7 Aug 2013

Newspaper Reading in Mumbai

One of the the newspaper stand from where I pick up newspapers

Newspaper reading in Mumbai. Part 1. 

Unity in diversity. Remember those words from our school textbooks? Those are the words that best describe the newspaper stands in Mumbai.

In Mumbai (and in other metros too), you get newspapers that represent parts of the city, regions of Maharashtra, different states, countries, the diaspora, castes, religions, languages and everything that makes us united in diversity.  Here are a few of the newspapers I picked up from newspapers stands in Vashi and Chembur over the last month. I will never stick to one newspaper again.

A typical Mumbai newspaper stand. News and career advancement. 

Karnataka Malla.
Language: Kannada.

Mumbai Edition.

The headline is the 200 koti or crore haul from trucks in Mumbai.
The news is mostly Mumbai, then national and a page for Karnataka politics.
The entertainment page is all Sandalwood or Kannada movies and the last page is full of wedding anniversary announcements And obituaries. 90 percent of them with the surname Shetty and the rest with villages from the old Kanara districts of Karnataka. It looks like this newspaper is read by the Tulu speaking folks of Mumbai who use Kannada as their language when it comes to reading news. 

Pic 2: The mandatory advertisement for buses that take you home. 

Ratnagiri Times.
Language: Marathi

The umbilical connection to Konkan districts of Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigad and Kolhapur across the Shayadri. The news on the day I clicked this image: Rain here, rain there and everywhere! It's pouring pause pause without pause Published every Sunday and available across Samyukta Maharashtra -Maharashtra, Goa and parts of Karnataka.

Police Times. Weekly newspaper.
Language: Marathi

You will find variants of Police News in every language and region of India and they are equally popular everywhere. The images are the same everywhere too. The tone similar. Murder, robberies, old men troubling all others sexually and young runaway couples found dead. 

The readers of Police News are superstitious it seems from the only non crime or sex related columns isthe extra large horoscope. The other ads are lottery results and increase the size of your penis ads. The cost of the newspaper is Rs 8. Four times the cost of a regular newspaper.  

Police News (Kannada language). 

Crime sells and in far away places. The Kannada dose of KDgiri (KD is the short form for Killer dog and is the Kannada word for gundas or rowdies popularised by sandalwood in the 80s). It costs 10 rupees and that's two rupees more than the Marathi version. 

The news is similar but mostly about crime in south Karnataka. It is published from Jalahalli which also happens to the suburban village I grew up in and which was gobbled up by Bangalore.

An illustration from the magazine.

The Mumbai editions of the two big newspapers from Kerala. Malayala Manorama (established 1888 it proclaims) and Mathrubhumi or motherland. 

Apart from the major Kerala districts, they have editions from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Dubai. Manorama has editions from mangalore and Bahrain too. The main headline in Manorama is the coup in Egypt. Ahmedabad and the Ishrat Jahan news is second. The main headline in Matrybhoomi is the fire is the big fire in Fort yesterday.   

An alternate page design suggestion  for a Malayalam newspaper.

The most interesting pages in the Malayalam newspapers are the obituary listings. 

In Manorama they are listed district wise for Kerala and covers the whole page on small print.  It is an important announcement for most Keralites with its Japan-like percentage of older people. To announce death on the Kerala newspaper so that the people you know from your original village or from wherever you worked in the world will know the next day and will be informed.  

Sakshi Daily
Langauge: Telugu

The most widely available Telugu newspaper in Mumbai is Eenadu but you also get a Mumbai edition of Sakshi. The newspaper started by YSR's son Jagan and must be the most colourful newspaper started by a politician. It is the youngsters whom I have usually seen reading this one and they seem to like it.  

To be continued...

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