Feb 21, 2014

Return

As I prepare to go back to work tomorrow, I have been getting my life in order and readying myself for a faster pace. Sadly, India already seems like a dream, or a memory of something that happened many years ago.

Now I'm feeling ready to act, to move swiftly, to spend less time in my head being 'mindful' and 'present'. I will become again a reporter, not a writer. Although, you know, reporters should also be present and observant in the best sense of the word.

By a lovely coincidence I was listening to The Current today and heard one of my favourite writers, Alain de Botton, talking about his newest project - a users manual for the news. I've been following his Philosophers Mail online, so of course I wanted to hear more.

I strongly recommend you check out the full interview. Alain articulated some things I've been thinking about:
"Foreign news started off as information for governments, to know where they should attack, what they should do next, who they should trade with. This is high level, ministerial information...what we desperately need as ordinary audiences is more anthropological information of the kind that the explorer...used to bring back when they would head off to far-flung places. In other words, anthropological information that shows you how people live. How the Other, the abstract Other person from far away, what that person is like."
I may never report overseas. I don't know yet if that would be right for me anyway. But I know I have started to see individuals instead of a country. I will never again be able to read of India without seeing Akanksha and Jeet, Saraswati, Krutharth and his family, Judy Frater, the Pitrodas, Jitesh and Bhanu, Kailash, Hency, Hetal,
Lakita, Ruchita. If you have met them through me then I've done my job without knowing it.

So back to work I go, and I've heard that the coming weeks will be busy. Yep, there is still a lot of work to be done.

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