by Ehsan Fazili
The other day I got a pleasantly surprising jolt. It was a kind of knee-jerk for me as I am least used to such a practice. While covering an event, I was astonished to hear the host speaker requesting me as a “senior journalist” to address the gathering.
A formal request followed from the anchor man describing me as his “ustaad” (teacher-guide) in the media. I mustered courage to ease the situation by humbly expressing my inability to do so. My brief plea to those on the dais, saying “Let me do my job”, helped me out. The occasion was a modest gathering on the occasion of World Theatre Day by (EKTA), a School of Drama and Repertory. Theatre Day at its 50 is younger to me only by a few years.
The event took me exactly 25 years back to the day when I joined the profession of journalism. After a brief period of training, I had finally decided to be in the print media while offers from the official media and the teaching profession were in the waiting. There were many pre-conceived ideas about the profession of pen-pushing. The basics remaining the same, many things in terms of technology have changed considerably, making the physical exercise in producing and transmitting reportage easier and less labourious. My mind goes back to the cacophony of the shrilling sounds of teleprinters that used to keep running, disseminating news stories for media organizations.
The theatre personalities in Srinagar on the day expressed their craving for the modernisation of folk theatre even as it finds itself as a basis for the production of films and tele-serials. In the same manner, going by the adage that “pen is mightier than the sword”, the print media is also believed to be the basis for the electronic news media, which has come a long way.
During the past 25 years I have come across innumerable personalities in the media, prominent senior and contemporary journalists. I would be failing in my humble way of expressing gratitude if I do not mention the guiding spirit of Mr Ved Bhasin of Kashmir Times from Jammu, which provided a launching pad for many of us. It was a beginning for me exactly 25 years ago on April 5, 1987. Learning during the early years from senior journalists like Mohammad Sayeed Malik and O N Koul to sharpen one’s skills cannot be ignored either. God give peace to the soul of O N Koul.
Every single moment spent in the company of people like these and many others have added to my “experience”, which, according to one of my admirers, is an “asset”. I do not know whether I am “ustaad” for others.
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