I took up Bachelors in Mass Media (Journalism) in K.C. College, Mumbai and began my journey towards print journalism by joining Hindustan Times, Mahim (April-May 2009) as an intern reporter, covering the education beat. It was a month-and-a-half long internship in summers, and it had been an adventurous ride!
Find Pleasures in Doing the Things Right, and Not to Get the Right Things
I had imagined that I would get to cover political beat, but I was designated to work on the ‘Campus Calling’ section, which specially dealt with the educational courses students could take up for higher studies. I thought it would be a boring task, but it was one of the best things I pursued in my life.
I got to meet big-wigs of several educational institutions and even took interview of school and college authorities, country heads, principals etc for an important podcast.
The mere confrontations with clients, sometimes directly, and at other times via Public Relation executives handling a particular educational institute, filled me with a sense of honour. The respect earned, stayed with me like a badge, which even has an impact today.
Juggling Between Coffee, Scorns from HOD, and Tasks
Around the election time, the interns and reporters from every beat were to cover news and actions for different electoral posts in Mumbai, and I was given an opportunity to visit Tulsiwadi.
It was a life-changing experience to know how the voters felt about the political parties, the state of political affairs in the city, the problems of a common man, and the reforms they looked forward to. I felt at last, my wish to cover politics as beat, was fulfilled.
I committed blunders, but I was always corrected, even though the coffee at the desk ran cold and evenings turned into dark-night, but I paid attention to what my seniors had to say. Sometimes I invited the wrath of the immediate senior, and sometimes, they would treat me with utmost care. But all the struggles paid off, nothing felt better than having news articles published under my name! It was an overwhelming feeling.
6 Things I Can Never Forget That Happened With Me at the Hindustan Times
The tasks I had performed went beyond the regular image of a journalist (bespectacled person clad in a tattered kurta and carrying a jhola, though I agree I do wear glasses).
I will share with you some of my positive experiences and skills that I gained while working at Hindustan Times:
- A job of a journalist reporter keeps you on the toes. You do not have time to rest, though some entertainment is called for (getting your guitar to the office and having it mostly used for photo shoot by colleagues).
- After covering a story (most of it was visit outdoors, almost every day), you have to punch the story as soon as you reached the workplace and coordinate with editing team, make necessary changes so that the story can go live.
- It involved a lot of teamwork, right from the photo-journalist to the office-boy, whom you need to strike friendship with to get all kind of favors done. Thus, you improve your social skills.
- You need to be sociable and confident so that you can speak without stuttering face-to-face with likes such as Shashi Tharoor, Cyrus Broacha, etc (yes, I did get the bright opportunity).
- People whom you shared your contact number with, would still count on you years later, and call you up if they thought they had a bit of ‘news’ to share, even if you were no longer employed with the particular organization- such is the power of being an ethical journalist.
- Last but not the least; I had learnt that there was a lot of scope of misusing the power I possessed as a journalist and get undue concessions or gate crash parties, but I steered off such tactics, as for me, being a journalist was built on honest notions I aspired to live up to, right from the childhood.
Working at Hindustan Times for a short tenure, I repeat, was nothing less than an adventure. I would love to relive those moments again.
Thankfully, some of the colleagues are still keeping in touch. I did completely enjoy the journey at HT, Mahim.
The post was published on Medium