Last week, I took a walk on the Chembur Skywalk. While trying to take a photograph of the skywalk from one of its 3 currently operating exits, I gathered a crowd of some curious onlookers. The conversation that ensued went something like this:
“Are you a journalist?” one of them asked.
“No. I am not a journalist,” I said.
“Then why do you want to take pictures of the skywalk?” another one asked.
“Because, I am writing a series on Mumbai’s skywalks for my blog, and the Chembur skywalk is the next one to be featured,” I replied.
“Then you are a journalist,” the group said triumphantly.
“No, I am not a journalist,” I said a little more forcefully.
“Look, madam,” said one of the persistent onlookers, “why would anybody want to photograph and write about the skywalk? It is not a film hero or heroine. Only journalists write about such things. If you don’t want anyone to know that you are a journalist, fine. But we know that you are a journalist. A serious journalist.”
“It’s ok,” said another. “We won’t even ask which paper you work for.”
I gave up. There were 3-4 khaki-clad people in the group who decided that I should not be “pestered” by the others. Shooing them off, they introduced themselves as BMC employees who worked in the area and said that they would very gladly be my “informers” about the Chembur Skywalk.