Tuesday, April 19, 2005

All work and no ponytail

Been off blogging for a while, primarily because not much has been happening in life outside work. I won't blog about my work, I had vowed to myself when I started blogging, unless something at work is particularly bloggable. Have stuck to it, and therefore, the long layoff. But here's a bit of a recap about the not-so-exciting life and times of Shamya Dasgupta...

Since blogging last, I have taken off my ponytail, which turned out to be quite a significant change in my life. For starters, it made me a target of - all over again - the most ridiculous and mundane and moronic of questions to do with why I was ponytailed no more. Everybody at work, especially, found it necessary to ask me a question on my lighter mane, instead of the more civil option of just smiling, or raising the eyebrows, or just a looking good or looking bad statement. No. Everyone had to ask a question. Usually along the same lines, but with the knowledge that they weren't the first to pop the question, and therefore with some attempts at providing angles. Anyway...so I am normal haired again. I got my hair chopped off because (a) it's coming to be summer, and it's getting hot; (b) didn't know before, but long hair needs maintenance, and that's never been my scene; (c) I am in television now, and I didn't want to keep long hair all my life, therefore, it made sense to move to a look I will revert to most often; and (d) I gave it (wearing my hair long) a shot, liked it, enjoyed it, stopped liking it, and wanted to move on. The same as with my goatee, handlebar moustache, basic moustache, french beard and a few other things I have tried down the years.

Apart from that, there's been a bit of reading going on as well. Thankfully, seeing that I keep drifting into these phases where I just can't read. It starts with not having enough time, or a particularly interesting book around and moves into general disinterest with any words written outside of the WWW. Read Milan Kundera's Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts and Ignorance. Ignorance was particularly interesting, though too strictly in a Milan Kundera-ish way. You know, the Life Is Elsewhere kind of Kundera.... Testaments...: Masterly, but I don't care much for Western Classical music, and certainly don't want to read about it in a book which puts forward a rather interesting thesis on Kafka and Hemingway and stuff, and brings WC music into the thesis. Loved it, but couldn't read it. Tried to see if it works if I skip all the WC pages and concentrate only on the Kafka, Rabelais, et al pages. Didn't work. Lost interest. Since finishing these two, I've started on M Vassanji's The In-between World of Vikram Lall as well as Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go (haven't actually, but have been carrying it around hoping to start reading it in the autos). Vassanji - highly recommended by Jabs but few others - is interesting. So far. And I want to see it through despite the crammed print and small font. NLMG: Absolutely.

In between all this, I got to do my first bit of covering cricket matches since joining television. And it's a whole different ball-game from doing it for print. Man-oh-man, but I won't get into the whole discussion here. This is more to explain how my television education - at the basic level at least - has just been completed. And - immodest as it sounds - I think I have done a good enough job, and have cracked a few records at HT along the way. Reports, PTCs and chats and all - outside of all the in-house production and desk work - had been achieved already. Away, I learnt live reporting, and, significantly, hosting shows. Mercury Rising, a show we conducted right through the India-Pakistan tour, involved a pre-matchday and post-match chat with Arun Lal and Rameez Raja. Which basically means that for every one-day international, we have two shows. One the evening before the game and one on the evening after the game. It's done from location, which for me was Kanpur first and then Delhi, because I covered the last two games. Went off like clockwork. Apparently, I spoke well, looked confident, and was good with the time factor. Which basically means that I am - more or less - ready to anchor, as my boss here has been asking me to do for quite some time now. Was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing, along with being a bit disinterested about reading out of a moving screen to earn my living. But it seems all right. And if I do involve myself in the process, it would mean that I am a proper TV journo. Well, obviously not. But at least I would have put my finger into every available pie.

To wrap up...

Today is Tuesday, and Monday - yesterday - was a stunning day at home with Ajitha. A well-earned day off for me after hardly sleeping for five days in a row and being dead tired on the whole. Ajitha had also had a rough time and wanted a bit of rest. So we spent the entire day in bed with the AC on, got the entire Friends Season 10 stuff, and a bottle of gin. Sipped gin and lime all day and saw the entire season of Friends and pfaffed about and slept. Was bliss. Sheer bliss.

And am back at work...which means nothing much will happen in life for a few days again.

PS: Catch Hazaaraon Khwahishen Aisi...