Troubles of a hitch-hiker scribe

The road is a teacher for all of us. But for a journo out in the hinterland without a ready mode of conveyance, it is even bigger, perhaps a principal.

pujab

Puja Bhattacharjee | January 2, 2013



Being a journalist is not easy. Getting the opinion of those in power is tricky. One has to wait for days, weeks or months for an appointment. You will get an audience soon if they happen to be free which makes me wonder if they all are working so hard why aren’t the results showing. Next is the challenge of speaking to them. If you are lucky, you will come across a gracious bureaucrat willing to speak otherwise you may be dismissed swiftly.

I have to depend on a guy who takes me to villages. Though most of the days he is on time and takes me wherever I want to go, there are days when he can’t make it or is late. Those days can be very trying.

I had to wait three hours today. And when we started, it started raining. So we had to return. Depending on another person also means having to adjust to his moods.

The other day on NH 60, a truck driver refused to give our bike a pass for quite a stretch. It infuriated the guy so much he called up his friends and all of them blocked the truck's way at a crossing. Upon reaching, he parked the bike on the side of the road and made his way towards the truck. All this while I was on the edge as a bike is nothing compared to a mighty truck.

The last thing I wanted is a fight to break out with me stranded in the middle of nowhere. The guy gave the trucker a piece of his mind and that was the end of it. It could have easily gotten out of hand. I have to say I was lucky.

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