Saturday, April 02, 2005

Railway officials: a PAIN!

Government officials...ok railway officials in particular - they get on my nerves!We're doing our investigative project on the beggar syndicate in Chennai. People from rehab centres told us to take a train ride from Beach station to Tambaram. So we went over to the Assistant PRO of railways..the guy is first of all pissed that our college comes every other week to do some or the other story(well...if railways are in the news, aren't we gonna cover it? Duh!). Anyhow, then he says that his boss is outta town so he cannot permit us. Now come on, the Chief PRO isn't required for these little things. This guy has signed letters for us before. After a lot of pleading (and abusing in the mind), he still doesn't relent and tells us to come the following day.
So Meenakshi lands up the next morning and some other arbit guy screams at her again 'coz ACJ is foever doing railway stories. The thing is that since there are three streams so i guess a number of people must be coming. The man yells his lungs out and asks her to call at 3p.m. and make some college authority talk to him. So, that's day 2 wasted! Anyways, we asked Nishat sir to call and obviously he had to give us permission after that 'coz Sir smartly took N.Ram and Shashikumar's names;) The PRO wouldn't wanna spoil relations now, would he?
So we land up yet again at the PRO's office and this time straight to the Chief PRO. He gives us permission - only for non peak hours and then asks us yet again, why so many people do railway stories...and we explain that each time the issue is different. Obviously, we didn't tell him that we want beggars on the train. Are u mad? He'd have thrown us outta his office. So he asks his PA to type out a letter and asks us to wait outside. I tell Meenakshi-"This guy was sweet, unlike his junior staff".
The painfully slow PA takes half an hour to just change the names and timings on a standard letter for this purpose. In doing so, he doesn't fail to tell us that the last time we came was on 7th March and that that time also Meenakshi had come (with Sam). Anyhow, he finishes the letter and goes inside the CPRO's office to get it signed. Comes out a minute later, minus the letter! We wonder - "why the hell could he not stand there and just get the letter back?"
We wait..and wait...and wait more. I take back the compliment about him being a sweet guy! He just had to sign the damn letter after all. After another half an hour, the CPRO calls him inside and sends the letter with him! Finally, we have permission! Quite a painful affair (to say the least). Guess the college should invite him over for the convocation or something so he's helpful with the next batch!
Anyhow,that's that.
I have dumped all my BBC stories on to a VHS to take home. Yet to dump the Kudremukh documentary. We got the highest marks in that. There were 8 films in all.
There's a debate on Global Warming in Monday's science class followed by a Pizza party as we're all leaving next week. I'll have to write a report on the debate. Then theres the Enron assignment that I have to do for the business elective. Other than that, I'm done with almost everything barring the IP of course. Just have to stick on the snaps of the last photojournalism assignment. It's on Ritchie Street. Am done with the other two on Mahabalipuram and the Trade Fair.
Spoke to Ankur last night and got April fooled. Then spoke to Bhau and apparently Toni April fooled her! So, I'm not the only one:)
Monday night there's a party at the Cricket Club. It's a farewell from the chairman. I hope I'm able to come back for the convocation. Highly unlikely though!:(
Guess that's about all for now. Will keep you posted bloggie.Ciao.


Neha said...

phew..that sounds like a lot of work. well now u have experienced the "Red Tape" first hand and see that governement works slower than snails. governments jobs everywhere are done slowly coz I think they take their jobs for granted unlike the private sector jobs where the performance is constantly monitored.

Mridu said...

Well, the private sector has its own set of problems...let's not get into the whole debate!

I said...

On what basis do u get these assignments.

Are these assignments real..i mean assigned by companies? or just dummy projects?


Mridu said...

Hi Shipra,
These used to be our college projects. We were doing news bulletins and for that we had to cover events in the city. This railway thing was for an investigative documentary film we made on the beggars in the city. They were not assigned by any company. They were part of our training as broadcast journalists.