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So what exactly are you doing right now?

June 1, 2009

Friend (or something to that effect): Hey how much do you get paid for those articles

Me : Not much.Around xxx

Friend : Oh not bad.You know, I travel so much (he means he goes to pune/delhi/bangalore on office trips) I think I will also write about all my travels.Not a bad way to earn money huh?

Me :How much do you get paid per month? 80,000? Hey why don’t I also churn out a few lines of codes every month, definitely not a bad way to rake in the moolah.(Wait a minute, I used to do that No, not the raking in the moolah bit, but churning out a few lines of codes every month bit-that was before I moved to finance.)

Seriously, I have had the above conversation and subtle variants of it with quite a few people.I am NOT harboring illusions of being the next Norman Lewis or Bill Bryson.But I will not take this degradation of my work lying down.The measly few bucks that I have earned in the last 3-4 months have meant much more to me than the hefty not-so-measly paycheck I got ,just by reproducing old codes,making PPTs or even taking trades based on some the writing style  of stock reports .

I am gently treading onto unknown territory,learning to live with rejections from nice and rude editors alike.I never thought I had it in me to be so patient as editors sit on my article for weeks,only to reply with a curt “No”.Surprisingly enough, I am not as dejected as I thought I would be.Unlike in my corporate life ,I have learnt to keep my ego aside and am taking pains to understand why the first article I wrote has been rejected by 6 different publications.My old mantra of ‘if at first you don’t succeed,give up’ is now haunting me, as inspite of getting other articles published, I  atill stubbornly keep sending that rejected article to other editors in the faint hope someone might just be willing to pick it up.

I have finally understood what my bosses have so long been trying to get into my thick head- take pride in one’s work.But if your coding skills were anything like mine, I would , instead,advise you to totally disown your part of the job that almost killed the mammoth project and made the entire team work overtime.

And then along comes dick heads like the above, for whom ,supposedly,it is just a matter of putting pen to paper, and words flow out of it miraculously and you produce bestsellers one after the other.It might come easily for you, dear friend.Not for me.Why don’t you first send me one well written piece.Something more meaningful, and definitely longer than your witty status messages on Facebook.

Ihad this discussion with a friend the other day and we agreed that blogs and digital cameras have delusioned everyone into thinking that he or she is the next big thing in the travel world. I shot a random picture of the Wild Asses on my trip to the Rann of Kutch.And a comment I got from a nice soul -” you should become a wildlife photographer”.Really?I have also clicked umpteen pictures of my niece in what only I can say are cute faces.Does that make me the next Anne Geddes?

And these are the kind of over blown comments going all over facebook.Friend A assuring Friend B that A had it in him/her and is wasting time as a banker/software engineer/<insert your job>.Friend A by now, absolutely sure that he just has to leave his current job and publishers will line up outside to sign him up for his next book and Travel and Living will ask him to host his own t.v. show.

Perspective, that is what we all need.Look closely and the untrodden path that you thought you would explore is lined with garbage left over by the earlier ‘explorer’.

And what might be the entire point of this post?

a)In the absence of quirky colleagues and dilbert-uesque bosses, I am left to scrapping the barrel looking for rants.Seriously, whom do I bitch about now?

What I miss most about office is lack of blog material.No wait, what I miss most is the printer and xerox machine.And the lovely stationery,which thankfully I had the good sense to pilfer enough of to last me a lifetime.

b)I am bored.Last 3 days have been spent simply staring at unfinished drafts.Writing this post, I hope, will set things in motion.

P.S: And just as I was was typing the last line, I got a reply from a editor accepting my article on caving in Meghalaya-unfortunately now is not the season, so it is going to be one long wait till I see my name on print.Still, this is like BIG NEWS ok.It a premier travel magazine.But oh its going to be one long wait.Urghhhh, I am going to be like Calvin waiting for his flying helmet every single day..

15 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2009 7:40 pm

    yep, everyone who has a blog thinks they can now publish!
    good luck with your submissions!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      June 1, 2009 10:38 pm

      I mean there are of course the good ones.What gets my goat is people presuming its all so very easy.Come on you just have to write,right?

  2. June 1, 2009 10:03 pm

    just like photography and writing, everyone also thinks he/she is could be

    – a singer/dancer/entertainer (indian idol etc.)
    – a model (all you need is a vlcc membership and a few sessions at kaya)
    – business person/entrepreneur (study whatever you want but always top it off with a business degree. kuch nahi to IIPM hai na)

    everybody just wants to make it sound like the rest of the world has had it easy and they have had it tough. its like “you succeeded coz you got lucky, i succeeded coz i deserved it!! and on top could i have your sympathy too???”

    • June 1, 2009 10:22 pm

      and hey why are you still discussing your paychecks with people? isn’t it banned after the first couple of jobs??? 😀

      • lostonthestreet permalink*
        June 1, 2009 10:40 pm

        Hey at the risk of sounding like a kid in the school yard, “Miss, he started it.” And that 80k was a random number 😉
        Damn i hate this way of replying to comments-its all screwed up.

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      June 1, 2009 10:38 pm

      Couldn’t have put it better 🙂

      • June 1, 2009 11:40 pm

        No no pls retain this cool nested commenting thread thing. I have been trying to get this done on my blog for ages and never figured it out.

        Jokes apart, whats new on the masala/saaman in the fridge and laundry management front?? I am DYING to know. 😀

  3. June 1, 2009 11:32 pm said it…that it is a very easy process, almost mindless:-)

  4. June 2, 2009 12:56 pm

    Agree with all that you say here.. except the last point. Its not the ‘flying helmet’, its called ‘the Beannie’ 😀

    • June 2, 2009 12:58 pm

      Sorry for the typo, its ‘Beanie’..

      • lostonthestreet permalink*
        June 2, 2009 3:12 pm

        Thank you.I have wasted half an hour searching for that particular strip online.Of course couldn’t get it..Beanie it was.

  5. kopili permalink
    June 2, 2009 1:43 pm

    How about being asked by a guy who made it big in IT if you could design the interior of his new house ( castle)? Because, you know, you are supposedly “creative” doing writing and all that.!!

    • lostonthestreet permalink*
      June 2, 2009 3:14 pm

      But of course.If you are not a doc or an are one of ‘those arty types’ .I would have said yes,if I were you and charged him a hefty fee

  6. Devlina permalink
    June 3, 2009 12:13 pm

    Babe….I know I am one of the guilty ones who doesnt put down her comments but did I ever tell you how proud I am of you?
    How proud I am of the fact that the person I knew was as lost as I was (I still am lost btw), is doing what her heart desires and follwoing her dreams! Someday, you would be the female Anthony Bourdain; thats my conviction! Just be sure to get me the knick knacks from your travels to Sardinia/Anchorage/Burkina Faso/Santiago/Cape Town…..the list should be endless!


  1. More reader interaction demanded « Lost on the street

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