Friday, February 06, 2015
Is Arnab Goswami the next Amitabh Bachhan? It was a quiet February afternoon in central Mumbai's financial hub Lower Parel. Executives from hundreds of companies, mostly in the banking and financial services sector were busy in their offices analysing data and numbers, discussing targets, profits and career opportunities over a cup of coffee/tea post lunch. The afternoon was special at Kamala Mills, an old textile establishment which was closed a few decades ago ruining lives of many workers and is today bustling with thousands of white collar executives, with many of them making millions every year. While the millionaires and wannabe millionaires were engrossed in their glass buildings, there was growing heat outside. A red monstrous vehicle was rolling inside the compound and some of the vendors near the gate and executives strolling around could sense the presence of someone unusual. Kamala City had seen many expensive vehicles and many of the stature of Phantom, Lamborghini etc. roll inside the compound everyday, but there is someone inside this vehicle that shook them. This gentleman was wearing black rimmed glasses and sporting a white French beard.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
(Bandra-Worli Sealink, picture courtesy DNA newspaper) It is a tale of two cities Two cities that breathe different air, two cities that sleep at different hours One city has dreamers, the other has achievers The dreamers are happy because they live in imagination of a better tomorrow The achievers are unhappy because they have stopped dreaming A few years ago the achievers also came from the city that dreamt, only to lose their dreams forever The city of dreamers believe in the city of achievers But the city of achievers yearn to imagine like the city of dreamers The only problem is that the city of dreamers get to sleep at night while the city of achievers don’t Two cities crave for each other, hoping to become like the other The mirage continues in the tale of two cities Two cities that breathe different air, two cities that sleep at different hours One is Mumbai, the other is Bhubaneswar (Mumbai musings developed during a midnight journey to home in a Dombivli slow local train)
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Mountains and rivers are grand and mysterious.
They are silent with humility and trust.
Gigantic power they hold underneath.
In winter and rains they stay sensitive.
They are not to be messed with, when we know what destruction they can unleash upon us.
But we men of lower intelligence do not learn.
But we men of unfathomable greed do not learn.
We alter the course of nature with our shortsighted vision.
Every now and then we stray.
We rape the innocence of nature.
We challenge the fury of the Goddess mother.
We cry with her, in our eyes we see the fear.
But we wait again till comes back the silence of nature.
We forget the past.
We stray again, every now and then.
We rape the innocence of nature.
We challenge the fury of the Goddess mother.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Five months ago I was working as a senior editorial member at a large media group, responsible for their fixed income and Reserve Bank of India coverage in Mumbai. One winter afternoon, when I rushed into my South Mumbai-based office in one of the two-hundred-year old heritage buildings to file the first take of an important assignment at the central bank, I saw my usually cheerful boss lost in thoughts. I kept quiet till my story was published and then over a cup of coffee asked, what was bothering him? He said he is struggling to find the right kind of people for editorial operations and has little time left (not more than a month). I understood the gravity of the situation, for our newswire, which is at its inflection point fighting two international behemoths in India. Manpower is the biggest strength as well concern. We have to be quick.
I proposed we should try recruiting students from IIMC. My firm primarily recruited freshers from a Mumbai based institute run by a reputed Jesuit society, that has produced giants in journalism, cinema and advertisement world. He agreed to my suggestion purely from the belief that the few IIMCIans who work with him are the best in the industry. But there was another issue, he wanted experienced people as well as those who will be excellent reporters, writers and with analytical skills and passion for journalism. I again proposed that we should take help from the IIMC Alumni Association.
He entrusted me with the job of finding the right talent. I sought help from IIMC Alumni Association. Fellow alumnus Ritesh Verma, Harshendra Verdhan in Delhi and Suryakant Mishra, Krishna Pophale in Mumbai supported the idea and Ritesh posted the recruitment advertisement in the various alumni channels immediately despite his busy schedule.
Within a week I had 220 applications in my mail box, which I carefully sent to the editorial and human resources team. Each one was screened by the editor himself and the HR head. Many were selected for an editorial test followed by an interview. Finally 18 people were selected. Eighteen is a large number if someone understands the current media scenario. Most of them were from IIMC.
The whole operation finished in about a month.
My boss told me that IIMCians are really talented and focussed and he would love to recruit them from campus and this year as I understand they have called people from the current batch in Delhi. I have proposed such activity for Dhenkanal and Amravati branches as well.
I therefore would like extend my sincere gratitude to the alumni association for helping my company in finding the right talent. I want to tell you that young IIMCians have a great opportunity to connect with their seniors on this platform and benefit from the opportunities.
