A tiring media stakeout, while vendors make a killingJuly 3rd, 2008 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 3 (IANS) For Bhupinder Singh and Ram Bahadur, one an ice cream vendor and the other a pakora seller, it was going to be another toiling day at India Gate. But once their sharp business instincts made them head instead to the nearby bungalow of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh’s bungalow, they struck gold Thursday. Both men were passing through Lodi Estate when they saw scores of OB vans, private cars and cameramen at the narrow lane that leads to the spacious and opulent house of Amar Singh.
Realising the commercial possibilities from a huge media stakeout outside the 27 Lodi Estate house of Amar Singh, where the leaders of the so-called third front were in meeting to decide on their support to a besieged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government, they decided to settle down there for business.
“In just three hours, we doubled our earnings. Usually, I sell ice-cream at India Gate. But today, when I saw so many cars and people, I changed my mind and I was right,” said ice-cream seller Bhupinder Singh.
“”I usually earn Rs.1,000 but today in just three hours, I doubled my earnings. I am going home as the ice-creams have finished. I can relax now,” a visibly happy Singh told IANS.
In the absence of no water and no food on an oppressively hot and humid afternoon, impatient and eager journalists, not wanting to miss out any development, made a beeline for the ice-cream and pakoras bringing rich dividends to Bhupinder and Ram Bahadur.
But it was not just scores of journalists and smart sellers who thronged the narrow lane outside Amar Singh’s house. Haryali Baba, who calls himself the “lucky mascot” of the Samajwadi Party, came all the way from Lucknow to support his party at the “crucial time.”
Holding a 12-feet long pole, which had the Samajwadi Party flag, a wheel, this shaggy-haired man declaimed to all who would pay heed to him that party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh were taking decisions “in the interest of the nation”.
A rickshaw puller by profession, he would start talking over his cell phone whenever he would see a cameraman shooting him.
He did not understand the intricacies of the much talked about India-US nuclear deal — but said his leaders, he was sure, were taking the right decisions.
On a day when the media had to wait for nearly four hours to get the first morsel of news, the ice cream seller, the pakora vendor or the SP supporter were welcome distractions and even relief from the stakeout tedium.
And, when bored with that, the camerapersons particularly chased all cars carrying UNPA leaders that drove in and drove out of the residence, thumped on their bonnets and gestured wildly to the drivers to slow down so they could talk to those inside for the much sought after byte.
And when nothing worked, the media horde settled down to another long wait, till another car drove in - or till the UNPA leaders finally showed up for their much awaited media interaction.
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