Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Fortunate Me!

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Fortunate Me

I was fortunate, for I never wanted to be anything other than a journalist. It is not always good luck to get what you want. My pudgy, wisecracking uncle, Chacha T.P. Singh, inseperable friend of my father, warned me when I was a child wafting on dreams in the squalid jute mill,colony called Telinipara, to beware of the astrologer who told you that you would always travel in a car when you grew up. That prediction could be as correct for the owner of the Jute Mill as it would be for the driver. Prayer can be answered in more than one way.

Journalism has been kind to me, enriching me with its plenty from a very young age. What I am most grateful for is the opportunity to travel. Journalism is the only profession that permits you to travel without making you a travelling salesman. You become, in a way, a travelling purchaser, picking up images of near and distant life, and reshaping them into an order that will communicate to your reader. Words are the currency of this transaction: you buy images with words, and then you pass them on with words as well.


- M.J. Akbar (Byline, the Book)

1 comment:

Mayank said...

Dear MJ,
We are two different people, two distinct personalities. Only one thing is common between us journalism. The other thing may be that I like you always wanted to be a journalist. You travel and I sit here on the desk editing copies of journalists who travel. The other difference between us is the lingua franca we use to express ourselves. I do communicate with my readers but do it in Hindi. You are an editor and I'm a stringer, but remember 'r' is present at the end of both words. I hope the string doesn't linger on. You already have many books to your credit and my first book is in the pipeline. I don't know your age but this 23 year old lad hopes to give you a tough fight once he starts travelling. Till then I will keep reading your travelogues.