I have been a journalist for over three and a half years now, faking my way through press-conference after press-conference and then spouting knowledge as if it were an absolute certainty in article after article. I haven't slept with anyone to get a story, but then again, people would need to be really desperate to sleep with an individual who looks like me. However, anyone who knows me, editors downwards, would testify that I love hearing the sound of my own voice. Which is why I can do this 'networking' thing rather well. And being a Grade-A quizzer in School and College (hey, it is my blog after all, so showboating is allowed) means I know a lot of trivial things about a lot of other trivial things. Like for example, the price and availibity of certain psychotropic substances in and across India. Among other things. Not that I do any of them obviously.
Now, that we have got through the round-about beginning to a post of mine, lets get to the point. I was cleaning out my stuff. Not because I wanted to make my boss delirious with joy and quit. No can do. But, because our owners have decided to spruce up our Bombay office, which means that from one hole in the wall in Nariman Point, we'll move to an even smaller hole in the wall in Nariman Point in the interim. And because my spouting forth knowledge on the Indian Automotive Industry has made me a sort of 'industry expert' (and I will go as far as tyo say that I do really know more than many other purported 'auto experts') my editor in a bout of extreme generousity (I don't know if this was his exact feeling, but because he reads the blog I can't really say what he was feeling) asked me to attend the 8th Auto Expo in Delhi. Which gives me a chance to escape my fiendish friends from Bombay, whose one-point agenda is to incapicitate my liver.
So I was cleaning out my drawer (why are my posts my rambling?) and generally noticed that I had collected a lot of cards. In over 40 months of being a reporter in one place or another I had collected over 2500 visiting cards of businessmen, politicians, bureaucrats and general megalomaniacs. That unfortunately is a lot of cards. I have no idea how many of them are current, I'm sure I have cards of dead people, people who've quit, people in jail, people on the run from jail and so on and so forth. I have never bothered to organise my visiting cards, because doing so would involve a week-long procedure. And then again, at least a quarter of the cards I have are of PR people - and some of them are good 'roach' material too. But just going through these cards you realise you realise how cheap some companiers are and how classy other companies are.
But it is crazy to realise that you have so many cards. Possibly one reason behind the crisis is that I have never had a 'set' beat - I've covered everything from Advertising to Textiles and Automobiles to Shit - no really, one of my best stories ever was on shit. What happened afterwards is a long story, but I've also written P3 stories, food reviews, foreign policy and much more. I don't what it is about seeing a fat man smile that make people receptive towards me and then give me their visiting cards and a story.
I should really sort out my visiting cards one day. And maybe talking a bit less would be a good idea as well. But now, I'm really looking forward to visiting Delhi again. Even though it is freaking cold up there.