My first journalistic adventure
In the journalism school from which I passed out, the students have to publish an experimental journal every fortnight. The students are divided into groups and each group gets an opportunity to publish the journal in rotation so as to get hands-on experience.
The students are responsible for gathering news, writing features, editing and, finally, getting the journal into print.
When the turn came for my group to bring out the journal, it was the latter half of January. We, therefore, decided to interview people and get to know their thoughts on the Republic Day.
The task of interviewing people fell on me and a fellow student. Both of us set out on our mission. We spoke to people on the way and gathered a lot of information. As we were returning back to college, we sighted a man sitting on a parked motorcycle by the road. He was apparently engrossed in his own thoughts. He was stocky, dark complexioned and looked every bit a person whom we should have avoided.
But my friend took into his mind to interview the man - the last interview of the day. I had to agree.
We approached the man and my friend began asking questions.
The man was, as I said, engrossed in his own thoughts and was in no mood to answer the questions. He was visibly irritated by my friend's questioning and asked us, in no polite manner, to go away.
But my friend was adamant. He continued with his questions. I could see the man rolling up his sleeves.
I was caught between the devil and the deep sea - here was a man who was least interested in voicing his opinions (probably he had none) and here was my friend bent upon extracting his views.
I tried to convince my friend that the man could not be forced to voice his opinions. But my friend was in no mood to listen and he continued to argue with the man who had become quite belligerent by that time.
The situation was ludicrous and hostile at the same time. I somehow pulled my friend away and dragged him towards the college.
Phew! News gathering is not all that simple!
When luck came to my rescue!
By Sudha Ramasubramanian
I was usually a good and disciplined student during my college days and used to attend my classes regularly. But each one of us wishes to break the rules at least one time in life and I was also tempted by such a wish while studying in the second year of B.Sc.
It was 2nd January, and all my friends were not at all interested in attending the classes after a long Christmas vacation. Even I, who my friends used to call "lady Mahatma Gandhi", was not interested in attending the classes.
But, I was not bold enough to give a voice to my wish. However, my friends sensed my wish and egged me to bunk the second lecture, English lecture, and go along with them to Birla Mandir which was a favourite place of the kids of our college.
We all surreptitiously got out of the class after the first lecture. But I discovered I had forgotten my purse in the classroom.
I returned to collect it.
I thought that since the lecture was to start five minutes later, I had ample time to enter the classroom, collect the purse, and leave without anyone noticing me.
That proved to be wishful thinking.
I entered the classroom, no one was there! I collected the purse, no one noticed me! I turned back to leave. And, there I saw the English teacher entering the class.
I was scared out of my wits!
I was so horrified that the blood drained from my face. I turned pale and looked terribly ill.
That was a blessing in disguise, for the teacher felt that I was really ill.
"Go home and take rest," the teacher advised me.
I needed no further encouragement and I shot out of the room.
But I swore on that day that I would never ever bunk my classes, because one can only thank one's luck but not trust it always.
I always thought I was a good singer. So, when the date of the social gathering in the college was announced, I rushed to enrol my name as a participant in the cultural program that was to be held.
"In what event would you like to participate?" the organisers asked me.
"The musical event," I answered without any hesitation.
Well, it was not the business of the organising committee to test my singing skills and I had my name included in the list of particpants without a hitch.
The college had appointed a city-based band to provide music for the singing event and the participants had to appear before the band daily for rehearsals. "I think you should choose a different song as the one you have chosen is a difficult one," the leader of the band advised me and even went to the extent of suggesting that I withdraw from the event altogether.
But I was neither the one to back out, nor was I ready to choose another song. The leader just shook his head in disappointment. It was not within his powers to remove my name from the list of performers.
So, the day finally arived and I was all eager to sing before a full house. Imagine my dismay, therefore, when I found my name at the very bottom of the list of performers. This implied that I would be allowed to sing only if time permitted.
Fortunately, the students' general secretary was my friend. I rushed to Sandip and bared my heart. Now the general secretary is a powerful guy. So, when Sandip instructed the organisers that I should get a chance to sing, my name was immediately pushed to the top.
At last I had the microphone in my hands and was ready to regale my audience. I started off quite well and was even met with a round of applause. The sight of all the girls in the audience enthused me all the more and I decided to pepper up my singing with a bit of histrionics as well.
I began waving my hands and twisting my legs. This, of course, led to disastrous results. The hand that held the microphone went up in the air and came down again in a rhythmic beat. The result was that sometimes my voice carried to the audience while at other times I was not audible even to the front row. The effect was like that of a broken record
The restless crowd removed their footwear and brandished them at me. I took the message and hurriedly finished off the song.
Over the next few days, wherever I went in the college, I found heads turning towards me and there was nothing friendly in those stares. I decided to take a few days off from college and, anyway, the academic year was coming to an end. After that incident, I have never offered to sing again.