Having harboured a secret wish during school days to see my writing in print and a couple of stints as a reporter and a copyeditor later, I finally open a blog of mine. Part of the reason for not doing it earlier was that I have always found blogs to be quite self-indulgent in nature. But then, wasn’t it self-indulgence in the first place that inspired me to choose this career path? A black, emboldened, important-looking by-line gives me a kick like nothing else does, almost making me forget the impending gloom at the month end when I receive my slim paycheck.
As a journalist, the glory attached to this fancy title seems miles away. But the good news is that despite being a graduate in Science (and Honors in Physics no less!) I was able to get a foot in the door of the world of journalism. A losing decision, some might think. While a degree in, say, engineering wins you a six-figure salary, office provided cab, foreign trips and two offs in a week, one in journalism results in initial offers to write for free (sometimes even making you pay from your pocket to meet the traveling and telephone expenses) and eventually a paid job with a pay matching a clerk’s.
Nevertheless, I didn’t go for engineering for reasons other than the fact that no college really offered to take me in; I was fascinated by the world of printed words. But today, having collected a couple of hundred bylines, I wonder if I am doing the right job. Sometimes I am gargling out the nonsense taken from Bollywood actors on the paper, at other times I am pretending to take the views of 20-somethings on national budget seriously. While the rest of the learned world sits in swanky air-conditioned offices, I am out on the streets under the scorching sun and choking on road dust. The constant doomsday predictions of print journalism don’t help either.
Despite all this, I know there is nothing else I would rather do. I love my work, I don’t want this fun to end. My job expects and pays me for travel, meet all sorts of people and do what I love doing – write. This is one job that allows me go to office in pajamas or skirts and high-five my colleagues when I show up in office only at six in the evening. Facebooking, Tweeting, generally Googling and even mindless chatting over the phone are perfectly acceptable. And people around me find it really cool to know a journalist.
Convinced that I chose well, I hope to make this blog interesting enough for somebody to read.