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Rajen Garabadu
Sunday , June 01, 2014

My days with the titans of journalism


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Nine years ago, I 'officially' joined TV18 on this day. Though I had begun work almost 4 weeks before when I quit NDTV on May 3, 2005, I chose June 1 as my joining date because I wanted to go home to my folks to convince them I hadn't 'lost my marbles'. NDTV had been very good to me and promoted me as Channel Producer six months before I quit. So the key question was why would I leave this position in what was then considered the No 1 News Network? Frankly, it was a decision taken from the heart. Rajdeep had quit to launch a high quality channel with strong production values and needed my support. Rajdeep and I had worked very closely as a team and there was goodwill, mutual trust and respect. I started my career as a Correspondent with India Feature....


Sunday , July 21, 2013

Laugh out loud


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Stress is the ultimate leveller. No one is free from it. In the world we live, it touches the lives of each and every one, irrespective of caste, creed, colour, religion, language, sex or income level. With each new generation, stress levels appear to be greater. Our children face much greater stress than we did during our childhood. The pace of life seems to be getting quicker as the calendar turns over. Stress hits you at work, on the road, in the school, at the games and doesn't spare you even at home. Each individual has his own method to beat stress. Some practice yoga, meditation, vipassana, reiki or the art of living while others read a book, play a sport, hit the gym, go for a walk, swim, catch a film, cook a meal or watch television. The easiest and perhaps the laziest is the last option as....


Saturday , October 06, 2012

Robert Vadra: Will the truth ever come out?


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Ten years ago, I bought a new apartment under construction in DLF Exclusive Floors, Phase V, Gurgaon. I took a loan from ICICI Bank to finance my purchase. I made it explicitly clear to the bank that I need the loan money disbursed to me on or before a certain date by which I needed to pay DLF the balance amount. After assuring me that the same would happen, ICICI Bank released the payment three days late. DLF charged me interest at 20 per cent per annum for the delay. I wrote to DLF and requested the Manager, Customer Services, to waive off the interest since the payment delayed by just three days was on account of the bank and I couldn't be blamed for it. DLF refused to do so, in a letter to me, which is still in my possession. Ten years later, when I learnt that....


Sunday , May 20, 2012

An angry Mamata is squandering her opportunities


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As part of covering one year of the Mamata Banerjee led Trinamool Government in West Bengal, we at CNN-IBN thought it a good idea to go to Kolkata and gauge the mood of the public. Exactly a year ago, there was jubilation on the streets of Kolkata when Mamata decimated the Left Front Government which had ruled Bengal for over three decades. We were keen to find out one year later if anything had changed. We felt if we could bring the CM of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee to come and take questions from the citizens of Kolkata, it would be a meaningful discussion, besides being a truly interactive and engaging show. The thought was ambitious yet noble, and we felt it necessary to pursue it. Didi agreed and a job well begun was half done. The show was the perfect setting for the Chief Minister to clear....


Friday , May 04, 2012

India needs a Gandhi as its President


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The race for the next President of India is gathering steam. In the days and month ahead, this space will be actively watched with daily updates from the media (if not on an hourly basis). A lot of questions are being thrown up in newspapers and news channels every day. Should the next President be apolitical? Should he be from the minority community or a tribal? Should the Vice President be the first choice for the office of the President? A lot of names have cropped up but at the time of writing this piece, the two names grabbing the headlines are Pranab Mukherjee & Hamid Ansari. There was some talk of APJ Abdul Kalam but it seems to have dissipated after some initial noise. The media likes to throw its own names and that explains the emergence of a Narayanamurthy or even a Sam Pitroda. How....


Monday , April 16, 2012

Goa CM flies the way you and I do


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While returning to Delhi from Goa yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find the chief minister of Goa, BJP's Manohar Parrikar, on the same flight. No, this isn't the first time I was on board with a CM, a senior minister or a politician. But what I saw - right from the time he boarded the aircraft till the moment he exited the airport building at New Delhi - impressed me so much that it has stayed with me till now and has made me write this piece. I tried to remember when was the last time I saw a CM or a senior political leader of Mr Parrikar's stature queuing up like a common man to board a flight. No flunkeys, no security, no attendant, carrying his own luggage - and he was flying economy on a low-cost carrier, not first-class on a full services airline. He wasn't....


Saturday , February 25, 2012

I miss the good times


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The media is abuzz with reports of turbulence in Kingfisher Airlines. A lot has been said and written about how badly it was run and how its very survival is now in question. I am no expert on this subject and choose not to make any comments on the business side of KA. As someone who has travelled extensively on Kingfisher and for the purpose of this piece - what I am sharing here is my experience - purely as a user. There aren't too many Indian brands which make you proud as an Indian. Kingfisher Airlines, for me, was one of them. It was a world-class product. It came in at a time when the Indian air passenger had very little expectation from an airline. What you got was pretty much what the airline gave you. You had little choice in the matter. The prevailing services then offered....


Monday , February 20, 2012

Fimfare and how films fared in 2011


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The immediate provocation for this piece is the Filmfare Awards telecast this year on Sunday - can't remember if it is the 56th or 57th - but it really doesn't matter as the progression is non-existent. Progress, by its definition, is for the better. Unfortunately, this can't be said about Filmfare Awards this year. This may well be the oldest popular film award in this country but it was poor - very poor - both in content and presentation. The script was sub-standard (I've tried to use a euphemism) to say the least, and despite getting both Shah Rukh and Ranbir together, one got the feeling throughout the show that they were trying too hard. An award show usually enjoys a head-start because it celebrates the very best of the year gone by. Frankly, very little is needed because the interest behind the content is so much in....


Sunday , December 11, 2011

New Delhi, my second home turns hundred


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New Delhi, as we know it, has completed 100 years. I wasn't born or brought up here, so I am not a Dilliwala like the other natural citizens who have lived their life here. But having spent over 16 years in this city, which is over 40 percent of my time on earth, I regard Delhi as my second home. It is said that the first impression lasts long. My first 24 hours in Delhi had completely put me off. I was here to seek work along with a few friends from journalism school. Since the easiest place then to find cheap accommodation (while still being close to open, green spaces) was Katwaria Sarai, we arrived there and found a place to park ourselves (its inappropriate to use the word 'live' since the conditions were abysmal). I had arrived in the city the night before and....


Tuesday , October 11, 2011

Jagjit Singh - The Unforgettable


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I was introduced to ghazal early in life. Though I was six years old, I took to Jagjit Singh much more than any of my playmates in my age. The reason I came in contact so early was due to my eldest sister Babita. She has returned home after completing her schooling from MGD, Jaipur and she carried with her all the music she had accumulated in her school days. A lot of music played at home through that summer of 80 and most of it has stayed with me even to this day. We had just moved to a new house, one that my father had taken six years to build. Though it was a spacious bungalow in a very quiet, residential area on the banks of the River Mahanadi, I missed the hustle and bustle of a joint-family existence which had till then been part of my....


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Rajen Garabadu is Chief Executive Producer - IBN18 Network.
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