Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Journey of a lonely girl

With a broad smile the doctor entered and delivered the news to my mother, ‘you have a baby girl’. It was enough to shatter the dream of my close ones ---- because they never wanted a girl in their family. That was the beginning of a long story. No, I cannot say that my parents didn’t provide me with good schooling and college, but there was always a vacuum. It was never straight from the heart; it seemed more like ‘duty!’ Still, life goes on. It was not an exception. As I grew older, the loneliness became my only companion. (My grandmother and aunt, cousins were always a continuous support). As a kid, I couldn't piece together the moments spent with parents. Neither had I moments which can be tagged as unforgettable. Suddenly I realised I have grown up, unknowingly, to some extent. And what do you feel when you actually ‘grow up?’ taking your own decision? That I used to take when I was in class 3! Choosing a path for higher education, career? No one ever interfered, (to be frank my parents were not even aware that in how many colleges I had applied for my degree course study!) Their only concern was ‘good result’. I had tried, but couldn't say whether those had made them happy. (The day my Mass Communication result was out and I stood third, same day my cousin’s result was out from a different university, it was a mega celebration at home as she scored a first class. I too was happy for her, I am devoid a feeling called ‘jealousy’, but no one not even my ma-baba had asked about my result. I felt bad). I moved on, consoled myself by saying that it was a degree and mine was a Diploma only. May be for that... As time flies, my education came to an end. Finished MA in History from JU and joined my first job at ABP. It was a funny experience. After a written test and interview I was selected as a trainee journalist. I was asked in the interview board itself whether I would prefer to join their English Edition! After a thought, I chose to test my hand at Bangla Journalism. It was a learning experience; I found myself as ‘tiny tod’ there... so many big names, altogether a different world. I loved the job, so was the pampering by all the Didis and Dadas. (The advantage of being the junior most). My first boss (though not on paper) Ishani Datta Ray was a lady with a substance. She taught me ABC of subbing and writing. And at the same time she became my closest friend, though almost 13 years senior to me! Later on I realised that she was the best boss I have ever worked with. At times I got angry with her, felt bad sometimes, but it was her cordial and kind gestures which made me forget everything. She is still a big influence in my life. I never had seen such a person of integrity like her. Only for her continuous encouragement, within 4 months of joining I started to write the most important stories of national and international events (barring the major political developments) But a call from IIM Calcutta made me quit this job. I joined the institute and its green campus was enough to fall in love with the place. Being a Trainee Teaching Associate there, was a real treat. I learnt and unlearnt so many things. The funniest thing was, almost all the students were of my age, so I soon befriended them. I had some personal experience there which I preferred not to discuss. But those tough times had actually made me a strong person. Today I can handle any situation at ease, thanks to IIMC. Really proud to be there. As all good things must come to an end, so with IIMC. I left the place and joined Ei Samay (Times Groups' new Bengali daily) before a very short stint with IIFT, Kolkata. Getting into Ei Samay was a journey to remember. After three rounds of interviews (two informal and a formal) and a written test I was offered the post of Senior Copy editor. I must say, it is totally a different set up, nothing to do with my former organisation (other than some people from there). I personally feel, this is completely a professional set-up, where emotions have no place. Some might say, ‘an office must be like that’, yes, so very true. But at the same time if there is no one to share your tears and smile, likes and dislikes, can a person survive there for long hours? The answer is Yes, that is possible. But for that you have to have your own Mantra ‘work, work and more work and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to everything else’. It worked. I am happy to get an encouraging boss, who himself is nothing short of a ‘Living Legend’ in Bengali journalism. Some other talented people are around, from whom one can learn so many things. I can say it for sure, my jobs have wiped away a bit of my loneliness. Music and books too are good therapy. There is a persistent question thrown at me, why am I not getting married? Well, that’s a personal choice, I want to be single forever. Please don’t read between the lines and draw your own conclusion that “I must have had an affair which didn't happen, thus...” No, I never had any affair or something like that. But I have always scored a duck in trusting people. It has started from my school and still going on, whoever I trusted as a friend or so, within months I found I was nothing but a ‘use and throw’ material for them. Once the work done, people forgot me. (Though few exceptions are there). And marriage is all about Trust, so I don’t want to throw myself into the fire. I love to be with people and want to move on like that.. and I have a peculiar character; If someone is uncomfortable with me (be it in professional or personal life) I completely withdraw myself from their lives. It might hurt me, still... However, crossing the bar is a sole responsibility of an individual & in order to win the battle called life, one has to embark upon the journey alone; for I believe, the show must go on...

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