“I do not want to be an engineer,” was my answer when my mom asked me what I wanted to be. I had no knowledge or resource material to help me figure out what I wanted to be.
Everyone around was giving their AIEEE exam in the hope of becoming an engineer and earning one hell of a living. Some of them work as call-centre executives now.
Recently, India’s Human Resource Development minister said that only 40% engineering graduates get placements, and I bet I wouldn’t have been one of them had I completed my engineering course.
“If not an engineer, what should I be?” I thought. Well, of course, a journalist. My best friend wanted to be one. She had been inspired by the “legendary” Indian television journalist Barkha Dutt.
(She ended up becoming a hotel management graduate.)
But, I was stuck with journalism.
“There is no money in it. The work hours suck. And, most importantly, remember, you are not an activist. You can change squat. All you can do is write what the politicians say in quotes,” my professors told me.
And, of course, I did not believe them.
I participated in candle marches, petition signing and writing about the poor and the downtrodden from my privileged point of view.
And, then I finally got a job. Yes, it did not pay well and the work hours were bad. I wasn’t an activist but I realised that I could make politicians talk about the issues that I wanted if I honestly wrote about it.
And, then came the biggest crisis of my journalism career — space crunch. The desk would cut down my copies to less than half its original size. Now, I am not one of the snooty reporters who do not want their copies to be touched at all. In fact, I like them being edited because sometimes they come out better than my draft.
My problem with space crunch is that when you have to cut a copy down to 300 words, no matter how hard you try, essence will be compromised. So, here I am ranting about it all in as many words I wish. (Because this is my blog, and I decide what the word count should be.)
That’s when I realised what I really wanted to do was become a writer. Tell stories of things I witness everyday when I step out of my home. Write about my inner conflicts, my feelings, my likes and dislikes. (Yup, because its my blog.)
The problem is I do not find enough audience to listen to my rant. I keep thinking to myself, is someone even reading this?
So, from now on I will try and rant about hot topics of discussions, daily prompts and what is going on in my life at the moment (maybe, with just little glimpses from the past). And, most importantly, I will try and update the blog at least once a week.
I hope that gets me more eyeballs. Because, in the world of digital publishing, the number of views is what matters.