The Times of India created history with its Mumbai edition yesterday when it came out with the issue containing 88 pages, in commemoration of 16 anniversary of its Bombay Times edition, the supplement published along with the main newspaper that is more a spread sheet studded with gossip of the high-heeled, cinema features etc. If one were to include Mumbai Mirror that also comes along with Times of India in Mumbai for quite a lot of subscribers, then the combined package was more than 100 pages. Imagine how one would be able to even leaf through those hundred pages during the course of the day, what to talk of reading what is contained in it.
One is well aware about the fact that half of the pages of this special edition were advertisements, even then, would a reader be able to read content running into more than 40 pages in a day. Not likely, especially for a city like Mumbai where the average readers is so much hard pressed for the time, and he has to pack quite a lot during the course of his day, that it would be tough ask for him or her to read what all is printed in those pages.
But who bothers! The number of advertisements that this issue could command is indicative or rather pointer to the kind of dominance Times of India or the Old Lady of Boribunder ( the name by which Times of India is known to the old inhabitants of Mumbai) has in the Mumbai market. Dominance any marketing division would give his right hand to have.
But one also needs to factor in the plight the newspaper vendor has to endure. The poor fella in Mumbai, who distributes the newspapers to all homes on a daily basis, in large number of cases is comprised of students’ category, and imagine, hauling such bulky size newspapers even to the ground floor to be carried through the lift in all the floors. If somebody throws the newspaper in the balcony, surely enough, something or the other must have crashed in the balcony yesterday. There also would have been quite a lot of abuses hurled at the newspaper vendors as the whole construct of newspapers comes in different packets and it all has to be assembled and then given the shape of a newspaper. But who cares, once the advertisements have been brought on the reader reads the paper or not?