What comes first, a journalist or a learner?

I’ve been meaning to post on my blog for a very, very, very long time. Finally, the moment’s here and I’ve brought myself, after many failed login attempts, to my blog page. Funny how one’s creation can seem so unfamiliar with time. Well, that’s the premise for this blog post. Reviving the stuff that’s just faded away into a distant memory.

While trying to go to bed, my incessant pre-sleep online surfing landed me back to youtube and I stumbled along a couple of videos until I landed up by sheer luck of mouse clicks into my professional work selection. Before I packed my bags and moved to begin a new chapter, a.k.a shift base to a new country, I was a journalist, producer, reporter and all else in one job–at NDTV-HINDU.

During those days I got to explore different genres of feature journalism. From quirky to simple Indian art, looking back, those moments define my identity today as an Indian journalist.

In India, art like “Kolams” , the design of patterns from dots and lines on the ground using a fine powder, either colored or white is common place. Today, miles away that’s replaced by pretty picket fences or hedges, no art on the moist ground our feet tread upon. Back to Youtube, and I found this video of my work on Shift Focus, NDTV-HINDU talking about this art form and an artist’s rendering of it.

I recollect every minute of that shoot in the early spring of 2011. Here’s what I learnt as a young journalist on the job

1. Every story comes with unique challenges, you cannot prepare for them: When I landed up at the gallery for this shoot, the paintings were displayed in such a way that it didn’t favor my camera. What do you do when an artist, the gallery owner, patrons and a time bound story weigh in?

2. Thin on your feet: Exactly what my cameraman and myself did. We figured a way around. Looking back, it was the best we could do given the limitations, but we produced a good story.

3. Improvise: That stand you see me do outside the gallery, I made that up on the spur. Be ready to ad-lib when you’re not ready.

Doesn’t that make watching the video more fun?

Here’s my interview with the artist K Srinivasan on his work, “dots and triangles”


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