New Gen Media? Never

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Letter from a Concerned Reader | Columns

Respected sir/madam,

I wish to take this opportunity to wish you and all your readers a very happy and prosperous Independence Day in advance. For the youth readers of this esteemed newspaper I have one simple request: We took care of this country for 70 years and ok maybe it is not the greatest country in the whole world. But don’t make it the worst by trying to make it the best. That is all from Mr. Mathrubootham.

Three days ago I was sitting in my living room silently drinking my coffee, minding my own business, and reading this esteemed newspaper when my son suddenly entered without any warning like Chinese army. “Hello old man,” he said and this was his exact words, “what nonsense you are reading newspaper like it is 1985 or something!”

Immediately I reached for the realistic wooden elephant showpiece we purchased from Guruvayur many years ago. But Mrs. Mathrubootham stopped me with one look from her eyes. Sir/ Madam how to describe this look. I am always telling her she should stand outside Apollo Hospital, take 500 rupees each from kidney stone patients, and then look at them for two minutes till the stone automatically dissolves out of fear and humiliation.

Sir/ Madam, in 1985 I was not reading newspaper. I was sitting in Yercaud branch of nationalised bank and working day and night, giving gold loan, refusing housing loan, opening locker, closing locker, issuing chequebooks, filling passbook, misplacing petty cash and all. So that I can take all my salary and directly give it to my son’s engineering college as fees. We thought maybe he will join Tata Steel or Indian Railways or TVS and become senior officer and then we can live retired life in luxury in his company quarters.

Instead here I am shamelessly sitting and fighting with Tata Sky fellow every month for discount.

Whole morning I was in a bad mood. But then I thought ok my son is maybe a little bit right. So I went to his office-cum-bedroom and asked him to show me how to read news like new generation. He enthusiastically took his iPad and gave it to me.

Ok appa, he said, welcome to the 21st century, as if so far I was living in some Alif Laila period.

Sir/ Madam, for two to three hours I read these new generation news articles. Then I stopped. Because who knows, what if nonstop stupidity causes brain cancer.

Sir/ Madam, every article is the same. First of all there is some headline that will increase blood pressure. If You Thought Rosemilk Is Good For You Think Again You Fool.

I immediately clicked. First three paragraphs was general overview of world history. What is milk? Who is cow? Where is rose? Which banana is that banana? I thought ok maybe writer is getting paid two rupees per word and trying to make money.

Then for three paragraphs writer gave one full biography. How his father met his mother in Calcutta and then they had two children and moved to Chennai, and then the writer went to Kendriya Vidyalaya and had first glass of rosemilk and then there were five brothers got into fight with 100 brothers over property problems and Lord Krishna tried to negotiate and etcetera etcetera. Hello! Whether you are getting paid two rupees per kilo of words?

Then four photos of same glass of rosemilk from four angles. This was not necessary.

And then finally, right at the bottom, the writer said that if you drink five or six glasses of rosemilk it is bad for you because it has too much sugar and fat. And finally three more shameless paragraphs of world history.

In my entire life I have not wasted so much time for so little benefit since Kisan Vikas Patra.

Sir/ Madam, I will never again make the mistake of reading my news anywhere else. I have learned my lesson.

Yours in exasperation, J. Mathrubootham