Saturday, November 13, 2010


Birthday month, for everything that I’ve hyped it out to be, is turning out to be not so great. For starters was Swetha’s death and now, Nandu. Nandu Narsimhan taught me at IIMC (not to be confused with IIM-Calcutta, PLEASE). He was 45 and died of a heart attack last night. Nothing more to say really. He was the favourite professor of all the Advertising diploma kids. We journo kids didn’t know much about him. We only sighed from a distance.

The thing is, when you study at an Indian government-funded college, life’s pretty nonsense. Everything is subsidised, including the quality of faculty. However the Advertising and PR diploma kids got a better deal. They learnt from the people who were in the industry. They learnt from the people who had the fancy cars and cool jobs. Journo students? We had an ape wannabe called P Mathur who said, and I know this because I counted, ‘and all that’ 125 times in class once! The rest just read aloud from a book all the time or told us not to eat food at a press conference.

Suffice to say, most of my time at IIMC was spent escaping from the rude reality that was ‘a premier journalism education’.

Running back to November. Apart from untimely deaths, this has been, so far, a month that I’m enjoying simply because I will be unemployed starting November 22. I want to be unemployed. I want to experience no-salary withdrawal symptoms for a bit and then get back to the corporate grind. In the time that I am at home, I hope to be writing more. Long ago, I had poetic aspirations (can be found here); I want that stupid feeling back. It’s a fun feeling – this combination of feeling artistic and very relevant.

The trouble with me and writing is this – I never really aspired to write. Ever. All I knew was that I had this great talent for not having studied squat before the exams but writing the appropriate words well enough to get decent marks. There was no yelling at home, my mother didn’t need to get her cane out, and all peace was maintained. (Ok, here’s the thing readers of mine, I’m from India, disciplining a child in this part of the world includes a smack or two. I’ve got my share. I don’t resent my mother. I don’t think she hates me. I don’t have ‘issues’. I was, still am, a pain. My mother, almost always, acted out of exasperation. You would too if it was the day before the final exam and your daughter’s school books were empty.)

When I was in my final year of college, Ranjit Hoskote visited for a week-long residence. I thank god every day for it. He re-introduced Arun Kolatkar to me. I owe him big time! Ranjit’s after class activity for the BA Literature students was a poetry workshop. I signed up too. My poem? Sucked ass! I hated it. He hated it. However, I re-worked it and it was much appreciated. When I was told that rhyming was not a pre-requisite to good poetry, I was pretty thrilled. That’s when I chased this grandiose notion of having the gift of poetry. It led to a lot of writing that my old blog had a lot of. I deleted all of it. Some of it is still alive, somewhere, in some online forum. I’m going to delete everything, I think.

I’m not sure what to do with this writing shindig any longer. Maybe journalism is the profession for me. I get the opportunity to make a piece of cake sound like a slice of heaven, why not, right?

All this resignation business has given me a lot to think about. What next is something I’m not letting myself answer right now. Let’s see where this is all going to go. For now, I just be angsty on blog, yes?

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