700 – That’s the number of post I will be reaching soon. It took me more than 4 and half year of existence to reach here. Its been a journey, a journey to my past, present and future. Many people have never met me but had been a part of the journey. On the occasion of 700th post, I continue with the tradition of Full2 Faltu, when I invite guest writers to write. The guest posts are for 15 writers and it will continue till 699.
These writers have chosen to write to be a part of charity. I hope you like what they write. They would love your comments.
Presenting the next in the series. The earlier being
Monica is no stranger to Full2 Faltu. She is the only known Non-Indian reader in the history of Full2 Faltu. She was also the first guest writer here. Time and again, she had obliged to my request to write for Full2 Faltu. This time she writes about commercialization of news. News as a entertainment option. In India too, we don’t find much difference. She had given it a title. But if I had a choice, I would have used the favorite questions of the news channel “Kaise lag raha hai aapko?”
When Punds reached 600 posts he asked me to be one of his guest writers, but I didn’t feel like writing much. It hasn’t been a very good year for me so far, and I don’t have the energies to write about anything. This time I read Punds’ post about his reaching the 700th post soon but again I wasn’t feeling inspired to post anything. However, something happened that made me feel like writing.
I usually follow the Olympics, especially those sports in which Spain takes part. The 20th of August started well for the Spaniards competing in Beijing. The duet of synchronized swimming won the silver medal, the guys competing in tornado sailing won gold and our basketball and handball boys found a place in their respective semi-finals. I wasn’t able to watch any of the competitions live, but tried to be informed thanks to the radio and a few text messages from my brother. It looked like Spain started the day right.
So after lunch, as soon as I was able to, I switched the TV on for the purpose of seeing the daily Olympic summaries or the news. And then I found out. Several TV channels were informing about the plane crash of a flight in Madrid’s airport. I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it.
I am not especially scared of flying. My mother, on the other hand, has panic. As far as I am concerned she has only flown twice in her life. The first one was before I was born and it was a national flight. The other one was an international flight when I was about ten years old. This time I was able to see what a bad time mum has when she gets on a plane. She spent the whole flight crying and there wasn’t anything we could do or tell her to make her feel better. I wasn’t able to understand, as it was my first flight and thought it was quite exciting. I guess I was too young to understand. Since then, mum has never flown again.
She even gets nervous when she tries to explain others what she feels inside a plane and when a member of the family flies she has a really bad time and asks us to call her immediately after landing. The fact that she suffers so much has made me a bit more wary when I fly, especially when the plane takes off and lands, which seem to be the dangerous moments. We have friends and family abroad that would love mum to visit them, but she has made herself so clear about her fears that they gave up trying to convince her years ago.
Hearing about the news of the Spanair flight JK 5022 in Barajas airport has really shocked her. I really hope none of the relatives of the casualties in that plane are as scared of flights as my mother is, because I can’t even imagine what it would have been like for my mother had she been in their situation. They are going through such a horrible experience that I don’t think we can even imagine what it must be like. It is especially hard to hear about the children and babies flying in that plane.
Yes, I know terrible things happen around the world every day and it really saddens me, and I also know that there are many more casualties on the roads every year and plane crashes only happen once in a blue moon. But you can’t help but shudder with the stories you hear when something like this happens.
A lot of questions have been left up in the air regarding the possible cause of the crash. We’ve been bombarded with news about the crash 24 hours a day. Apparently the plane had been delayed an hour because the crew had detected the malfunctioning of a temperature gauge and so had the pilot told the passengers. Some of these passengers then sent text messages to their relatives outside letting them know that their flight was being delayed because they were fixing something while they were on board waiting. Spanair insists that the problem was fixed before the plane took off and that there must have been a different cause for the crash.
These days the media are interviewing so many pilots and experts trying to find an explanation for what might have caused the accident, that I am starting to doubt I want to know all these things. For example, the fact that not always everything works perfectly during a flight but those little things that fail don’t affect the flight in a dangerous way (erm… Hello??? Am I the only one that didn’t know this?).
Or that many times things must be fixed before the plane takes off causing delays. Waiting inside a plane during a whole hour is not nice, and I know it from experience, but now I am not sure next time I am in that situation I will believe the crew when they say it is just because there are other planes due to take off before us or whatever. I think I preferred to be in blissful ignorance.
Anyway, a lot has been said in the media and I bet you can read as much as you like about it on the net. It is too heartbreaking to hear the testimonies of fire-fighters, rescue and medical teams especially when they talk about the children. But again, after the disaster of Madrid bombings in 2004, I am amazed by the emergency services and their strength to deal with the disaster. I wonder what these people are made of and where they get the support from when everyone else is leaning on them. I think they are the real heroes, even if they say they don’t like that term.
The other day I was gladly surprised when I heard in the news that the Spanish media had been forbidden to show any footage of how the plane crashed (it was recorded by the airport CCTV although they said the quality is very bad) or any footage/pictures of the casualties that the rescue teams might have taken. And I thought: ABOUT TIME.
About time the Spanish media don’t show those kinds of images. About time they respect the casualties and their relatives. About time they respect the viewers too. I don’t usually watch the news on the telly because I can’t handle many of the images they show and after some of the pictures I saw in the newspapers of the 2004 bombings that stopped me from sleeping for several nights, I am very careful about what I see.
And I was wondering if this new trend of keeping us informed was going to last very long. But only a bit later I discovered that there can be other ways to hurt people’s sensibility. My father was so upset that he decided he didn’t want to see anything else about the plane crash again. We saw a programme that summarized what had happened so far but, to our surprise, while “disturbing images” were “not shown”, you could see how journalists chased relatives with their microphones and cameras in the worst moment of their lives.
When they hadn’t even been confirmed if their relatives where actually in the list of people that took that plane or not, they were being chased by journalists hungry for news asking them all sort of silly intrusive questions like: “how do you feel right now”, “who did you lose”, “what makes you feel they were inside that plane, is it that they are not answering your phone calls”, “what do the psychologists tell you in such circumstances”, “what is the atmosphere in the room where all the relatives are”, etc.
FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!! Where are the boundaries for some journalists?! Is the hunger for scoop more important than the respect for people’s intimacy? Is it the audience rating? How can they look those people who are suffering to that extent in the eyes and ask them such questions?! Don’t they feel ashamed of it?! Why do they finally broadcast a relative that is asking them not to record? I simply don’t understand it… It was painful to watch.
I think I now remember why I hardly watch the television anymore. Will we ever be able to be informed without resorting to morbid curiosity? Or is that not possible anymore?