabad.

After waiting for at least five hours in the 41-degree heat, this is the biggest moment for the 150 journalists and cameramen. The window finally opens. The tripods are set, the camera flashes. What or who is going to emerge? Sania and Shoaib in a passionate embrace? TV channels can thrive off a shot like that for the next four days. Out comes the hand of the domestic help who quickly wipes the window clean and shuts it.

In the frenzy, one cameraman loses his balance as he climbs on to the wall of the neighbouring building and falls on the other cameramen trying to climb up behind him. A lot of screaming follows until the police personnel intervene to calm them down.

For more than a week now, several crews have been stationed outside the gates of Sania’s and Ayesha’s homes. Apart from two press meets, these journalists have had no access to either party involved.

But they have to give live updates every hour. One local TV channel ran ‘exclusive’ footage of the lobby of the Taj Krishna, the hotel in which the reception will be held on April 15.

Another ran some old pictures of Shoaib dancing with some girls at an after-match party in a nightclub. The women in the pictures were circled in red and the voice-over claimed that Ayesha is not the only woman Shoaib misled, but there were several other women too. The ‘misled’ girls, though, seemed to be having a, well, party.

If you are feeling bad for the poor TV sods, spare a thought for the print journalists. They wait for hours along with the TV guys and trip over the various wires from all the cameras and then get yelled at for almost upsetting a tripod. They never even get a chance to ask a question at the press conference, and even those who hold the press conference don’t give two hoots about them because the print media does not give them their 15 seconds of fame. They still wait for hours and get pushed around and wonder what on earth are they doing when they could just sit at home and take notes from TV updates.

The only beneficiaries from the furore are the kulfiwala, chaiwala and channawala, who reach the spot by 7 every morning and station themselves alongside with the journalists.