Published On: November 30, 2019 10:55 AM NPT By: Devendra Gautam
As long as tigers remain on any other part of earth, there’s hope for humanity. No black hole will be able to swallow earth
It was a particularly lean period in the life of yours truly. We are not at all interested about your salad days, the low and high points of your career. You guys might fume and dismiss this piece. Of course, it is your sovereign right to reject outright the mini-autobiography of a desk hand, who is no longer part of this thriving industry that never ceases to produce masterpiece after masterpiece and take English journalism from Nepal to dizzying heights, day in, day out.
Without further delay, let me clarify to one and all: This is not the auto-bio of an ever-struggling desk hand. There have been—and are still—very successful names, who can wax eloquent in fluent English and Nepali on how they changed the face of journalism. These golden pages are reserved for them.
Now, back to the particularly lean period of his career. Yours truly had just quit a job, feeling that the deadline pressure of the odd-hour job was a bit too much (he was also starting to realize that age was not just a number anymore) and sticking to a job for too long will do his career no good. In a late awakening, yours truly was to realize soon that he had become an expert when it came to burning bridges by angering resident demi-gods. Apparently, Julius Caesar had the luxury of burning all his ships before attacking London lest his troops flee if the battle gets tough because he was none other than Julius Caesar. But how dare a desk hand burn bridges like that just because he and Ceasar were born in the same month?
For a free radical of sorts, burning bridges, angering the resident demi-gods and expecting sub-editorship with a fat pay-check was just too much. So, yours truly ate the humble pie and took a less attractive offer to make a living by staying on in the industry somehow.
During that period of great misfortune, yours truly wrote/edited quite a bit and opted for some translation/interpretation assignments to augment his income. Yours truly would recall the hardships that a senior colleague from India said he had faced after losing his job. The colleague would recall farming fish in a tank at some hidden corner of his room in Darjeeling to weather the job crisis. At that particularly trying phase of life, yours truly would often compare himself to a dying fish gasping for some oxygen in that tank.
These are the stories of lesser mortals like yours truly. In the annals of journalism, they do not mean anything, I guess.
But even in the life of an average desk hand, there come great moments during the graveyard shift in the form of great stories like discovery of grand palaces in the middle of lush-green jungles in some distant corners of this country, sighting of the dodo and the unicorn, so on and so forth. There’s hardly any dull moment in this industry with writers having extraordinary flair for storytelling with an unparalleled command of the language, something that should land them straight to Story writing’s Hall of Fame (Sadly, we don’t have such a hall as yet).
A desk hand has to just wait for one of those great moments to come. For yours truly, ironically, one such moment came when he was quite far away from the media industry.
It was a bio and what a bio it was! And of all people, yours truly was to edit it! Upon receiving the bio via mail and having a cursory reading of it, yours truly felt that a zillion stars were shining on him!
This illustrious personality, to whom the bio referred to, turned out to be a multi-faceted figure. He was a philanthropist, a human rights activist associated with different campaigns, a consultant working for different NGOs, a trainer, the recipient of several trainings on a host of fields, a tour operator well-versed in different languages, a writer in his own right, a scholar, culture expert and philanthropist with years of experience behind him, that too when he was not even in his 40s. Yours truly is pretty sure he no longer remembers half of this the polymath’s qualifications and experiences. Summing up, here was a full flowering of human potential.
The irony of ironies was that the exploits of this great personality were to be somehow edited by a lesser mortal, a desk hand known for his half-baked English, for ruining (and, at times, rejecting) masterpiece after masterpiece that should have landed straight to the literary hall of fame. How could Providence be so unjust? Was it not fair and square that yours truly was breathing in the same air, basking in the same sun and living in the same milieu under the same skies with the superhuman?
With dismay, yours truly read, reread and thought long and hard over the task at hand. His hands trembled, his heart and soul stirred, he felt a dizzying sensation and then his courage gave up. In the life of every sub, yours truly thinks, there comes a time when he/she cannot even ‘tweak’ a piece a bit, leave alone properly ‘edit’ (read ruin) it. For yours truly, this bio had offered that moment.
Without wasting much time of the great personality, yours truly wrote back expressing sincere thanks for the opportunity to have a look at the great bio and pointing out that he felt extremely incompetent to add something to it or remove from it. Praise be to the superhuman! Praise be to the forces that brought such a great mind to earth!
Since that incident, yours truly, while whiling away time in this industry and a bit beyond, has come across other great bios that show the true magnitude of human potential, bios that are the true crown jewels of humanity. These personalities are tigers burning bright in the otherwise dark forest of humanity and yours truly will forever remain indebted to this cream of the cream lot for manifesting themselves in the form of CVs.
There’s literally nothing these personalities cannot accomplish. Still, they have been kind enough to leave some fields where lesser mortals like yours truly can struggle and make a living somehow. This kindness is one strong indication of their greatness.
As long as these bio-tigers remain on any other part of earth, there’s hope for humanity. As long as the best of the best remain with us, no Black Hole will be able to swallow Planet Earth, yours truly is pretty sure of this much.
May these bio-tigers thrive, may we get to breathe the same air, live under the same Sun and the same skies in the same milieu with these crown jewels of humanity.
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