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Showing posts from 2009

The best and worst of 2009…

No wonder time flies … faster than light and sound… It feels as if 2009 was just a thing of yesterday…and here is 2010…knocking the doors! As any year ends, I always like to go into flashback mode…recalling what was momentous for me throughout the year and what have been the lessons that the year taught me. 12 months is a long time and a good enough quanta when you can actually sit down and put some serious thought into what went ‘right’ and what could have been ‘avoided’.

At year end, I am full of hopes and I ooze with more optimism than ever before because I know that challenges lie ahead of me … that of making the coming year more fruitful, productive and worth remembering. 2009 was a fairly nice year to me but I am not sad that it’s bidding me goodbye. Thanks you 2009 for giving me so many opportunities and helping me to learn newer things. But I won’t miss you!

Goodies of 2009:

•I took a correct decision which was to make life easier for me (Thank God ….you saved me from being fool…

Mann Ka Radio...Why I like HR!

Obnoxious and atrocious choices characterize me when I tell people that I like Himesh Reshamiya (HR)! They tell me I am out of my wits. Come on, HR can not just mean Human Resources! As well known people keep getting nick named…so does Himesh…the man with the nasal sound and the cap, the man whom sensible people hate and crazy people like me adore! The man whom some people just can not stand, the man who rules the charts despite being pulled down by the own industry in which he works! The man who draws me to the theatre to see his films despite them being box office duds! I do not quite clearly remember as to which was the first song of his that I heard and became a ‘pankha’. Must have been some of his earlier compositions. Gradually, when he became quite a rage with his ‘uooooonnnnnn’ sound and composed some chartbusters for Aasshiq Banaya Aapne, Namaste London etc…I began to notice him. So when he decided to act, like a loyal fan I inflicted injury on my near and dear ones and drag…

3 States: To where do I belong?

India is my country. It is a diverse, multi-religious, multi-lingual vibrant democracy. I think I embody this diversity better than anybody. I belong to India’s three different states each of which represent their own colorful culture and way of living. To explain things clearly, I am a Madhya Bhartiya, a Maharashtrian and a Gujarati all at the same time. My roots lie in the land that is the heart of India – Madhya Pradesh. I was born in Jabalpur and my parents belong to M.P. so quite naturally I am able to relate myself well with the place. In summers and during holidays, I travelled to cities like Bhopal, Indore, Dewas and Ujjain. What I like about this land is the earthy feeling, the ancient heritage and the old and classic buildings. These are not developed cities on the lines of metro cities still you can’t escape their charm. If I had option to build up another home for myself, I would choose Bhopal because it is a beautiful city with a quiet, calm feeling and lovely heritage. P…

Three mistakes of my life …

Mistakes…can be something you regret big time to something that can make you learn the most valuable lesson of your life. I believe mistakes are of two kinds – the not so big mistakes and ‘the big’ mistakes which I would classify as blunders. They help you grow, grow as a person because when you go on making mistakes you become wiser and mature. Funny are the signs of maturity and wisdom, aren’t they? My life’s mistakes would not turn me into a bestseller author like Mr. Chetan Bhagat, but they have taught me a lot … taught me to identify and know more about my own self and have been a wonderful aid in my intellectual, spiritual and emotional process of getting to know life better and better. So here are what I think the three stupidest mistakes I made, but at the same time without which I would not have been what I am today!

Mistake number one is impatience! It has harmed me like nothing ever has. It has sometimes led me into making some of the most foolish decisions of my life. It ha…

Destiny's Child ... Meeting Justice Shri P N Bhagwati

I am special ... not because I possess some great skills but because I have been fortunate enough to have met and interacted with some well-known personalities throughout my college life. It is very rarely that you get to meet the best people from the field and even get a chance to hear them speak.

As a student of media, we met some famous media personalities during the course of our curriculum. We met and had an hour long chat with CNN IBN's film critic 'Rajeev Masand' who enriched us with his knowledge in cinema. We got to listen to Chetan Bhagat when he was in city for the promotion of his film. And having read all his books I listened to him in anticipation and with enthusiasm. Then we met some journalists and anchors like Pankaj Pachauri from NDTV and saw him conducting a live election debate program. It was a fascinating new world to meet all these personalities and to me they seem untouched for some time but when you actually see them talk, see them made of flesh an…

Being labelled ...

It is very easy to label and to be labelled. Most of us carry these labels our entire life and some of us are able to get rid of them. Nevertheless, they are a part of us. Now these labels can be something you have branded your own self as or an impression that others have of you as a person. We rely on such labels. They come with a lifetime guarantee tag. Can be used so freely and casually that at one point of time you may actually start identifying with it.

