Glamor and the grim
When I tell people that I toured with the Indian cricket team to cover the world cup, a lot of them tell me that I am lucky to have got such an assignment. Agreed, I was lucky enough to shake hands with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Chris Gayle. I have been behind the camera in various events of pomp and show, those that came with a lot of glamor.
There were also days when I waited for hours in a stinking mortuary to take shots of someone brutally murdered. This was life in the traditional media, one day there was a sumptuous buffet at a five star hotel and the next day went without even a glass of water to drink. Not complaining, I knew this was a part of my job and I did it with passion.
I slept analog and woke up digital
I was never bothered about the “just a cameraman” notion some people had, but was tired of the sarcasm people showed when I told them what job I was doing. In most news channels, cameramen are not expected to be thinkers. I believed that I could do better than a few of the self-proclaimed ‘intelligent’ reporters in the industry, but was never given a chance. You are considered over-smart if you give inputs for production or pitch in with new ideas, and that was when I realized, that I was capable of doing better things than just shoot news visuals. My transition into the digital media did not happen instantaneously.
One morning, I suddenly decided that I could not stay this way all my life and quit my job. The week after I quit was fun; a week of street party after three years of constant running around. I got time to catch up with a lot of friends, watched movies and roamed like a fanatic. But slowly I started feeling the heat. The jobless feeling began creeping into me. I went looking for jobs in advertising agencies and production houses. Not finding one, I again began freelancing for news channels. I had begun to doubt my decision to quit. I had begun to doubt my confidence. That was when I found pepper square. I slept analog and woke up digital.
Tapes and tripods have been replaced by mails and blogs
Time wrote an entirely new script for me to act out. I have stepped into the new media-the digital media. I find myself sitting in front of a computer and working. I never used to sit in one place for a full day. May be having irregular attendance in college was also one of the reasons for this! I always addressed my seniors as sir and madam, and here I am supposed to call the CEO by name. Tapes and tripods have been replaced by mails and blogs.
Clicking goodbye to chaos
For every story that I covered, I had to rush back to the office or to the broadcast van to deliver the visuals. But here, a picture is uploaded, a blog is posted and in just a click, it reaches millions of people. I have to think, I have to put thoughts in words. This is what I love to do and it is this thinking that pays my salary here.
But I also feel that the smell and dirt of real life in traditional media taught me hard lessons, and this is one thing that I miss here. I have been using the Internet for a long time, but not as extensively as I do now. I am astounded about what it has to offer-the whole world, and beyond, is right in front of me. I even got my Facebook account only after coming here (and no, this doesn’t mean I am on it all day).
When creativity clicked
For me, meetings were always the sessions where I got blasted. Here, meetings are held to discuss work and you even have fun. The pressure I have faced before was always sweaty and tiring, but here it is different; I have deliveries and deadlines to meet. Every little communication happens in an organized way. I got a great opportunity to get into the beat of creative thinking.
Now, I have gained more self-confidence and certainly don’t regret the decision I had taken. I now have a routine. I get to go back home on time. Breakfast, lunch and dinner happen at the ring of a bell. The peaceful and organized style of working in the new media has over shadowed the glamor that traditional media offered, though I miss it sometimes.
There is one more thing that makes me feel good – I have gained two kilos in two months!