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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

13 Until I Die! [Chapter 2: Three Men Army]

New Delhi, September 12, 2000 (UNI) MALARIA TOLL TOUCHES 2000 IN THE CAPITAL - my 13th breaking story was on the cover of every paper. I had stepped into the third month at UNI.

The news agency quickly processed my papers to staff reporter's after another written test on general knowledge and an interview. I never found time to read their 82-page ‘annexe on rule, regulations, policy and benefits’. It was deposited at the friendly guard at the YWCA working women’s hostel’s gate, while running for an assignment, and never collected.

The UNI Headquarters, my first work place
Not even 20, my first ‘break’ thus happened while still studying journalism at the Centre for Mass Media (YMCA, Jai Singh Marg, near Janpath).

Dee Paul’s at Janpath served the most important meal of the day – the cold coffee at 3pm [my tall glass of happy sighs!] – right after work and before class. Coffee time was spent mostly with classmates. The job was envied. Envy has this incredible power of making people invisible. It was the first time I got used to my invisible self. I became 'visible' a few years later [and I am guessing by then 'they' were tired of gaping at the void.]

I thank Ramesh Menon sir (guest lecturer on creative writing) for deconstructing my thoughts in ways no other teacher did. I also thank Samuel Baid sir, a senior Indo-Pak journalist (then Director of the Centre for Mass Media), who often reminded me 'to never settle down to just finding some stories for someone'.

Baid sir wanted me to be a cartoonist - 'the first female newspaper cartoonist'. He always felt the loss of being a busy journalist and mentioned that there was no one who pushed him to take his hobby of cartooning seriously. Whenever I paused by his office to greet, he tapped on my cartoons (a scrapbook on pocket cartoons kept on his table) and called my attention to it. Those were probably the first taps on visual comprehension.

In Baid sir's words - ‘there are so many Shobha Des, but how many Ajit Nainans or Laxmans, R D’. When I think of Baid sir, an old saying comes to mind : If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else - Booker T. Washington.

Baid sir sent R D to his friend N K Ranga, a senior cartoonist [the hand that drew Gandhiji with a single stroke on Doordarshan – remember? - check YouTube], for some serious reflection.

to be continued…

General disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living, dead, or reincarnated is not a coincidence. No animals were injured during the making of this novelog although some monkeys may have their feelings hurt. Sorry.



ashvin said...

great going, keep writing

ps: the one stroke gandhiji was a huge inspiration....spent hours of my childhood trying to replicate the brush stroke

bluvian said...

thanks ashwin :)