Sunday, July 5, 2020

How Sundays get ruined with fake workshops


I recently got a call from my friend who narrated an interesting incident saying that it ruined my friend’s Sunday. So, this very curious journalist friend was invited to a workshop on “Impact of Twitter in contemporary scenario”. Even with a broken leg, this journalist is ready to walk miles just to learn and discover stories and meet new people.

The only work this journalist friend has on Sunday is to ruin it by walking, travelling, tanning, getting tired and learning about new things. Who spends relaxing Sundays like this? Last Sunday, journalist ji went to this “Twitter workshop”. The blue bird has always attracted this journalist, after all, in today’s time, a single tweet can become breaking news. These days this blue bird runs the “Sarkar”. All border issues, wars, empowerment now has a one-stop solution: TWITTER. Experts giving their opinions and displaying their talent of abusing language is the new trend on Twitter. Journalist ji decided to avoid wearing socks with holes and decided to follow the latest trend of no socks. After lots of walking and travelling, finally, journalist ji reached the venue where the workshop was scheduled.

The first thing journalist ji received on the door was a book of a political organisation (let’s keep the name a secret). Shocked with the connection between Twitter workshop and the political organisation book, journalist ji entered the workshop hall.

“Keep your shoes outside the hall,” a loud but polite voice told journalist ji. Avoiding journalists’ favourite reaction of firing back, journalist ji went back and took off his shoes. Now, journalist ji sat in the hall waiting for the workshop to start. The time of the workshop was sharp 10 a.m as mentioned in the registration form. But half an hour had passed and there was no trace of any workshop, no board mentioning anything about the workshop. Nowhere was any sign of the blue bird.

Nearly 60-70 people were in the hall and finally, all the people got seated. A well-dressed man came with a laptop in his hands and welcomed every participant. Journalist ji took a long breath. It was the first time he was attending a workshop without shoes on. He had the Pen, notepad, mobile, everything ready to attend the most important workshop. After all, blue bird chirps are worth too much in the news industry.

“I welcome you all. We have a community song, let’s sing it together. Repeat after me” said the man with a laptop who was looking like a technology expert. He started singing an unknown song. Journalist ji was blank. “I’m not here for your song. Where is the deep technology skills about twitter or a debate on its impact on the contemporary society?” Journalist ji said to himself.

Hoping to get a video or photograph of the man singing, Journalist ji took out his phone. The same polite but loud voice again interrupted “Sorry, photographs are not allowed. No videos please”. After the song ended others sitting in the hall clapped, but journalist ji out of his own habit did not. The same polite but loud voice interrupted again, “Please don’t clap, our community doesn’t clap”.

The sentence raised eyebrows but no one spoke a word.

A lecture by an unknown lady on feminism and left ideology followed next. But again, there were no claps!

“You can clap, we got the signal” the man with laptop ordered.

We are puppets or what? Every person sitting in the hall was whispering to each other. And who is giving these signals of clap or no clap? 2 hours chanting about off topic things. Intolerance, neo liberals, left wing and right wing, feminism, pappu, chowkidar, elections 2019, whom we should vote for. All Journalists were faking smiles, looking at each other and whispering “photo nahi lene de gey kya, group selfie hi le letein hum?”.

The lady with a hijab who was sitting next to a lady with a mangalsutra said “Sister, The organisers are taking our pictures but are not allowing us to take theirs. What is this?”

Our journalist friend was patient, still waiting for the twitter session. Finally a young twitter expert came, told the things even an amateur technology expert would know like how to turn on the mobile data icon and use internet to download twitter from the playstore and then using email or phone number create an account and follow the community page which organised this very informative TWITTER workshop without the blessings of Jack Dorsey.

Journalist friend felt like there was an overload of information. He had made on account on twitter 8 years ago. They taught our journalist ji how to log in on twitter. It was emotional, all the memories of the day he created an account on twitter flashed in front of his eyes. Journalist ji was a teenager then and now was an adult. Nostalgia!

“We should leave” the people in the hall were talking among themselves. That polite but loud voice again interrupted “Nobody is allowed to leave the hall till workshop ends”.

Now, journalist ji was not only  shocked but scared too. What if they said “No, no you can’t take the oxygen in” next? Journalist ji was tweeting this in his mind.

Finally, the end was near with a vote of thanks. A well-dressed man came and delivered half an hour lecture but not a word related to “Twitter”.

“Please stay for lunch” again said the same voice. Journalist ji rushed outside, put on his shoes and ran towards the auto stand. Same was the condition of the others in the hall.

This journalist friend of mine had never seen such a “Puppet show”. Now, journalist ji is not interested in any event. Kindly don’t invite till elections are over.

Writer is a Mass communication and new media student


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