I consider some labels that people have tagged me with and then I wonder "Am I really like this?" Labels need not be just negative or demeaning ... they can also be positive attributes attached to you. I like positive ones because they make me feel good about myself. They come with a confidence enhancing capacity and when you are alone you can devote a lot of time to pondering over these labels and reasoning over whether you actually justify the existence of those.

As a child, I was labelled as intelligent but full of pri…

Books: No complaints, No demands ...

I had always known that books were a person's best friend! But i just recently discovered one more quality that books as friends can provide you with or rather sooth you with. Books - No complaints and no demands ... just think about it ... sounds interesting na! I have always thought that you really do not need anyone if you have books by your side. In times when you are depressed, are feeling lonely or when you feel that the world has come crashing down ... there can be nothing than picking up your favorite novel, magazine, fiction or non-fiction and read it to gain confidence and recharge yourself.

I have experienced this personally. And it was reinforced when I watched a film recently and was at the same time reading a book. The leading lady in the film works in a library and when asked why she loves books so much has such a witty reply to give that it bowled me over. She says I love books because unlike people in your life who are either happy or upset with you, who either ap…

Experiencing Journalism of Courage

This is not Slumdog Millionaire! But there are 3 musketeers in this story too. Three of them who together land up at an alien place to discover what real, professional and hard core journalism is like. Welcome to The Indian Express, Ahmedabad Bureau ... where me, Afsha and Sakib were placed for internship during the last leg of FJC. This ranks as the most enthralling and not so enthralling experience of my life. I landed up in Ahmedabad, a city to which I had never been before ... with hopes of learning to practice "journalism of courage" (no offense meant please). There were a lot of expectations which we all had, being internees ... I guess the race for bylines was obvious. Ahmedabad is a huge and crazy place, unlike my sweet little Baroda. Three things you can't escape when in Ahmedabad ... pollution, traffic and large distances! Staying in a rented place, eating terrible food and struggling to catch buses to reach the ever elusive office of Express at the Judges Bung…

"Janne Ka Haq" ... I demand to know

Somewhere down the line, I myself did not realize that I loved reading mass communication research methods during the second semester. And its application was to be in the form of the dissertation study that we had to undertake at the beginning of the second year. It was an interesting application to be made after the study of theory. The topic selection and research proposal was to be made prior to the commencement of the study. I oscillated between several subjects, wanting to take up something that provided the apt link between politics and communication. Hence, I decided to do something related to the coverage of elections in the print medium. An obsolete topic ... madam told me. Then I thought I could take up a comparative study of magazines which were not a much explored medium. Again this fizzed out! It was only chance, that I read a story on RTI (Right to Information)and it struck me that I could take up RTI and the media's role in promoting it as my topic. Topic approved!…

Chai Piyo ... Mast Jiyo ...

The discovery of my true calling ...

As we entered the second semester of our course, I got pretty used to being at FJC. It was the place where I began spending most of my time. New avenues awaited us and newer experiences were on the threshold. The first fun part came in the form of the Virtual Classroom Project of Global Understanding. It was a first time exposure to a world which was beyond us. A world to which we connected with the use of modern technology. We interacted with students from countries like Venezuela, Malaysia and the United States of America. A cross cultural dialogue can leave you enriched and satisfied at the prospect of learning about how people in other parts of the world carry on with their lives. Knowledge about their ways, culture, their socio-political system, religion and other aspects of their life can broaden your horizons which is essential not only if you are a communication professional but also if you are a part of some other profession. A wholesome and enjoyable journey in my opinion. A…

A Mighty Heart: 'Wanting to be a Daniel Pearl'

Continuing with reliving my experiences at FJC, I admit that I had joined journalism with some dreams and hopes. Hopes of being able to emulate people like Daniel Pearl and P.Sainath. Hope of pursuing journalism for a larger and noble cause. I believed what I wrote could impact the lives of people in a larger way. Having come from a background of studying Politics and Sociology, I thought I could well fit into the political and social beats when it came to reporting. Little did I realise that journalism was going to be a tough game. It was not just about writing creatively, using jargon...there was more to it. It was about finding out issues which affected the society at large, developing a patient understanding about them and then presenting them in a fairly neutral way before the masses. I had fancy ideas about journalism, some myths which were gradually shattered by the way of reporting for 'Emester' and then with my internship stint at The Indian Express, Ahmedabad. My un…

Little 'heaven' at FJC...

