Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Five years ago, I was a reporter with NDTV in Chennai and I had just covered the biggest story of my career – the Indian Ocean tsunami. Reporting on the tsunami from the ravaged coastline of Tamil Nadu had been fraught with a muddle of emotions – shock, sadness, pride, joy, despair, hope, anger and frustration. I was full of stories and the medium of television wasn’t enough to tell them.
I wanted to empty every corner of my soul and put it down in words. So I asked someone to teach me how to start this blog. The title ‘A Reporter’s Diary’ was hurriedly chosen and I settled down to the business of jotting.
I began with the tsunami but soon started writing about everything else. The personal side of my work for NDTV found expression here. The formal interview with Richard Gere was for them, but that he had torn his trousers was discussed here. The formulaic he-said, she-said of political coverage was for them, the outrage and the disgust over much of it was for here.
Sometimes when I go back and re-read some of that ranting and raving, I cringe. My choice of words feels embarassing and I can also see some earlier prejudices quite clearly.
But the process of writing has been incredibly therapeutic. It gave my impotent rage, from being a reporter in India, a much-needed release and improved my writing in the process.
To my complete surprise, you guys actually seemed interested in reading about it! And when you left comments, trust me, I felt and continue to feel thrilled. Some of you of course cursed me out and said I was shit, but I cunningly disabled anonymous comments. But all your legit comments became so interesting to me that often I found myself thinking harder about what I was going to write on this blog than put on air. (Future employers, please ignore.)
So today I want to say a big “Thank You.” Really. I love writing and I love that you read it. There was stiff competition for 'Most Loyal Reader' between my dad, other members of the family and Sathej, but in the end Sathej won because he is not related to me and therefore not obliged to read this blog and because he leaves more comments. Please take a very large slice of the cake above, Sathej. Thanks to everyone else as well. Sorry I can’t mention you all by name but I like you for stopping by.
The life-span of this blog also made me reflect on my own life during this time. Its been a terrific half decade. I’ve survived some awful decisions, made better ones, moved three continents, met brilliant people, felt humbled, met my life partner, felt elated, got a new family, definitely gained a few pounds, gone back to school, sank all my savings, emerged with wonderful friends, lost a debit card and travelled. I’ve also had several bad hair cuts and a bite from an unknown insect at night but I won’t bore you with that.
It seems as though more happened in the last five years than in the previous 25. (Stop trying to work out my age!). Through this time, this blog’s been my constant companion reflecting my life and my latest interests.
So happy birthday Blog and thanks for everything!