This one goes out to a little girl who sent me the sweetest piece of writing I’ve ever read.
(Ha! Who doesn’t like nice things said about them?)
So, I got this five-page long diabetically sweet handwritten letter by this 17-year old girl who said I was her “favourite journalist” and that she has been reading “my stories for years.” She even listed all her favourite stories, some of them so long ago that I don’t really remember writing some of them.
I really have no words to explain how touched I am reading what she called “fan mail.” So much that I must say that she’s not just being a fan, she’s an air-conditioner to me… She’s that cool. He he!
Like I what I told her in my mail back to her, yesterday I really felt like this guy who’s just suddenly been given the Oscar without any nomination, only that I didn’t have my acceptance speech ready.
I don’t know if I am overreacting because I really haven’t got this sort of a letter ever before.
Actually, I’ve got a handful of postcards which had a few nice words to say about specific stories but then I also have the dubious record of receiving about a 150 mails for a sooper blooper of a story where I had quite foolishly mentioned Shravanabelagola as a Buddhist shrine (:P yeah, Jain shrine as the letters reminded me later). Then, there have been nasty stinkers from organizations, complaining about bad reviews, all of which I really didn’t/don’t really give a damn about. We journos see stinkers all the time and we put them right where they belong, the bin, of course!
But this one is not about stinkers. This one’s about this girl who taught me at least a coupla timely lessons.
In this era, when MBAs walk out of B-schools to command 5 lakh per annum salaries, when BPOs have ensured even people with two years of work experience make double that amount, journalists still get paid what they used to, a decade ago.
Lightmen and Spot boys in the film industry today get paid more than us. That’s no exaggeration. [Aside: Did you know these blokes get paid Rs.450-700 per shift (depending on language) and work double shifts every day?]
In this distressing, depressing situation, when you are really wondering if you really want to continue with the job, a letter like that surely comes as a the blast of fresh air. Hence, the air-conditioner analogy.
And suddenly, the job doesn’t seem that bad at all. It’s okay if they pay me peanuts. It’s okay if people with MBAs and in IT sectors get paid more. It’s okay if your juniors are starting out with better paid jobs … because they are never going to get the kind of satisfaction you get out of yourjob!
Abraham Maslow can go f*** himself, I get more gratification with this kind of response than the money I could earn with an MBA or by burying myself in IT.
People. The one thing I want from life. I’m gonna be super happy if I can win more people than money. Only a rare few like Superstar Rajnikant are able to do that.
This girl studying architecture yesterday said she wants to pass out of college, do journalism at Asian College of Journalism and then join The Hindu and do one story with me!
And I had to
a. Check if it’s a prank by my colleagues
b. Find out: am I dead or what and am I in heaven?
c. Read my stories again and see what’s so good ‘bout them!
I just completely understood the meaning of the word overwhelming. I suddenly feel charged again. Yes, I want to be a filmmaker but I don’t want to give up journalism. The expression of part-disbelief, part-jealousy on the face of a very senior colleague told me everything: Not every journalist gets letters like this.
Not that I’m proclaiming myself as some super journalist. To be honest, I’ve never ever seen myself or ever taken myself too seriously as a journalist. I’ve always believed I’m a filmmaker at heart just using this job as a temporary and steady source of bread and butter.
I can write, yes. But journalist… no… I got a long way to go before I become one. Having said that, it is not my intention or ambition to be one. I want to be a filmmaker. A good one.
But I’m not gonna give up what I’ve built and collected over the years, especially, because these include people. Even if it is just one girl and her family. The letter was also an indication that maybe I have it in me to do this to more people. Now that I’ve seen blood now, I’m gonna try turning into man-eater from just being a paper-tiger. He he!
Thank you, my air-conditioner, for helping me keep my cool. For changing the very air I’ve been breathing and to help me make up mind about a thing or two.
I want to retain my place among people because I’m loving it. I don’t want to be greedy and say I want more out of this job but I want to retain this base. I want to keep this thing going and still make my movie, which, is only going to be another way to reach people. Even if it means not being paid for this job.
There surely must be a way out to do both – to pursue journalism and films, fact and fiction, reality and dreams.
Or at least, I hope.