Again, I come back to where I was ... to FJC ... I feel if there is a heaven that I can aptly describe, it has to be at a small, miniature place just in front of the huge cricket ground in the university. Its a place in the extreme corners. Not very easy to locate and notice. But despite this, having an esteemed presence of its own. Its called FJC ... Faculty of Journalism and Communication, a small part of MSU. I am sure most of us are not even aware of even the existence of such a place. But through these two years it has come to mean a lot to me. Today, I can proudly claim to be associated with it. And why not. After all, it gave me a lot... not asking for anything in return. I would consider myself very fortunate if I, in any given way am able to return what my dearest institution has provided to me.

My journey at FJC started in the year 2007, when I cleared the entrance exams and interview for the MCS exam. Since the, I never looked back as semester by semester, my journey proved …

Gendered at WSRC...

Studying gender and feminism was not one of the ideas that was in my mind in the months after completing my Masters degree. I think it was something that happened purely by default. For those of you who don't know...WSRC stands for the Women's Study Research Center, a small, quiet place in the interiors of The Faculty of Family and Community Sciences. As a first time visitor to this otherwise non happening place, I was hardly expecting any activity worth the reason as to why I was there. I was there to do an inter-disciplinary course on Gender Studies, and I prefer that term better than Women's Studies as gender is about both men and women, and not just women. It was really the course structure that struck me and got me interested to pursue it further which initially just my mum was keen I take up.

As weeks have progressed, and now I am into the second last week of the course I feel myself to be equipped to talk a little bit about what I learnt and why I think what I learnt…

Those moments of silence...

I am sure we all lead busy lives, fast paced and drenched with the showers of managing work, relations, family along with a quest for self realization and achievements. Then what is it that sets some apart from the others. While some of us become engrossed in such an existence, hardly bothering about moments of tranquility...some of us spend those quiet moments, that time of life when we are left alone with our own world with our own thoughts. This certainly must have happened to everybody of us at some or the other point in life. My moments of silence come about when I am either alone, or when I am reading a book, or when I am too stressed out. That is when I feel like taking a pause and putting a break on all that I have been doing. I retreat myself to one corner, some times to the terrace of my house and just stare at my natural surroundings. For a while then I am able to transport myself in an altogether different world, a world which is free of worries and one which I seek tempor…

Is it worth pursuing Liberal Arts?

5th September was Teacher's Day. And I salute all the teachers who have contributed to making me what I am today. A teacher's place in our social system is irreplaceable and indispensable. They are the carriers of knowledge and agents who sow the seeds of ideas in the minds of students. To all my teachers throughout school, graduation and post-graduation, I extend my deep and warm wishes on this occasion for giving me the freedom to cultivate my own thought process and build an identity of my own.

I happened to attend a seminar on the topic 'Liberal Arts Education: Relevance, Employability and Pedagogy'. As a result, I chanced upon the wonderful opportunity to meet and hear Professor Lord BhikhuParekh, an eminent Political Philosopher, former Vice-Chancellor MSU, member of the House of Lords in UK and someone who has had the distinction of teaching at Harvard and London School of Economics. I must admit that it was a pure delight to hear him. Along with that I was remin…

The many sides of me ...

Coming from a strong background of studying Social Sciences through these years, I came to positively believe in the dichotomy of the 'self' and the 'other'. This distinction between the 'self' and the other' is firmly rooted in the ideological debate surrounding theories and researches in several disciplines of Social Science. The explanation is simple. I embody the 'self' and the rest of the world around me personifies the 'other'. According to me, the self and the other need not be at war with each other. The relationship can be a pretty harmonious one.
I see the manifestation of this dogma in the humdrum of routine life. There is not just one 'me' ... there are many. And this is how a balance in life is worked out. So, I am a human being, a girl, a daughter, a student, a voracious reader, a cinema lover ... all at the same time. At sometimes, these roles of mine are complementary to each other and at other times they stand in com…

Delhi is not Far ...

As I begin my journey of blogging, into a new realm of expression, I quote a wonderful and thoughtful poem by Ruskin Bond in a series of compilations comprising the best of his collections titled 'Delhi is not Far'. It is a must read for it consists of short stories, essays, travel writings, songs, love poems, scenes from novels and extracts from some of his acclaimed works.

When I read these lines, I could not help but relate to emotions ... so many of them ... of love, affection, warmth and care, belongingness ... emotions which are so dear to us. The presence of a special person struck me as I read them. Someone without whom the 68 pages of my life would not be worth reading.

"All night our love
Stole sleep from dusty eyes
What dreams were lost, I'll never know.
It seemed the world's last night had come
And there would never be a dawn.

Your touch soon swept the panting dark away -
Some suns are brighter than night by day!"