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   A new trend is that once a person loses his job or retires... (June 28, 1990)

A new trend is that once a person loses his job or retires, he becomes a journalist and starts writing for newpapers and magazines. Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar and Mr. S.S. Tinaikar are only two examples of this, there are so many others.

I have nothing against this and I in fact welcome the trend, because the more journalists there are, the better it is for the profession and the country. However, it has been creating some confusion for people who have only been journalists all their lives.

For instance, I was at a party yesterday and the chief executing of a plastic goods company asked me: “So, what do you do?”

“Oh, I am a journalist, nothing much,” I said, wondering whether thw whiskey was deshi or scotch.

“Like Mani Shankar Aiyar,” the executive said, shaking my hand. “And what were you doing before you become a journalist? Writing speeches?

“No, no I have been a journalist all my life,” I said.

The chief executive looked at me rather oddly and walked away.

I was thinking that the colour looked like premium scotch, though you can never tell by colour these days, when the PRO of a multinational firm came up to me and said: “I believe you have started writing congrulations. But what exactly were you doing vefore you took up journalism?”

“Nothing,” I said, “I was doing nothing. I have only been a journalist.”

“That’s very strange,” the PRO said. “You are the first person I have come across who has done nothing before starting to write.”

I smelt the glass. I t did smell like scotch, but that could mean it was of of those better brands of deshi whisky blended with a dash of scotch. A medical practitioner, who had been siting nearby and listening, came up and said: “Excuse me, I could not help overhearing you say that you are a journalist. When did you retire to become a journalist?’

“I did not retire to become a journalist, I am a journalist, that’s all,” I said. “There are very few like me, but there are, who have not retired and come into journalism, or been sacked and come into journalism.”

“You are joking,” the medical practitioner said.

I tasted the whisky, I was right, it was scotch, though it was fake scotch. Just then a lady came to me and said: “Tell me, do you like being a journalist, or would you like to go back to your old job?”

 
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