Ok I promise I'll start at the start and will surely end at the end.
I have absolutely no intentions to start in the middle and end somewhere else.
Since I'm blabbering now, I think I should start my story.
Well, here goes, yesterday I went to the Hindustan Times office to show them an interview I took.
Naturally, when I entered I was clueless about where to go so I asked the security guard sitting there the way to the editor's office.
He was a simple man and did tell me the way to the editor's office. Except that he pointed me towards the Hindi editor's cabin instead of the English one.
Unaware of this, I knocked, entered and stated my position. He took a look at my article and told me I'd brought an English piece to a Hindi newspaper.
Puzzled and befuddled, I was just about to head back home when he told me to wait coz the English editor would be arriving in a short while if I was ready to wait. I could have kissed the man there and then.
Looking back, he was a pretty nice man and the people sitting there were very supportive too. Then, he called one of the English journalists from outside and told him to look at my piece and get it published if possible!
He told me to keep up the good work and come to him if any help was required. Genuine nice guy.
Well, then I went with the reporter from English he had called and explained my situation to him. He read the piece and really advised me well as to what my career path should be if I wanted to join the news industry.
He pointed out the flaws but also added that I write well and should keep on doing this.
Okzzzzz, now we come to the part where the editor from English enters.
Mr. Haider Naqvi, first thing that came to my mind when I saw him was "Now I"m intimidated!". But then as I started talking to him and showed him what I had written, I realised how wrong a first impression can be.
He's nothing what he looks like, the guy's friendly, funny and helpful in every way that one can imagine. I shouldn't be saying this but I think he was impressed with the piece.
He told me that they could and they would publish it but after it had been edited.
Hm, edit a 1600 word piece to a 500 word one?
Sounds easy but actually took more time than I had actually taken in writing it!
Enter journalists Priyanka and Kratika.
Starting with Priyanka di, a very focussed woman who could, like, edit an elephant to fit the size of a mouse, if you get what I mean!!
Working with her, I learnt the ways and the tricks that could be used to separate the important things from the unimportant ones and the different ways in which a story can be presented.
We spent nearly 2 - 3 hours deleting words and adding new ones. Finally we reached 600 words. We just couldn't delete more!
Showed our work to Mr Naqvi and he brought down 25 words in just 5 minutes of looking at the piece!
Guess that's why he's editor.
He then told us that we don't really need to keep the original sentences as long as we can preserve the essence of what is being said.
Using that tip, we brought down almost a 100 words in 10 minutes. Piece of cake!
During all that work and editing, there was fun loving and talkative reporter sitting next to us and constantly coming up with new topics to start conversations.
I liked her instantly (partly coz of the fact that she kept referring to me as Bhagawan!)
All in all, I got a first hand experience to what a journalist's life is like. The constant buzz as latest pieces of news are being discussed and the non stop jokes and comments being passed around.
Didn't really feel like leaving but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. So, with a heavy heart and a lot of goodbyes later, I was back on the streets, heading home as my feet itched to go back.
Will always remember Saturday, 30th of January 2010 as the day when I took the first step towards the kind of life I've always dreamt about.
This is Neil, signing off.