Reporter’s Diary: Thank God it’s Friday?

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A large amount of weekend glory is directly proportional to what the contours around Friday night look like. The activity could be as dismal as heading back home and catching an episode of trash Reality TV but, boy, do you need to only carry the right fabric and size to the Friday night trial room?

The week preceding Formula 1 in India would have qualified as dreamland for any reporter who is an ardent Formula 1 Fan. If time, distance and fuel permitted, you could be sitting at the Buddh International Circuit every day, either watching Massa churn out cocktails, or accidentally bumping into Schumacher at a Press Conference by the Mercedes AMG Petronas team and just casually trotting around the pits, ‘like a boss.’

I would like to assume that the already existing F1 follower in me, married the newly found journalist on the race weekend that just went by. A grand stand pass was in place and Friday night was scheduled to be spent at an F1 event, one of the very few that was happening not at the circuit, but in, what I call, mainland Delhi. Integral to this build up is also the fact that I have never been more particular about being at an event ahead of time and yes, and particularly when you have a Bollywood ‘millionaire’ as the host. I did reach well before the clock struck eight.

If I write the story of my life, I don’t think there have been very many times when my frustration has followed a sharp progressive graph, on being made feel like a ‘slumdog’. It either manifests itself into an impulsive outburst or just dies in its sleep. The stage was set for a ‘mag’num ‘Opus’, but, what happens when an entire clan of journalists is tucked into one corner of a 5-star hotel, served insipid food, given four tiny sofas to sit on and while they stand, wait and twiddle their thumbs, asked to gape at more than a dozen tables and ample number of chairs set inside the venue? I haven’t mentioned that we were made to wait for only a little more than a couple of hours, have I? Did I also mention that the significant someone who was meant to turn up, never arrived? Do these ‘eclectic stones’ make a difference to the evening? There were exasperated journalists murmuring in frustration, there were infuriated journalists being fairly vocal about their frustration and then there were the ones who were absolutely livid and making sure that the behemoth failure was caught on tape, if nothing else. And you’ve ‘bernt’ — Oops! ‘burnt’ your fingers already?

The situation does get ‘Gambhir’. In fact, a couple of the star guests, who arrived well in time, left back for the pavillion, too because fact is, no one can take anyone’s time for granted. Without much ado, I would like to declare that most of us were made to feel uncomfortable and were left exhausted.More importantly, there’s only so much vegetable satay that your system can take. And after all this mismanagement, not allowing media personnel to access the area where dinner is being served is pushing it to another level altogether. Everyone who was there can gather around this post and agree that the event was a colossal fail. Nothing can compensate for it. Not even two complimentary passes to the picnic stand and a parking sticker for a ‘two-wheeler’. Everything that could go wrong went wrong that night.

If a Friday night does not go as planned, you curse everything and everyone else but yourself. Even if the weekend comes full circle by giving the temper a pass, and travelling to a far away land to watch a sport whose ‘supremo’ held more than half of the responsibility for brutally murdering your Friday night.

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