Mr. John D’souza aka Mr. D’souza – The Chief Editor of The Daily Tribune Newspaper
Mr. Raj – The Senior Editor of The Daily Tribune Newspaper
Vipin – A photographer at The Daily Tribune
Roma – A journalist at The Daily Tribune
The names and characters in this post is fictional and not related to anyone or anything in real life.
‘Damn, this can’t be it. How can a worthless creep of a guy like him be there? I can’t believe it. But then that’s luck.’
‘That luck would dry out soon. If it doesn’t I’ll see it does.’
Raj thought to himself sitting in his cabin.
Raj was an intellectual. He would frequently fill his cabin with light music and smoke. He was addicted to cigars. He would put both his foot up on the work table and go through the news his subordinates had got for the Newspaper. Most of the times swearing at them for wasting his time. He had been warned number of times for smoking in his cabin, but he wouldn’t care less. Later they removed the smoke detector from his cabin.
The higher management would never remove him, for they knew all of operations were run smooth cos of this one man. As to every coin, he had an arrogant and ill tempered side as well who would go to any extreme at times to get his work done.
The Daily Tribune was a very influential Newspaper in the market. One that made and said stories of people, to the people. Their monopoly was well know and hence they had high influential ties. Especially D’souza, who was a big fish. He knew all the major politicians, people in the Police department and had his influences in various government offices. He would make or break people depending on his will. Raj hated that. He always thought it was unethical but then D’souza would not mind his words. Raj also feared that he might see him out of the Newspaper, hence kept his calm.
Raj knew a couple of disturbing facts about D’souza. Sometime back he got access to his mail for a couple of days when D’souza was away and what he saw there shocked him. The Chief Editor was a big time ladies’ man. That too with women from higher strata of society. He had saved some proof for later but then he was in no position to expose him. He knew that not only would his plan backfire but also his life would be in danger. He kept mum and waited for his time.
On the other end, Roma was a high profile journalist and one of the very few risk takers working with the paper. She used to travel to conflict affected areas, take up dangerous cases, follow up on dangerous crimes etc. Bold and very smart which she was, and 2 years in the Newspaper has seen many more qualities of her. She had a bigger incident when D’souza tried his luck on her. But then it became a big issue in the Newspaper and Raj intervened to see her stay in the Newspaper and not get fired. Raj put his foot down and told D’souza to mind his business for the first time and the chief had no option left but to comply that time.
From then, Roma had her ups and downs from D’souza. Her pay hike was cancelled couple of times and things like that had tested her nerves. That was the time when Vipin joined the Newspaper as a trainee photographer. He was young and reckless, feared nothing and never hesitated to catch an argument, no matter what.
Raj really liked Vipin’s attitude. According to him, ‘In this industry we need tough people like him.’ He was good at his work too. He was paired with Roma couple of times to cover crime scenes investigation and stories and they had done a good job.
Some months later, the board had called up the Chief Editor for reviewing the sales performance of their bi-weekly , which was not up to the mark. The Chief Editor was asked to look into it and he promised to do everything under his control to boost the sales of this so called bi-weekly ‘Journey’. Though it had a fancy name, the contents usually was related to gossips and celebrity news. One of those sub-standard publications by The Daily Tribune you would find, lying side-lined in the book stalls.
D’souza got his chance to play a big trick on Roma. He had called up for a small meeting in which Roma and Vipin were included. He drops an atom bomb on her telling her to work henceforth for the ‘Journey’ and see it’s sales rise.
Roma was overwhelmed, and she couldn’t just accept it. She reacted saying, ‘No’ as an answer. The chief started fuming with rage, and Raj decided to step in.
‘Roma, first obey then command. Do as you are said. Don’t worry about the challenge I’ll back you up with what is required.’
D’souza assigned the responsibility of planning and working on the project to Raj as usual. He smiled and nodded.
Roma confirmed that she is resigning, to Vipin who chooses to hear her out. He could understand her. An aspiring journalist transferred to a cheap publication, her career will be in ruins. But then immediately she gets called by Raj to his office.
‘Thinking of quitting, aren’t you?’
‘Yes. Most probably.’
He smirked, ‘You prick of youngsters need it all spoon fed. When would you all take up a real challenge.’
‘This is far from a challenge. This piece of crap is worth not 10 cents and I am not going to ruin my career there. Period.’
‘Sweetheart, This will be the best thing you have ever done in your life. Trust me.’ and Raj winks at her. But she is far from convinced.
Raj continued saying, ‘If he wants some interesting thing to be in that crap, we will give him something very interesting. What say?’
Roma looks a bit puzzled at this point.
‘Roma, Trust me and you shall be rewarded. I’ll tell you what is in my mind later this afternoon and you decide if you want to work on it or not.’
She somehow managed to nod and leave Raj’s cabin.
While Roma and Vipin were having their lunch, Roma mentioned to Vipin
‘There is something happening in our office. Some conspiracy. I can’t say if it’s D’souza or Raj or who is behind whom or what, but definitely smells something fishy. Something big is going to happen for sure.’
‘Roma, there has always been dirty politics in the office and that’s not a new thing.’
In the afternoon, the whole team was summoned by Raj. He briefs them on what is to be done and towards the end he requests Roma to stay back.
‘Listen Roma, as I mentioned we are going to do features on some well known people and some insider stories. I want you to keep an eye on D’souza for once.’
Roma was in a state of shock.
‘Raj, you must be kidding me? What the hell is happening here?’
‘You will know that once you start your job. Do as I say sweetheart and you shall get your answers.’
‘Are you trying to get me killed?’
‘Naa… why would I want that? If someone is going to die it’s going to make a kill it’s going to be the Deputy Commissioner of Police and not D’souza.’
He winks at her saying these words.
‘Now no more questions, get to work.’
Roma got a gist of what she must expect and what is happening. In the evening she shared it all with Vipin. They were going to work together yet again.
This time it was against a different animal. An animal with horns and powerful as a tiger and shrewd as a Fox. One mistake could see their end, but Roma was determined to work on this.
The informers were placed to trace the affairs…
(To be contd…)