When media let Rehab down

We knew her here at BlogAdda, just the way the rest of the blogosphere did. Perhaps a tad more closely, for we loved the way she dipped words in her ink – Rehab Chougle or the author/ owner of outlandishmusings in the blog world.

At 25, you want your work-in-progress book to hit the ‘best selling’ racks soon, you want to live life and soar. Rehab too had wished for this and her words on her blog spelled them out clearly. Last week, the untimely death of this young soul unnerved the entire blogging community. It was as if one night we went to sleep smiling after reading her tweets and the next morning we discovered that time had indeed frozen on her timeline.

As a blogger friend notes,

“She was still a girl. She was almost a woman. She was both. And she was discovering her ideas about womanhood & relationships.”

Is this a tribute post then? No, not really – the blog world has seen a surge of tribute posts over the last 3 days. We at BlogAdda are still in disbelief of the tragedy. This however is an outcry to the idea of justice that we feel Rehab has been denied.

Justice in its entourage of definitions also includes speaking of the truth and it is here that the media, which we think should be the voice of justice, lets us down. Rehab and Rameez Chougle breath their last in their Versova apartment last week. When and how? – wish one knew!

When the death was reported all we wanted to know was that what really took Rehab and her brother away from us, instead of an answer we were left confused. While a leading newspaper who claimed to have published the news first, said it was out of “toxic shock” that the siblings perished. They said that Rameez expired owing to inhaling toxic fumes that infected their flat after the pest cleaning spree by a company and also eating contaminated food. According to them unable to take the pain of her brother Rehab too expired the next day. We were willing to accept this take, natural for a sibling to have a cardiac arrest owing to shock, however soon there was another daily which claimed that it was Rehab who was the victim of pesticide poisoning and her brother followed soon after.

The parents refused to blame the pest control, the neighbours too are confused, the police has no leads because they ‘did not feel the need of’ preserving Rehab’s viscera for further investigation. Amidst all this Rehab’s friends want the truth to be out.

What was termed as the ‘mystery death’ of the local siblings, hit the national newspaper this morning, with one daily claiming that the father, Mr. Chougle says there was no pest control done at home and the forensic team on the other hand the other quoting discovering a “greyish” suspecting powder which they claim to bear substantial evidence – yet again we don’t know when will the media stop serving confusion on the platter.

It is sad that the leading dailies of the country do not have any parity in their reporting of facts. Those who are to be the voice of the nation are themselves fighting for juicy bits to display in order to encourage more eyeballs – looks like suspicious deaths are the latest pick up news items for newspapers to run like horror shows and increase TRP(s).

Why wasn’t Rameez’s post mortem done? Why isn’t he being exhumed by the police? Why were Rehab’s viscera not preserved? Was the pest control actually done? If yes, why isn’t the company being quoted? –  all the answers cloud our minds. However, instead of answers we only have ‘juicy bites’. We understand that answers will not be there till the police uncover the truth, however the bigger question is that till then should the media just print whatever attracts eyeballs and spices up the morning cuppa?

As for Rehab all that we can say is,

“No matter where you go, may words still flow,

No matter where you are, may it feel like home.”



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