Again, a longish piece on Tarun. Bear with me. Comment only after you read it fully.
The stupidity of our nation gets greatly exposed with two extreme reactions to Tarun Tejpal - the cult following at its best and now the rabid calls on his sexual escapades at its worst. For me personally, it is all the more disturbing as i know most of the parties involved. Tarun comes across as a sexual predator, on the prowl, in search for his next victim. He used his power and influence over young women half his age. The girl is his daughters’ friend and his friends’ daughter!!! This should not take away some of the most seminal work that the journalists of tehelka have done over the years.
Tarun’ s story in itself is an Alchemy of desire. He was like most of us- chirpy, desires, fun loving, naughty. However, post Tehelka, he donned the robe of a Saint. He became preachy and started espousing causes that he never could stand for. He was nothing that the nation started acknowledging him for. He was a normal guy with all the flaws, fallacies and weaknesses. It was a facade he had to carry for the survival of Tehelka, which was losing money, each year. Only the power exuded by Tehelka could make it viable.
The existence of Tehelka is not just because of Tarun. He glorified himself when not due, owned the company when the money came from others. He acted the hero while he was just a team member. Tehelka exists because of:
1. The financial contributions of many citizens, celebrities and most importantly Shankar sharma, and
2. The work of Aniruddha Bahal and Ashish Khetan.
If Tarun’s lofty objective was to start a not for profit free and aggressive media enterprise, he could have made all contributors as shareholders. He crowd funded Tehelka but did not part with ownership. The new shareholders include KD Singh, a Trinamool MP who bought his way into Rajya Sabha. Any intelligent person should have cried foul then. It is too late now.
Sometime in 2009 when my fledgling publication wrote against an educational institution with doubtful credentials, we got into a lot of trouble. Editors like Aditya Sinha, Vir Sanghvi, Shekar Gupta personally supported us. We were going through multiple cases and draining all our resources. When Tehelka decided to do a story, we were too happy. Who can espouse the cause of investigative journalism better? Only till we got the questions from the journalist. We realised that it was a story being done on behalf of the institution to throw insinuations at us. I was very upset because i knew Tarun personally but for him, it didn’t matter. We responded professionally, and sticking to facts. I was daring them to do a story despite the facts. It was no coincidence that the dubious institution is Tehelka’s biggest advertiser taking all its back covers. The story never appeared, because our response didn’t leave any gaps. And the owner of the institution was at the THINK fest in Goa, rubbing shoulders with the then HRD minister Kapil Sibal and gained access to a ministry that should have punished him. Kapil Sibal later attended a special screening of a movie produced by this institution, and the picture was showcased all over to unsuspecting parents and students. For me, THINK became a place which conducted an orgy over social issues. I Stopped following it.
This is not just about Tarun. It is about abuse of power, by a journalist, an editor and a man. A self styled messiah. Each time, they believe they can get away unfair demands, they only push the envelope next time around. A few months back, i was at the Mumbai airport and bumped into a new age editor. Most of us will grudgingly accept a delayed flight, but the new age editors don’t. This editor called up the airline staff, flew some kites, and got accommodated on the first available flight.
People in power with no humility can destroy like nothing else. The desires, fantasies and a coterie is a very potent combination. Tarun is a victim of his own facade, fantasies and greed. He was never what he was portrayed, then and now. He was never a saint and neither is he a rapist. He is trapped in a skin not his own. We couldnt stop people from hailing him as God, as much as we cannot stop them from calling him a devil. Alas. It is too late now!!
Great Journalism pre-supposes the presence of good journalists – intelligent, meticulous, knowledgeable, unimpeachable integrity, courage, Grit, determination - working, fighting and standing for truth. I am fortunate to have known a few of them. And many of them are my very good friends. However, In the past 20 years since Media opened up; the lure for celebrity status, money, power, influence have made the profession a refuge for a different set of people too. And Integrity for me, doesn’t only mean financial integrity.
The sly among us point fingers at the usual suspects – First family, Mukesh Ambani, Modi etc, to mislead the ignorant lot. We assume our audience to be idiots, and partially it may be true. In my experience, I have seen journalists taking up offers at a place that they were always critical about. The ‘space’ and ‘freedom’ that they were seeking melted with a good offer letter. I can bet my money, that a majority of journalists critical of Reliance would take up an offer for a better pay, if Mukesh Ambani were to start a media organization. So much for bleeding heart journalists!
The free media is more threatened by those who don’t have any other claim to fame – politicians, brokers, middlemen. I will any day trust the Birlas and the Goenkas than many others. When you name media owners who abuse power, also name journalists working with them; Don’t write columns for them, don’t take up job offers with them; refuse to be featured in them with your book reviews; don’t appear in social events; don’t take their ads. Be ballsy! Say you will not work with capitalist media owners! I may not agree with you but at least will respect you.
