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Seemi Pasha
Tuesday , October 16, 2012

Rape story, the anatomy of reportage

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When I was asked to travel to Haryana for a ground report on the sudden spurt in the number of rape cases being reported from the state, I frankly didn't think the story was worth much. The number stood at eight rapes in about 25 days...eight was just a figure, a number, a statistic...I didn't see a story, I didn't see the trauma, I didn't see the pain. The night before I had to leave, another incident of rape was reported. A 16-year-old Dalit girl doused herself in kerosene and set herself on fire after being gang-raped. A quick google search and this is what I put out: STARTS Info on recent cases Almost 10 cases of rape have been reported in Haryana over the last 25 days Sept 9 - Gang rape in Hissar: father of the victim committed suicide after he found out about....

Monday , January 25, 2010

Cold Winter Mornings

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If you want to get a real taste of Delhi's winter, you should go for a drive at 3 am. It's foggy, it's chilly and no matter how many layers of clothes you're wearing, it's never enough. The biggest challenge, though, is getting out of a warm bed. But once you've overcome the initial hiccup, it's almost surreal. These early morning drives have become a routine weekend affair for me. But it was only this last weekend when I had to repeat the ritual, five days in a row, that I realised how beautiful the entire experience is. I know it was slow on my part but one tends to be groggy at that hour. The cold air hits you in the face just as you step out of the door. Your first reaction is to cringe, but then you begin to enjoy the cold. ....

Tuesday , October 07, 2008

Under the scanner

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A lot has been written about the serial blasts in Delhi and the following encounter in Batla House where the police gunned down two alleged terrorists. A lot has been said about the persecution complex that Muslims are suffering from. The BJP has left no stone unturned in showing it's disapproval to the Vice Chancellor's decision to provide legal aid to students who are randomly being picked for interrogation. But what happens to the ordinary citizen after the high drama ends and the newspaper headline fades in public memory? What happens to the men and women who have been pushed to deepest corners of the dark alleys? Jamia Nagar has suddenly become prominent on the Delhi map...it's narrow by-lanes now need to be policed. It is now being seen as the underbelly of the city, a place where thousands of Muslim....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Untold Stories

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As journalists we end up working on multiple stories at the same time...hoping that one of them would materialize into a news report that might grab a few eye balls...but there are lots of stories that remain untold. Not because they are about insignificant people who are one in a billion but because we need to conform to deadlines. It's not possible to follow the same story for a year...when your job requires you to file fresh news reports everyday. Last September I was asked to work on the Citizen Journalist show. Our team decided to dedicate one segment of the half hour long - weekly show to real heroes...people who were doing commendable work in their respective fields. In my search for one such unknown warrior I came across a woman who was running an NGO that provided legal aide to minor victims....

Saturday , November 10, 2007

Two out of Five

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What do you expect to see when you go to the theatre to watch a movie?? Certainly not a spoof of everything you've ever seen in a Bollywood flick...Well, Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om is just that. A big budget spoof, starring best friend Shah Rukh Khan and a pretty Deepika Padukone thrown in. The first half of the movie is a good joke...that the director fell so much in love with that she goes on with it for an hour and a half. The movie is obviously a tribute to the good old Bollywood we love...but instead of telling a story...it focuses on the process of movie making. Not really a bad idea but way over the top. Somewhere towards the end of the first half...when all the funny one-liners are over...the writers realize that there is no story... and that's when they decide to pay tribute....

Tuesday , March 21, 2006

'Being a Journalist'

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It may sound weird but I think in many ways journalism is like an adventure sport. Obviously by saying this I don't intend to undermine the seriousness of the profession in any way but just the pace and unpredictability of what lies ahead makes it addictive. If you've been in the newsroom when there's breaking news, you'll know what I'm talking about. And not just breaking news, there's a deadline that needs to be met every hour. The pressure, the urgency and the desire to put out the best in as little time as possible. It's like the night before your exam when you can't afford to waste a second. When you drug yourself with caffeine and curse the university board for making the paper so tough. But as you're doing that you're also loving every second of it. Only in the newsroom there's....

Tuesday , February 21, 2006


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I've been a TVholic for as long as I can remember. I mean during exams I would watch so much TV that I wanted to throw up on the television set, but getting away or switching the damn thing off were never options. And on holidays I'd practically live in front of the TV. My friends would call me up and curse me, but I just couldn't budge. You remember those lines from Bronte's 'Jane Eyre' where Rochester tells Jane- "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you- especially if you're near me as now: it is as if I had a string tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame..." well I had similar feelings for my television set. So great was my love for the (pardon my use of the cliché) idiot box, that when I....

Sunday , February 19, 2006

Thoughts of an Idle Mind

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I've never been able to understand the concept of mid-life crisis. What kind of crisis is it and why does it have to hit you when you're in your middle age? If it's that point in your life when you stop and think of what you've been doing with your life, why does it not happen earlier? What's the point of looking back at some 30-40 odd years and saying- 'damn! I think I chose the wrong profession or married the wrong man' Here I must say that I'm really enlightened. Every few days I wonder what I'm doing with my life, which way I'm heading, what I'm doing today to be where I want to be when I'm 28 or 30 and where do I want to be when I'm 28 or 30. Sometimes I feel like I'm just being carried away with the flow....

Saturday , January 28, 2006

Identity Crisis

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As I sat and watched one of the episodes of 'State of the Nation' where Rajdeep and Yogendra Yadav were discussing the concept of identity-regional versus national, I realized I'd never faced that kind of conflict. As a person born and brought up in Delhi I'd like to consider myself a Delhiite. But then people ask you 'aap dilli mein to rehten hain par aap ka hometown kahan hai'. Now that's a question that reaaalllyyy annoys me. I mean why can't I belong to the only place I've ever lived in? If they're referring to my father's hometown then it's unfair to my mum. Why should my inheritance only be decided from the paternal side of my family? But my parent's stories are more warped. My dad was born in Aligarh, but likes to believe that he's from Allahbad because his grandfather lived there. My mum was born in....

Saturday , January 07, 2006

Early Morning Thoughts.

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It's natural I guess to feel lost and lonely when standing alone in a crowded place. But somehow when you're standing with a mic in your hand, the feeling is very different. Different in the sense, that you don't get the feeling of being alone. What is it about that little microphone with a tag that makes you feel like you have company? Maybe it's not company that it gives you...rather a mission that needs to be accomplished. A task at hand that needs to be done. And blame it on my insecurity, but when there are ten other people holding on to that familiar looking piece of plastic, my first impulse is to panic. What if they get more information than I do? What if I miss out on something? Something that could give a whole new direction to the story? What if their research is more....


More about Seemi Pasha

Seemi Pasha is a Principal Correspondent and News Anchor with CNN-IBN. She tracks the union health ministry on a day to day basis and reports on health policy. She started working as a journalist in 2005 and says that there's nothing else she'd rather do. A graduate in English Literature from Lady Shri Ram College, Seemi has a Master's Degree in Mass Communication from MCRC.


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