Wild News Store-House

A Ghat as Newsroom

How news starts at the ghat and spreads...

The bathing ghat in the rivulet near the residence of this correspondent is a store-house of make-believe, unfounded and wild news.  The story writers, producers and directors of the store-house – all are time killers and jealous.  Almost all the women-folks who come over here for cloth washing and bathing play their roles diligently to produce unfounded wild news.

Reetha of 35 is the fore-runner.  She comes almost first every day with a bundle of clothes.  Even if she finishes her work before others come, she waits for them.  Three or four gather, she de-bags news manufactured in her fertile imagination.  When it spreads, no doubt, a family feud in the neighbourhood is set to rise.  A cooked news she released last week is still haunting victims.  She murmured it in the ear of Devaki who came next to Reetha to the rivulet.  Devaki in turn made a successful addition to it before presenting to the fourth present by that time.  All the four discussed the news thread-bare.

By noon, the cooked news spread like an epidemic.  When Geetha returns from College around 5 pm many of the villagers glare at her.  She read something unusual expression on the faces of the villagers.

By 8 elder brother of Geetha, Ramakrishnan, returned home from work place.  He immediately roused towards Geetha who was studying in her personal room.  He slapped on her face instantly without any query or seeking explanation.  Geetha stood dumb-founded.  Her brother is normally cool-headed.  She has never witnessed him in such a frenzied mood.  He shouted, where she was yesterday.  The stunned Geetha said, in college writing class-tests.  Then who was in Ramadas Theatre in the city in the company with a Sajeevan, he roared.  Stop your study, do not go to the college from tomorrow, he roared with shivering body.  Geetha pleaded before him, his father and mother her innocence and begged the father to go to college and make verification about her presence in the college yesterday.

The father made a discreet enquiry and convinced she was in college writing class-tests.

As the washing ghat was the source for many unfounded stories in the past, the family’s enquiry centred on it.  The truth came out accidentally.  Geetha’s brother was passing through the washing ghat when he overheard Reetha telling Baby about the unfounded and maligned news released by Kausallia yesterday while washing cloths.

Ramakrishnan went to the house of Kausallia around 5 evening and explained the whole thing before her husband and father-in-law.  The ashamed husband caught Kausallia, hauled of her hair and pushed her to the ground causing her a leg fracture.

Two weeks ago another lady created a flutter in the village.  She planted a lie among other lady-folks in the washing ghat.  It spread all over the village and beyond.  It was about two clean-imaged teenagers of opposite sex.  The parents of both put her husband on thorn for misconduct of his wife.  Repeatedly ashamed husband on numerous such incidences in the past, returned his wife to her parental home as a punishment.  It is heard she is now mending the way and avows not to go to the washing ghat if and when she returns to in-laws.

Two months ago two lady-folks engaged in cuffing as a rumour unleashed was against the relatives of one of them.

Yesterday, it was heard, the elders in the village directed few youngsters to dumb the beating stone deep into the rivulet to deprive the dirty lots venue to invent cooked up stories.  The youngsters are waiting for appropriate occasion of darkness to fulfill the assignment.  They are afraid of doing so in day light as the washing lots will not allow them to walk in the street.

Let the husbands engage their wives in full time chores at home.

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