You want to be treated as priests while demanding the salary of a professional, the status of a VIP and the rights of a worker! You can’t wine and dine with those you wish to scrutinize. You are compromised. The current equation is not viable. If what I say is a Utopian thought, then expecting an absolute free media also is. The aspirations and lure that come with journalism, to be a celebrity, to anchor a show, to write a column, edit a section, earn money, far overshadows the fire to do great stories that have an impact. Hard, grass root level reporting has long vanished, because it doesn’t get power and is also more difficult to execute. We are looking at easy ways of fulfilling our material and emotional needs. The fact is, we will have more applications for the foreign desk or the films desk than the bureau dealing with agriculture. So much for journalism.
If you fight for free media, first fight to free yourself of temptations. Treat journalism not like any other profession. Dream of being a change maker. Live your thoughts and breathe them. If you can do that, the nation will stand by you. Else, you are one of us, with all our flaws. Bear it and don’t raise a stink.
“ There is the self serving assumption in these type of articles that relationship problems are men problems. The response about the comparison to racism in one of the comments underscores that attitude perfectly as if one group dominates the other in the relationship arena. Unfortunately the there is no correlation. relationships are the between two people who are equally free to engage. That’s the opposite of institutionalized racism. IMO there are the exact same number of messed up men as their are women. Funny how that works. If anyone wants to know why they are not in the relationship they want look in the mirror. The worst part is that these articles strive to placate and absolve one gender rather than asking for some introspection.This is disappointing because as a man I would like real equality progress (starting with me looking to call myself out first) but just find these articles a mental spa from introspection that make some people feel better. FYI I agree with the approach to examining his own behavior that this guy took and support his conclusions. I wish there where more articles praising women for the same self examination. ”
We have often been asked what Wine goes best with what type of food. So we thought that we should just give you a basic list of 15 types of Wines and what type of food to best pair it with.
1. Champagne is perfect with anything salty 2. Sauvignon Blanc goes with tart dressings and sauces 3. Grüner Veltliner when a dish has lots of fresh herbs 4. Pinot Grigio pairs with light fish dishes 5. Chardonnay for fatty fish or fish in a rich sauce 6. Off-Dry Riesling pairs with sweet & spicy dishes 7. Moscato d’Asti loves fruit desserts 8. Rosé Champagne is great with dinner, not just hors d’oeuvres 9. Dry Rosé for rich, cheesy dishes 10. Pinot Noir is great for dishes with earthy flavours 11. Old World Wines and Old World dishes are intrinsically good together 12. Malbec won’t be overshadowed by sweet-spicy barbecue sauces 13. Zinfandel for pâtés, mousses and terrines 14. Cabernet Sauvignon is fabulous with juicy red meat 15. Syrah matches with highly spiced dishes
How to pair your Wines with the right kind of Cheese
Enjoying a good wine and a good cheese can enhance the flavors and complexities of both. Yet not all wines and cheeses go together. Make sure you pick a wine that complements the flavors in your favorite cheese. Here are some tips from our Chef about Wine and Cheese pairing:
- Blue Cheese: It typically has a strong flavour that intensify with age, so it is best paired with Dessert Wines. These sweet wines have intense flavors that aren’t overpowered by strong blue cheeses.
- Brie: It’s characterized by its soft, creamy texture and a thin, edible rind. Flavor-wise, Brie is somewhat buttery and slightly sweet, so it best goes with Champagne and Sparkling Wines.
- Goats Cheese: It is available in many different shapes and is often rolled in cracked black peppercorns or herbs for added flavor. Characterized by a somewhat sharp and tangy flavour it goes best with Sauvignon Blanc or Sancerre(dry white wine).
- Monterey Jack (Aged): Made from whole, partly skimmed, or completely skimmed cow’s milk, aged Monterey Jack is pale yellow in color and firm in texture with a sharp, nutty flavour. This goes best with Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Parmigiano-Reggiano: It’s a hard, dry cheese that has a sharp taste and goes best with Classico Riserva.
“ I’ve never met Jack Dorsey, and, in fact, have only discovered personal value in Twitter a few months ago. However, in the past twenty-five years in business, I have met Jack Dorsey many times. He (she) is the person who so embodies a dream that reality itself is bent in accordance. The wiles, the charm, the refusal to listen to the majority, the ruthlessness (or focus, depending which side of opportunity you are facing)… all these complexities and more bundle into the modern cowboy now called the “entrepreneur.” And, yes, very few of them would likely end up starting orphanages in Calcutta by first choice. But makes no mistake, their quest is no less noble, for they change the world and create opportunity for the rest of us, including the person who wrote this article. ”