I once told ma, that when I took the decision to be a journalist, I also took the decision to not have much of a social life. Come to think of it, most people I know just do not get it that my work hours are not fixed, that I actually begin to seriously sit down to file stories when the rest of them are winding up for the day. Seen from an insider's perspective, I must say that it irritates me no end sometimes. But then again, there was a time when I picked up a newspaper and glanced through it, not really knowing exactly what goes into it. Trust me, now that I know, I have great problems making others understand it. All my salutes to my parents here, who went from "how can you even think of being a journalist, its not for girls" to totally understanding the crazy things I do, defending my timings, the places I go and the strange people I meet.
After a point of time, I just gave up. There is really no point you know, trying to explain what I do every single time, it is best to...I don't know, I am yet to discover what to do about it.
But you know, it is all worth it at the end of the day. The functions missed (never liked them), the books unread (to put it very cornily, life is the best book you could read), the plays and movies that go unwatched (I know I am not missing much), the other things. For the other things that I don't do, there are hundreds of others that I do get to do, experiences that only a very few get to live through. Like sit and pose inside a helicopter, be close to part of the country's defence weaponry, meet ministers and commoners, nut cases and the super talented, go to slums one day and to a fancy hotel the next, listen to a million stories and be affected by them, travel to new places and see things differently than as a regular tourist....never having a normal day with normal hours...routine and monotony being alien terms...never being able to plan more than a few hours in advance...not knowing where I shall be at what time the next day... No, I would not swap all of this for anything in the world.
I remember reading somewhere, 'I want to live, live, live till I die'. Yes, there are things I miss out. But a word of appreciation, that little byline, that story I hear but would not, cannot write in my reports, those experiences, the people I meet, the fellow travellers in my chosen path, the one that is less travelled by, all of that makes my life worth everything else. Perhaps, compressed into a single word, this is what passion is all about.