Thursday, March 24, 2016

Parallel Lives

A colleague of mine was describing a job interview of hers to me, which did'nt go as well as she had planned. She arrived 10 minutes late at the venue along with her French boyfriend & she was shown the door very rudely by an employee of the organization. 

She went on to write a sarcastic email to the said person mentioning "the great Indian hospitality" by a brand such as theirs in front of her better half among other things.

I went down memory lane as well when I heard her story and went on to narrate in detail a by-chance interview of mine, which happened 8 years ago with a well known newspaper in South India. A blog of mine had been published in the newspaper and I went down to their office to collect my prize money. Upon reaching their office, I was told by a kind uncle who sat at their front office that interviews were being conducted for new reporters. He encouraged me to go give it a shot. I hesitated at first and then figured, why not? So I went inside their office, stumbled upon a college senior of mine who was already working for them and waited alongside 2-3 other candidates.

After waiting for about half an hour, a snooty looking woman walked by in the tiniest black skirt I'd ever seen on a person, long pencil heels & bright red lipstick. (I had already formed a judgement in my head - I lived in Chennai & was fresh out of college, women wearing clothes like these were found only in dingy, badly lit bars in our city). 

I wondered how this "creature" could possibly be the editor of such a reputed newspaper. My answers to all her standard interview questions, were dodgy & full of arrogance. I really did'nt care about being hired after seeing her. "How much will you pay me?", I asked her snobbily. "Rs 20,000 to begin with" she replied. "Too little", I replied overconfidently. 

The same night I got a call back from the newspaper on my landline saying that I had been selected. I said no of course, being the wise-alec, know-it-all that I was back then. 

As I narrated this story to my colleague, she laughed and said "Just imagine if you had taken that offer. You probably would've been an editor today and people like me would've called you endlessly for my clients and I would've bitched about you and called you an up-tight South-Indian journalist" 

Looking back, I don't regret not taking that job offer but I do regret not being able to write-full time. Had I lived in an ideal world (read: fictional world) sans any responsibility, I would've been a hippy singer and a liberated writer. 

My dreams of being a liberated writer are being lived out in a very small way on this blog. Those singer dreams will probably never take off. 

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