Author: Richa Lakhera
Publication: HarperCollins Publishers India
“Lessons learnt: Never wear heels to any red-carpet event even if you are on this side of the divide. Never lose sight of your camera person. Never stand next to a bouncer. It’s the worst possible place to be even if you are a duly invited member of the national press. For them you are nobody. Never make a star, however small, think you don’t want his byte. Trust me, he will never forget the slight, and it’s a small world. Always roll a tape when the big stars are in the frame. Otherwise the big fat stories you miss will bite your arse later. Never leave your spot.”
By the time I had finished reading the book I had flash-backed into time, living my life as Cultural Correspondent of a private television channel ages ago. The book brought back memories of a different phase of my life.
Garbage Beat by Rich Lakhera is one hell of a book describing the life of an entertainment journalist in full form. The sweat, grime, energy, time and of course, the bitching has all been narrated in a style that is infectious and pushes you right into the world of entertainment journalism and reporting.
It is a harsh world out there, definitely not for the faint hearted or those vulnerable in body and spirit. And, only the best come out of the ordeal, happy and successful despite all odds. The same holds true for the protagonist of the novel, Laila who wants to leave her mark in a field she is passionate about but which her parents don’t approve of, that doesn’t give her quality time with her loving live-in boyfriend and basically, squeezes the guts out of her every time she is on an assignment. But then, that is what gives her daily dose of ‘adrenalin rush’ and her reason to carry on in life.
So, does Laila get what she wants despite all the hurdles in both her professional as well as personal life? Is the journey of the ‘harrowing, ball-crushing, back-breaking affair’ worth the trouble?
Well! You got to read the book to know. Despite the fact that the novel connected me with a part of my past I did feel that the expletives used were far too many! Although I wouldn’t deny the fact that they did lend a kind of authentic feel to the book.
For a debut book, Richa has done a good job.
Richa Lakhera has worked for years as an entertainment journalist in prominent national news channels. She believes that you should accept your most demented thoughts, fears and fantasies.