The other day I was pleasantly surprised to be interviewed on-camera, and again and again – in fact thrice within the space of one hour. It all started when I had a couple of hours to kill on Friday due to the fact that an official meeting was postponed to 2pm and I was set loose at 12 noon. I had to amuse myself all alone for the next coupla hours- so to pass the time – I took off to one of my favorite haunts- Richie Street- to hunt for mp3 cd’s and assorted junk. As I was passing the Konica studio opposite the MLA hostel on Wallaja Road – I felt a sudden urge to have my picture taken. So I parked there and went in a for a photo shoot – for a passport pic. When I came out and was approaching my car – I happened to glance (give the usuaal once-over) at a couple of pretty girls who were doing something bang in the middle of the busy junction. They happened to notice my checking them out too and they rushed upto me with cries of “Sir, Sir, One minute” Ok – I told myself- this is your lucky day. And stopped to enquire “Wassup Ladies?” One of them Set-up a video-cam on a tripod ; another thrust a Mic onto my face and a third one appeared from somewhere to adjust a light-meter and sound a clapper before they turned on the Video-cam and asked me ” Sir, we are students from the Asian College of Journalism. We are doing a public survey for a class project. Would you care to comment on the traffic problem in Chennai?” “Of course” I said “how can I refuse to help you out (three pretty girls..). Am I not a public spirited citizen?” So for the next three minutes I spouted all sorts of drivel into the mic- whatever came first into my head. Finishing the interview successfully and wishing them better luck in the future – as they had complained that no one was willing to stop by to talk to them and as this interview was supposed to be part of their final exam presentation – I accepted their heartfelt and gushing “Thank you’s” and departed cheerfully to Richie Street.
Out there on Richie Street I was in for another surprise – I spied another bunch of girls with a camera-tripod set-up runing after the busy shoppers with a “Sir, Sir, Excuse me, Sir”. Having gone through one such experience recently – I slowed down my walk in their vicinity ( to help them out) and Bang – the Mic was in my Face with a request to help them out in their final exam project. The topic this time was “The role of Public Transport in Chennai” and I consider myself eminently qualified to comment on it – so I let loose my thoughts on running (boarding a moving bus), foot-boarding, bus-day celebrations and most important of all – the vital role public transport corporation buses, especially on some routes like 45B – play in the development of romance among chennai youth….
Moving on from there I crossed onto Mount Road and was passing along near Devi Theatre when I was again accosted by a group of three wtih mic and video in toto. Was it something on my face which marked me out as a great public speaker?- I was tempted to ask them. This time the topic for my talk was on the changing face of Chennai over the past few years. Again a topic I am eminently qualified to talk about. So I let rip.
That was three interviews in the space of one hour (and 9 intro’s and mobile no’s). But I would love to be there in the Asian College of Jounalism on Exam Day – as the students start showing their final project video’s and the same face keeps popping up in presentation after presentation…….These things keep happening to me, I can’t guess why…My apologies to you ladies – if you get into any trouble on my behalf- but you asked for it….