In the CVs I had received, there were many IIMCIans whom I knew-- my batch-mates, seniors, juniors and even freshers. I want to disclose that there were two IIMCIans who were related to me as well. But as we understand in the professional world, the competition and quality is what keeps you going. Both my relatives were not selected-- one was rejected in the written test and other in interview.
The point I want to make is that while IIMC Alumni Association as an umbrella body can help people get contacts, inform about opportunities but it cannot guarantee anything. Even our parents don’t guarantee our professional life unless they are billionaires and own industries.
I would request young alumni members to have faith in themselves and journalism if they really believe this is their call. Because journalism like movie industry is not meant for everyone. There is a bit of luck, competition, talent and relationship management that lands you the big job.
The alumni association will give you the desired strength and right guidance. It will tell what’s happening where. It will also provide you with some exclusive opportunities, but yet there will be competition. So have faith in yourself and the system. If one would understand the reality then one must know that the media scene in India is not at all rosy. Many businesses have shut in the recent past, the ones up are on their toes and the ones that have survived the cascading effects of the Lehman Brothers-triggered-financial crisis of 2008, are not recruiting big time. Yet the supply of fresh graduates is always there, which has painted a dark picture for many journalism aspirants in the recent years.
And I am sure every senior member on this alumni association can tell harrowing stories of their own struggle. Many of us are at very senior positions in different segments of the media industry, yet we have not got it easily. Everyone has struggled, has been humiliated and yet has kept that belief. Even today no one is ever sure about how the economy is going to do. But as true Indians we must have the enormous hope which has helped us to survive as a civilisation, sustain our multicultural society and produce unmatchable philosophy.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Sunday, April 03, 2011
In the past decade or so I had lost that passion for Cricket. Though statistically I read a lot and love to discuss cricket at social gathering it never entered into the intimate corners of my heart. I clearly remember those days of waking up early during India-Australia cricket series in early 90s to watch ball-by-ball updates, and then there was this particular world cup match where India lost to Australia and Pakistan own the world cup ultimately.
Then there was this sad dismissal of India world cup semifinal against Sri Lanka in 1996 at Kolkatta. Those were the days of passion. But then it eroded gradually with the infamous match fixing scandal in late 90s and early part of this decade. Sourav Ganguly with his attitude and aggression revived the passion amongst many Indians including me. Premier League and 20-20 brought the love back for cricket but the as a form of entertainment.
In the past decade as a human being my perspective towards life has also changed significantly which means cricket was losing its priority in life.
The only man who has kept cricket alive for this 1.2 billion strong nation for the past two decades is Sachin Tendulkar, who is getting widely known as the God of Cricket.
This world cup offered a different side of India. The day India beat Pakistan or Australia or for that matter even West Indies, it was mostly a psychological win. We have survived almost every match but ultimately have won.
Largely because we always played till the end and as they say you have to be in the game to win it.
This time cricket touched the corners of my heart. It has shook me. It has given me goose bumps. It has made me feel like a fanatic of cricket. I have discovered how easily we melt as a nation of cricket lovers. We understand each others' needs of knowing the score, watching the cricket match, or celebrating after each win.
I live in Mumbai, which is a multi-cultured metropolis, but at heart people are loyal only to two things —-their profession and the sub-urban train lines -– they travel in.
But every night India won. The city had a commonality. East or west side of the sub-urban train line, it didn’t matter. Mumbaiah or Jaunpuria it didn’t matter. Investment banker or panwalla it didn’t matter. Hindi or Marathi, the language didn’t matter. Muslim or Hindu, the religion didn't matter. Cricket is the only religion and it does matter. We are better as a nation of cricket fanatics. Because as cricket fanatics we understand each other. We have only one Team India to pray for, we have only colour (blue) to be loyal with. And we have only one prayer – Indiaaah…Indiaaah – to recite.
Note: While the whole Indian win is shadowed by 20-year old Poonam Pandey's going nude challenge. Though it opened the average lecherous Indian man to think of a nude woman and talk loosely about her, we must admit her patriotism and her ability to unite many for the sake of the country. But I wish she doesn't actually go nude and make the World Cup victory a shallow event. God bless her and she deserves more dignity than being just remembered as a stripper.
(Photo Courtesy: Poonam Pandey in Cricket gears by Vasant Sawant, Sachin Tendulkar as a child)
Trivia: The author of this post has grown a moustache after India's win against Pakistan to meet a prior commitment.