Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Hitavada

Nagpur is the 3rd biggest city in Maharashtra, and I have not checked the latest census, but I am sure it's in top 15 cities of India by population. It is also officially the 'second' capital of Maharashtra (whatever that means).

And yet for all this, it does not have a decent local newspaper to cater to it's populace. It has 'The Hitavada' of course and it 'had' something called as 'Nagpur Times' sometime back; but that's about it, I guess.

First of all the Name. I mean what in hell does that name mean! Who comes up with such names for a Newspaper- 'The Hitavada'??

I have heard names with Times,Express,Daily,Tele in it. But this must be the most unique name for a newspaper ever. On a related topic that I won't go into too much now, I have a feeling Nagpur brings up these random names which I can never make sense of. Specially some names of it's localities or *suburbs*, if you will. (Sample this - Jaripatka, Bhamti Parsodi, GaddiGudam.. and of course SitaBuldi, smack at center of the town)

So coming back to 'The Hitavada', I tried to look up for it's website. And Bingo! I got it. They have an online version of it. And the quality is just terrific.

For instance if you click on the Editorial link, you are taken to a page that will give you some local news. One such news item is hilarious.. Another fake currency circulation detected, it's by a Staff Reporter. This newspaper has turned the notion of Editorial on it's head. Makes you wonder what the Staff Reporter is reporting on the Editorial section.

I find this snippet hilarious..
According to Police, Dr Murtuja, a resident of Bajrang Square and his driver Ankush Rajaram Pal (27), a resident of Jai Hind Nagar, Mankapur were coming from Kalmeshwar to Gittikhadan in a Mahindra pick-up van (MH-31/CQ-3831).
Why so much of information! Like for example the number plate of the pickup van. Why would you do that? Unless you expect people to go their DMVs / RTOs and check who the guy with white van and that number plate is? "Oh, so it's HIM"?

Also in the Editorial Section there are stories like.. "Girls more dedicated, hard workers than boys:" ..., "Orange City’s own Santa Claus"... etc. All are funny.

Well, what can you say. Nagpur *is* funny.

Also most people there have an air of arrogance about them. It's a mystery though, "for what and why"?. PuLa Deshpande nailed it in his brilliant essay .."Mumbaikar,Punekar ani Nagpurkar". He brings out the perfect, loud and pompous character of a Nagpurkar. The way he depicts it all, is just stupendous.

Keeping in tune with that Nagpuri smugness, I am sure every Nagpurkar worth his salt thinks of Hitavada as no less than their own NYTimes. ... I wouldn't be surprised if I ever hear this.."Are tumhara New York Times kya hai ho!... apna Hitvad koi kum hai kya..?"

And the person who says this would say it with such mega confidence you would be speechless. There's no rejoinder you can ever have for that! You cannot make a comeback. Period. After all The Hitavada is "ours" and it's spectacularly Nagpuri :)

11 comments:

Aniruddha said...

Hitvada was always like that...never like it...but surely will defend it if I have to against NY Times (joking)...

I love the way you write about Nagpur...Everything seems so apt...

"Nagpur *is* funny " & Also most people there have an air of arrogance about them. It's a mystery though, "for what and why"? --- Like Pu.La you hit the right tail too...

Yet I love Nagpur to the core, also each and everything about it...

kautilya said...

Thanks Aniruddha :) Yep, can't beat Nagpur.It's my fav too!!

sameerdeo said...

On the topic of funny place names, how about Nanga Putla. Takes the cake does'nt it.

I believe every city has a few of these. The other day, I found one here right in Melbourne. A street called Anarth Street. Now what do you make of that !!

kautilya said...

anarth!!! ...
lol !!!!

Rathchakra said...

Good one!! Hitavada has it's own language..there's Queen's English and there is American English and then there is Hitavada English. I was a member of the Twinkle Club...lol.
On the neighborhood and street names, there's one in Harrisburg: Petticoat Lane - brings a chuckle every time I cross it.

kautilya said...

Petticoat!... man.. u don't want to be in that lane i can assure you...:)

On a side note, reminds me of Pune Patis.. 'yethe peeko fall karun midel"

Indradeep said...

Hmmm Hitavada.....will be very dear to my heart. It was a culture that we all grew up to as toddlers and teenagers....
Names like Veena Adige (she is used to have a very cute smile), Meghnad Bodhankar (Shooting Gallery fame)always bring back a bout of nostalgia.

Any big league newspaper like NYT does have a social responsibility and therefore reports matters which hold global significance. Our Hitavada's raison d'etre is "Keep it simple and promote simplicity" Therefore, two thugs arrested in Teen Nal Chowk for stealing manhole covers receives more importance than the London Bombing perpetrators.
Hey come to think of it..what holds more concern for the common man - the manhole cover thief or a an "A" grade terrorist responsible for London bombings? I guess the priorities are right and the promise - Uncompromising - Thats what Hit-Vada stands for, right?

kautilya said...

adige...bhodhankar...!!! haha.. ur memory rocks dude! i had completely forgotten those names..

also i forgot to mention, my fav cartoon character of all times is Henry.. it used to be in Hitavada most days..(i m missing it more now)

Indradeep said...

No wonder - Henry was Halaal

kautilya said...

LOL!!!

of course he was... made him my Hero!

amit said...

Indradeep and Kautilya -

I also grew up reading Hitavada....shooting gallery by chanakya (meghnad bodhankar). It was fun to read those replies from him...wasn't it?