Well well! Guess somebody’s getting adequate compensation for his work. And it ain’t me. Sudermani, cool
About Maslow, I think I remember saying something similar too. I think I said that Maslow’s theory was balls, and is worth only so much paper in a management exam.
Wise men think alike, or is it that fools seldom differ?
Your bolg is awesome… Looking forward to some nice reviews like the one on “Bride and Prejudice” and some uncut sayings like the one from Kamal Hassan.
Thanks Choodamani! 🙂
And Karthek, thanks to u too dude for that mention in ur blog! why is everyone being so nice to me? 🙂
I just saw Spidey 2 on video… really miss watchin in on the big screen… damn! awesome movie! some great quotes… but more on that, tomorrow!
I enjoy reading what you write in the hindu…like your sense of humour and the way you play with your words. came to your blog via kiruba’s.miss reading the hindu as me is sitting in some other country…but still manage to catch it online whenever i can..but nothing beats waking up and reading the actual newspaper!! all the best with the writing and the movie…the important thing is you enjoy what you do 🙂
Hey, thank u too Sangeetha! Thanks for your wishes!
Never thanked so many people in a day! he he!
Do dint say where I can find your blog?
Anywayz, thanks for dropping in. And thanks to Kiruba too! There I go again! 🙂
That’s such a touching feeling sud..If that’s the kinda satisfaction that you get outta job, than be it. Have fun and congrats for that.
How I wish the software I created generated blessings for me. How I wish it touched people and made their life easy. Its pretty hard that it happens, unless I work for say Google, MS, Yahoo et.al. and did wonderful things.
Earning money and Gettin satisfaction out of job are two completely different things as they say.
And yup, I hope that’s not a prank by someone who knows you. Just to get you flattered.
finally, the full import of our conversation about the 17 year old girl hits me.
Jesus, Suderman, a mind-blowing & very touching post! All the best to you for completing your film (an Oscar speech too!) & other dreams on your radar screen! Ravi
PS: You really have to put me in touch with the 17 yr old….we might just team up for a ‘fan’ club!
You bet dude!
But hey, its only due to software guys like you that we have blogging!! Here’s a toast to the unsung heroes who sacrifice their quality time and work overtime just to make sure that IT makes lives easier for us and of course money doesn’t hurt!
Yeah, like i told u I felt like I had a lot to say… Things like these happen once in a lifetime after all! he he!
And yo Ravi, my man!
Thanks to you, there’s surely been an increase in traffic here! And yes, I did send that girl a link to this site, so I hope she posts a comment when she gets online next. And I dont have space for more fans. More when I deserve it really. he he! But hey, there’s plenty of space for friends!! This whole fan thing feels weird, feels like more responsibility… and I cant work like that… Its more fun to write for friends than fans… simply cuz they’d love u anyway and be there for you! Here’s another toast to all the people out there visiting this site… Thank you.
You complete me 😛
Yes, lifted that from Jerry Maguire! 🙂
Trust you had a great “Kudaikul Mazhai” in this October heat.
If your zingy penning of reality is anything to go by, your TFLW is something I am LFWT.(Looking Forward To)
PS: Just out of curiosity. Do you make your subs “sweat” a lot with your hot pieces?
Feeling the blast of air-conditioners, eh? Good for you:-) That can get a bit addictive – but it’s one addiction that’s good for you.
A (belated) welcome to the world of ultra-crazy writers (Eh? Well. We use the English alphabet too. That makes us writers, hein?)!
I write a little differently for the paper… always reminded by my colleague shonali that even lil children read the paper… he he!
And sometimes as much as I try, I end up a little too hot to handle for the paper… esp. the Friday section. The rest is cool actually!
I bow before you!
Welcome to my lil space on the net!
I wish I could be half as talented as u r! You are awesome, you blog in Tamizh and in English… I mean Wow! I can’t read Tamizh that fluently but my friend here tells me you write pretty well in Tamizh too!
Glad to join your club of writers! 🙂
rock away dude! im positive u’ll be gettin more air conditioners! ;D mental note, must bring u a jacket next time i come around. U may need it!! 🙂 ok that’s enuff sucking up for the day. chi chi nejama, love the blogs! now i have a new hobby! god bless love gij 🙂