Guess where I’m sitting right now? Yep, in my office! It’s been 12 days since I started interning at Tehelka. It feels so weird to tell people, “Hey I’m at office. I’ll get free by 6.” Wow. It sounds so grown-uppy. Since when did I have to tell people I’m not free and have ‘work’? Work? Is it really work? I guess it is. It may not be super-significant, life-changing, altering-the-course-of-events-in-the-universe work, but it is work nevertheless. A magazine company is like a huge piece of machine that never stops functioning, and though I may be a tiny cog in the entire set, I am a part of it alright :)
I’ve primarily been working on a one-page section called Master Takes that gets featured towards the end of the magazine. It may not be something that you cannot live your entire life by without reading, but it is a lot of fun to do. I got to interview a lot of interesting people, and compiling and editing everything they say in a 100 odd words can be more challenging that you might think it is. Going up to people and asking them to talk to you can be even more daunting. But it pays off. I also covered a festival at the India International Center and going to the Commonwealth Book Prize at the Oxford Book Store at CP tomorrow. So yeah, things are not as bleak as they could have been.
As interns, we are on the last rung of the hierarchical ladder, and something we find ourselves barely dangling, struggling to keep up with everything that happens in the office. Pardon me to use the recently used and joked about analogy, but this place is like a beehive. Phones are ringing; phone calls are made every few minutes; the writers typing furiously on their keyboards; the designers designing the pages, eyebrows scrunched in concentration; the editors often have a war of words on certain topics and story ideas; news channels spew relentless news stories on the big plasma screen. It was very difficult for me to accept that my boss does not look at me or greet me with a smile because that is how it is at the workplace, and not because she is miffed at something I did. (I am ecstatic now when she smiles or says hi)
It was a little overwhelming in the beginning. Calling people 30 years elder to you by their names, trying to not get affected by the fact that no one even looks at you or acknowledges your presence when you enter the office and sit down meekly at your desk and look around. Or having to realize that this is not college where everyone would be enthusiastic to get to know each other. They come, do their work, and go. They live their lives seriously. They mean business.
This does not mean they do not enjoy. They have their own fun moments, teasing the others, laughing, cracking jokes. And the good, witty kind of jokes. Not the juvenile ones that people crack at college. I feel stupid looking at them and grinning, obviously not being able to join in the conversation. They are good people. I can’t help but notice the look of satisfaction on their faces when they see their stories printed in the magazine. I want to have that. Some of the people here are so knowledgeable and good at what they do, I feel like it would take me years just to come to that level. But I will. I know I will. I like to work in the features. I might just continue this in the future.
I feel lucky if I get work. And when I don’t, well reading blogs, articles and 9gagging helps.
But you know what is awesome?
I live in Delhi on my own with my friends. It’s the kind of freedom I never thought I would get to experience. Living on your own, buying groceries, getting the house cleaned, cleaning and washing sometimes, taking care of work, food and mood swings and adjusting with each other. It all gets really tiring but is really exciting at the same time.
When all 6 of us are back from our work, we bitch about how bad our days were and fight about whose was worse. We sit in the balcony, order pizzas and chatter on about senseless things. We sometimes cook for each other, we tease, make fun, and sometimes go bonkers laughing. We sometimes go out walking, take random rickshaw rides, eat like there's no tomorrow and have illogical discussions late into the night. It is amazing to come back to a house full of friends who you can just flop down on the bed with and talk to. Or with whom you can go out and roam around the city, trying out all the cheap street food and buying things we would need in the house. A house where you have your own space, where you can stretch out and read a book, or go to sleep whenever you want. And it helps to have friends who will hug you when you cry and cry for no reason in particular. It helps even more, when you have friends who will hold a guitar like a monkey and dance around the house with it.
It is unlike anything I have experienced in life so far. It’s great. I love it. I know these are one of the best days of my life, and they are passing by, a tad too fast! I want to make the most of these. And I know I will. For now, just taking it one day at a time.
It's great to be a Delhi-ite for the next one and a half months! :)