The paper came late this morning after 7 a.m., and it was the wrong paper. The paperwalla said: "Aaj Times nahin aiya."
It was a strange paper that was handed to me. It was call The Independent. Not the The Independent, flown straight from London, though this one also was printed on air-mail paper.
I do not wish to pretend that I have not seen it before. I have, right at the start, when it came out amid a lot of agitation from the old paper's staff, effectively stopped by the management. But, as it happens with most new newspapers and amgazines, I have not seen it after the first few issues. And the first few issues, I understand, were pre-pubication issues, samplers for advertisers and would-be customers. So, actuallu, what I read this morning was for me a new paper.
It was an odd sort of a paper, there were more photographs than written mater, and where there were no photographs, there were drawings. Though it did apper somewhat odd, the genral effect was quite pleasing.
The stories were all laid out in neat squares and other geometrical patterns, not many of them junping from page to page and continuing on other pages. In any case, there were not so many pages that they could jump to. One of the most irriating things I find in newpapers is when a story continues on another page. If you are interesting in reading further, you have to unfold the paper, turn the pages, straighten it out, search for the continuation of the item, fold the paper, then read: Then repeat the procedure in reverse, return to the original page, to read the other stories page, to read the other stories on it. And if you read your papers in a crowded suburban train, you would know how difficult this is.
To return to the new paper. One whole page was devoted to the cinema. A long interview with the director of a film on Nehru (I read that our Pratap Sharma plays Nehru and our Burjor and Rudy Patel's daughter plays Indira Gandhi) that is bound to bomb at the box-office if and when it comes. Such films, I believe, should have been relesed when Mr. Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister.
The edit page looked like it was printed sideways, with the editorials written across the page. I do not know who wrote them, but in the inprint line I read Pritish Nandy's name as editor. That must be a mistake.
Several pages were devoted to business, which I skipped, a page to cookery, gardensing, hobbies, choose-your-career ets., which I would not read in a Sunday paper on a Sunday. There were two pages of sports, which I read, though I did not quite agree with Red God's racing review.
On last point: I spent on an average 25 minutes of my precious morning time over the Times. I spent 11 minutes over The Independent, and, at the end of it, had caught up with the same amount of news as I do in the Times. Any paper that can save 14 minutes of my morning, I welcome.