Something about Sandy

The CNN reporter stood thigh-deep in water, just him and the water and the open sky in downtown Atlantic City, which on any other evening would have ebbed and flowed with traffic and pedestrians. In New York, a giant crane hung its head limply, humbled by wind currents. Elswhere in New Jersey, the waves rose and clashed in mid-air spewing foam and venom on impact. The reporters, windblown, lashed by rain, remained grounded but only just enough to be able to continue reporting on Superstorm Sandy.

CNN's weather men and women have traditionally had a presence on the news channel they're fiesty, funny and awesomely well-informed about air currents, windspeed, temperatures, etc. On Sunday and Monday, they took centrestage as the people with the most reliable information in the eye of a storm. They were assisted by a panoply of statistics on air and windspeed, maps and visuals of the ocean rising up along the east coast of America crashing into anything that lay beyond. It was fascinating and horrifying, A Perfect Storm coming alive with devastating visual impact.

After the tsunami in Japan, Superstorm Sandy is the most terrifying reality show to go live on the tube. More so, because we are watching an iconic city like New York, where many have friends and relatives, being buffeted and bruised by the forces of nature. In India, we're accustomed to going without electricity, but powerless in New York? Oh my god.

So Manmohan Singh reshuffled his cabinet and shuffled the portfolios while he was at it. On Sunday morning, all the prime minister's new women and men sat in neat rows in the Ashoka Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan and Pranab Mukherjee administered his first oath of office. Since the media had announced the winners and losers well in advance, the only reason to watch the swearing in ceremony that morning was to study everyone's expressions and read what they might be thinking.

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