I think the Hindutva and the issue of communal conflict is getting too heavy for a blog reader. So let us shift to something soft but serious.
I owe it to myself more then to you my daughter to write about journalism, my obsession – something which started as an adolescent love and incidentally has stuck lifelong. It’s a difficult ballgame to continue to be with it. There are a plethora of reasons for that. But one factor is driving down the road I find I cannot do anything else. Often the entire scene in journalism would turn frustrating. This fact one day made me jot down a few words for my gmail chat message box – Journalism – Sharm se hae lab siley hue (The shame of media world is making me shut up my lips)!
In pursuance of my career in journalism unwittingly often I seemed to long for isolation from the self-seeking politics of the less meritorious.
But is it all that bad?
Well, before delving in details into this question and also how I had to often cope with the hostility of the mean people; I think firstly I should say how journalism really came about for me.
It came as a mystery and an accident. Actually, gradually I have come to believe that life has the habit of betraying those who want to believe in calculations with it. It was a sheer element of uncertainty, after my failed honeymoon with science that had propelled me into the enchanting illusion of media and for me or my family a totally uncharted territory of journalism.
I must say the words like mystery/accident/surprise are the most un-prescribed terms to use for oneself. But most of my steps about myself, life and career have been surprising. Most of the career moves were shrouded in mystery. My move to choose journalism, when I had actually hardboured an inclination for creative writing. Similar was the case when I got an opportunity to move to Delhi from the backyards of Nagaland journalism and then midway moving to Mumbai, quitting PTI and then trying it out in IT (niche) journalism leaving behind my original constituency of political reporting – actually all came unplanned. Sheer desperation often leads to sweetest of experience. I have thus slowly but certainly started believing that to the best of those who plan out lives, uncertainty and uncharted ways come.
The individuals would not understand what was really going around them.
Another thing that definitely drove was the encouragement. Well, nothing to hide about it; all that did not come easily and very rarely from parents.
And I don’t grudge them as many parents of their generation have done the same. How could they approve their off-spring to try to find livelihood in something which would not predict stability and financial security. More so in insurgency-hit Nagaland where journalism by a non-Naga like me could also provoke extreme reactions.
I would be often dismissed and even forgotten in personal or family life though right from the start of the career as a rookie reporter for All India Radio, Kohima and local papers I was often respected in the professional world.
My relationship with parents was not distant but it was peculiar in more ways than one. With father I was more formal. Thus the only informal relationship was with my brother Nirmal (Raja). He used to be the only man I could open up. I would be repetitive but it is true very few would be lucky to have such encouraging younger sibling.
My desire to write only grew stronger as my brother would sing “jis raha chuni tuney (Don’t give up the path you have chosen)” --- screaming in awful voice that I should not give up looking for a career in writing.
Next, my perception about my job would not end without talking about your mother and the hurdles created by her and support she would render.
In a profession like ours and not well paid situation like mine, I ought to be grateful to my wife; despite my oft-repeated screaming at her. Mili does help me through the trying time knowingly or otherwise. Daughter of a full-time practicing Marxist school teacher she was never an ideal passive partner. But she created an at home easy going atmosphere most of the times as I could took liberty from the pressure of handling the domestic demands. Making some extra money by working extra hours on an article for All India Radio or so demanded that I am left to myself. She would slog often, pick up vegetables, call the plumber or fetch the atta packet regularly.
On her part, she would be a critic often both of my habits and also of my few writing pieces. I would dismiss her criticism, but sometimes did value them though those were hardly followed by corrective steps. Like all nagging wives, I suppose, your mother’s problem has been that while she unfailingly picks up right vibes but often did so at wrong moments.
More on this would follow……….
(sent on Aug 12)