Taaza Khabar: Krishna at Allahabad Press - Part 2
Director: Bishakha Datta; Cinematographer: Ranu Ghosh
Duration: 00:44:50; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 198.381; Saturation: 0.009; Lightness: 0.311; Volume: 0.295; Cuts per Minute: 35.797; Words per Minute: 10.081
Summary: Part of the footage of the film Taaza Khabar directed by Bishakha Datta and produced by Nirantar. The film is about the journey of a team of all women journalists of Khabar Lahariya (a grassroots newspaper published by the women themselves) through several obstacles. The determined efforts are to ensure the 62nd issue of Khabar Lahariya reaches its readers on time. The women are from Chitrakoot district in U.P. who report stories that find no space in mainstream media. It also portrays how these women have created their own space and established their identity in a context where patriarchy and caste-based discriminations are dominant. In this event, Krishna, one of the Khabar Lahariya journalists, continues to ensure that the newspaper is printed at Allahabad's Bhargava Press. She persists the speedy completion of the job and takes back the printed bundles back to Karwi by bus.
Women, public space, cello tape
The process of printing the newspaper begins with laying out the negative sheets across a platform, where the negatives of the photographs to be attached are matched to the space where it is alloted in the paper. The negatives of the photographs are cut and inserted into the paper by cutting them into the right size and pasting it with cello tapes on the sides. With great precision, the edges are cut so that it exactly fits in the empty spaces. The two pages of the newspaper are then laid side by side and taped together across the edges. Krishna intently watches the whole process.
Karwi, Chitrakoot, UP, Allahabad
women, public space
women, public space
Voice: Do something, get the printing going
Printer (P): Do you have the printed stuff?
Voice: No work gets done properly
Printer: Who will understand it? Is Nandalal there? Ask Nandalal to get it
Krishna (K): The way we struggle to make the draft, they also go through such elaborate process at the printing press. Four to six times one has to do the drafts.
P: Answer the phone Shuklaji
Shuklaji (S): Hello, (murmurs a name) is not here.
K: Get it stopped bhaiyya (brother)
Voice: Someone get this done, the plates are on right now.
K: It stopped
P: Had the power been there, we could run the machine and get the print going
K: When the generator is on then it becomes difficult, otherwise it works fine, right?
P: There is too much load that the machine cannot handle
K: All the three are running today right?
P: Yes, lets try shutting all of them down and restarting.
The negative sheets of the newspaper are measured with a scale and laid over a plate. White strips of paper are then placed around the edges of the sheets. The plate is then inserted into the exposure machine where it gets exposed to bright light. The machine makes a loud sound when it's swtiched on. Krishna watches the process and asks them how they get to know when it's done. She notices that there is a problem wih the voltage and ensures that adequate light falls on the plate. The machine is turned off and the loud sound abruptly stops. The plate is removed from the machine.
P: Please put on the light
K: What are you doing?
P: I am doing it
K: How long will it take?
P: Once it is done and it dries we would be done
K: So it will take a while to dry right?
P: Then we begin the printing
K: It will now take a couple of hours right?
P: Yes definitely
K: Will it not spill in here?
P: No it is the new kind of plate, it does not spill
K: Why does it have the yellowish tinge?
P: Oh that's the coating that will not affect anything
K: Now you will take it infront of the fan?
Black ink is spread across evenly on the plate. Krishna asks the person spreading the ink what he is doing and he tells her that he's developing the paper. She wants to know how long it will take and he says that it's almost done. While the ink is spread over the plate, from underneath, the newspaper text slowly starts to show. The ink is then washed off and cleaned. Krishna continues to question him about the color and how long it would take to dry.
The freshly washed Khabar Lahariya newspaper plate lies over stacks of white paper which fill the whole room. The plates are taken and inserted into a machine. It is securely fastened by screwing the ends of the plate to the machine. The bolts are tightened from behind the machine too. A conveyor belt rolls out the printed newspaper on white sheets of paper, continuously and rhythmically.
Krisha sits amidst piles of paper and huge white bundles surrounding her. She sits patienly waiting for the process of printing to get over. It is a very unique visual that shows Krishna's resolve as a journalist and her sincere efforts at ensuring that the work is done on time.
The machine runs in a circular motion, bringing out the printed sheets of Khabar Lahariya that fall forward, emphasizing the name of the newspaper as it arrives, fresh from printing. The close shots of the various parts of the machine moving in unison reflects the sights and sounds of a printing press.
Bishakha (B): What is your name and what do you do?
K: I am Krishna, I work for Khabar Lahariya.
B: What do you do there?
K: I handle office administration, mailing, printing and some other work.
B: Where does the printing of Khabar Lahariya take place?
K: It happens in Allahabad
B: Which is this press?
K: This is Bhargav Press, here the printing of Khabar Lahariya takes place
B: You get it on your own? How long does it take?
K: I get it on my own, here for the negatives it takes about 2-3 hours, the whole process takes about 7-8 hours
B: How long do you stay inAllahabad?
K: I stay here for two days. I come here one day, finish work and go off the next day, no matter how late I reach.
B: Where do you stay in the night?
K: Near the lines, I have a sister staying there, I put up with her.
B: You come here alone? Is it done?
K: I come here alone and its all done now, I am waiting to take it with me.
Bishakha interviews Krishna asking her about herself and what she does for Khabar Lahariya. She finds details of how long it takes to print, how many days she stays in Allahabad and whether she comes alone. Krishna answers all the questions quickly and confidently without a pause.
K: It will go to Karvi bhaiyya (brother)
Voice : Put in under the seats then.
K: Please remove your legs, I will put them beneath the seat.
K: On the way otherwise it will get spoilt on the way
Krishna takes the newspaper bundle to the bus station, and boards a bus to Karwi. She arranges the bundle under the seat, and asks for space.