Monday, May 7, 2012

The job, me, and the lessons!

about my job has started scaring me about late nights! On numerous occasions
when I have had the audacity to stay awake till wee hours because I had to go
to work late the next day, I have been called to resume work in the early
morning. Part and parcel of being a reporter! Something I may complain
occasionally, but accept otherwise. Of course also goes without saying, I am
getting no wiser with late nights.

couple of days back I decided to stay awake till almost my usual waking hours.
And just as I was in an hour of sleep I was called on duty. Mr Bachchan had
taken unwell. He tweeted so. Needless to say, he being one of the most loved
people in the country, his illness was of importance to a news channel. So I
was there, outside his house, standing… waiting for any update so that I could
relay it to my channel at the earliest. With me there were some others too,
from rival channels. Some cribbed, some abused their lucks…

hours of standing in the heat I reached office where usual work followed. The
day’s initial excitement had died down and soon the sun was down too. Leaving
work I and my colleague Rashma made our way to the nearby departmental story to
buy some eatables for the way before getting an auto. Usually a boring store
where the owner seldom watches anything but bhajans on his TV, on this day the
place turned out to be quite interesting. And this was so because of a girl. [Now,
how girls can turn almost anything interesting deserves a thesis. Will try that
later] Not the prettiest of them all, but one with some views which caught my
attention outright.

chatting with a colleague of hers, she was telling about this match that her
parents had found for her. “He is an entertainment reporter. One of those fools
who stand outside Amitabh Bachchan’s house one his birthday. I mean why would I
ever be interested in such a loser…”
Ouch! Did she just say that? Oh yes she did. My colleague heard it too.
The girl went on to talk about how she believed this guy is no more than a
dimwit. Well, I am a proud person. I don’t take such criticism well. I may not
be the match that her parents found; hence there was no need for me to get as
personal. But I too am one of those who stand outside Mr Bachchan’s house on
occasions. Or for that matter any other star’s houses… or airports… or
wherever. But that’s my job! She had no business judging my or any of my
reporter friend’s IQ on basis of only fraction of the work we do.

So what?

how I wanted to walk up to her and ask her some questions! Some questions that
would make her pride go bust with realisation of her own IQ. I would have
probably done that had I been alone. Only if Rashma had not held me back… But
then Rashma probably did hold me back for a good reason. Probably, the girl was
not worth the trouble of me fixing her mind! Probably!

I walked out, I had a certain sense of pride. Not only because I restrained from
spoiling that girl’s and my evening with a worthless conversation; but also
because I am entertainment correspondent who has a better understanding of
things that people like her whose minds are as small as the cubicles they work
in... No generalisations, let me add, before you poke that finger at me!

about job ain’t new. It’s probably is one of the most universal phenomena.
Almost everyone does it, in their own way and space… or at special occasions.
Would not hence say that reporting sees more of it; but it certainly does a
fair amount. It’s acceptable; no one likes to stand outside a star’s house for
updates of his life. But then each job has its pluses and minuses. We have our
magnificent pluses too. We help change things and mindsets while we inform.

will be standing outside Mr Bachchan’s house again, and I will hear some fellow
reporters crib and some abuse their lucks… I thankfully have learnt better.