Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reporting For Voice Of A Village Girl

Deadlines, research, scripting, shooting, editing, interviews, voice over or VO, layout designing, publishing, distribution, collecting feedbacks, surveys… Once I’d a life of journalist, a student of mass communication. Daily, the sight Calicut Press Club makes me sigh and reminds me of my days as a media student and internee in media companies. Though, for commoners, journalists are a group of people who intrudes into others world and a community who always get beatings while reporting lathi charges. However, for individuals who know the real pulse of journalism, they wish not to move away from it. For those who have the passion for writing, craze for collecting news and expressing it to the world, journalism is an addiction. Anything under sun can be news. They have their own fun, happiness and many times unrestricted entry anywhere with their media pass.

My love for journalism started when I was in plus two. Although I chose science as my specialization, I scored more marks in language. Later, apart from a graduation certificate in Functional English, teachers in my college encouraged my interest in journalism. A short film, a magazine article, a newsletter- all these heightened my confidence. Rupesh Sir’s classes also inspired me to go ahead. Taking up the role as chief reporter in the media department of VIBGYOR Film Festival, an international film festival was my first experience as a media person. Covering important events, assigning work to others, coordinating our team, etc were my responsibilities. Again, Rupesh Sir helped me to manage my role well. Chetana Film Institute that conducted the festival was not a new place for us because the institute has helped us out to complete our short film BLACKBOARD.

Once I completed degree, I joined for MA Communication in a college in Coimbatore. We came out with campus journals and news bulletins. All the major events inside the campus were covered by us. This includes tech festivals, B-fests, swimming competitions, seminars, cultural events, sports and arts days, convocation and so on. Apart from that, we also went out to collect news from Palakkad and Coimbatore. Still I remember the ending of my PTCs (Piece to the Camera), “With cameraperson Meenakshi Nautiyal, this is Roopa reporting for Kovaipulse” (Kovaipulse was the name of our bulletin). Rakesh S Katarey, my favorite teacher there, is a man of immense caliber and dedication. Also Prajith Sir and Aparna, the then senior journalists of The Week, taught me the true essence of journalism.

In between this course, I did internship in Malayala Manorama and Amrita TV. Working in Manorama, the largest circulated language daily, was a wonderful experience. Professionalism in journalism is what I saw there. Then about Amrita, it gave me a group of good friends. I went to cover a few news stories from both these media houses. Press meets, interviews and local news coverage were done from there. Another important coverage I did was Mata Amritanandamayi’s birthday program during my PG. Around 5 lakh people attended the program. I and my team members climbed up in the media stand with our cameras and could shoot the entire program along with the camera-persons of main stream channels. I still have that media pass with me.

Days have changed and now life is in a new phase. I chose this chapter myself. Today, I don’t read newspapers or watch news bulletins daily. At present, I’m not thinking about a job in media. Yet, when I see a vehicle passing with the name board of any channel or a person holding a pd170 camera, I wish to go back to those days. To get myself delighted seeing the shots I’d taken, to proudly ask my friends to read my byline story in newspaper… Now, I live in a technical world. A life which is fed by computer… I love to do this work too. I’ve learned so many new things from my present role. Past is past and so I’ve to move on happily with what I’ve now. This is Roopz reporting for Voice of A Village Girl!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Stories Without A Conclusion

The topic on which I’m going to write is something that I’ve kept postponing as I myself is a little puzzled about the whole matter. Vettekorumakan temple inside my illam, sarpakavu, Narasimhamoorthi temple, poojas for Brahmaraksas, Thekkekunnu (where the dead bodies of family members are creamted)… There are many places near the compound of my house that are mysterious. Each of these places has a numerous tales to speak out. However, in many of these places, only family members are permitted. So outsiders are not much aware of what is happening inside. Even in some places like thekkekunnu, females are not allowed to enter. Therefore, when outsiders say that they saw figures resembling the deities that are worshipped inside, it is truly a matter to wonder.

“I saw a dream yesterday. I was standing in front of your illam at night. I could see the front door opening. From there, a dark stout man with a beard came near me and told me,’ Don’t worry. Everything will be ok. I’m always there with you”- when our servant, who is an Islam follower told this, I was enthused to hear the whole story. He confirmed it is Vettekorumakan, our family deity, who came in his dream. It can be called as an infatuation of a cancer patient. But one thing is sure, after this dream, his health has improved rapidly.

Another story as told my father is an incident he had seen directly. A couple of years back, when my dad and his cousins where sitting near the gate of my house at night, a man in cycle was going towards our illam. After a few minutes, he came back sweating and shivering. When my dad and uncles asked what the matter was, he pointed towards illam and told, “I saw a dark man with so many dogs. I’m scared. Can anyone please accompany me?”… They understood the matter. He was carrying meat with him. Also the description is exactly that of Vettekorumakan. My dad asked him to throw away that packet. The man did so and went through the same place and did not find anything scary.

It is believed that Gods will roam around at night. Because of that, no one used to sleep in the verandah of my illam. Once, a relative of mine slept to know the reality. At night, he woke up and saw a person standing near him. It seems that person asked him why he was sleeping on ‘the way that I travel at night’…

I’ve just narrated only three of the stories. I grew up hearing many tales like this and the first story I told happened only one month back. You can call it miracles or fascination of minds depending on your faiths and beliefs as I’m still searching for a conclusion on this…!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Six Months.... So Fast

Hello Koyikode,

Can you believe I’ve been with you for last six months? No na… Well, my joining letter says so. When I stepped in to your world on 20th January, I was a simple village girl who never knew the etiquettes of city life. Huge flats, flashy lightings, fast food corners, trendy clothing styles… Everything was so new to me.

A land known for hospitality, a place famous for art admirers, a city known for foodies (How can anyone blame these people as they are getting the best biriyanis, porottas, halwas, fish items etc!), a town that has the most sincere auto drivers… This place can be described with many phrases. However, only after reaching here, I could understand you sound more pretty with the name ‘Koyikode’ as called by your natives rather than the printed name Kozhikode or Calicut, the name given by foreigners.

On this occasion, I should also say that I’m grateful to Mr. Radhakrishnan KG or RK, my boss for trusting and appointing me as the Social Media Executive of Webnamaste.


Webnamaste- My dearest office

Avani- My uncle’s house that gave me warmth and all the love more than I expected

SBT ATM, Vattakinar- An ATM which never denied money for me

City Buses- Green colored buses Athira, Vishnu, Golden, Jawan, etc for helping me travel.

Mananchira- A lake that always kept silence without taking the pride of being a soul around which the whole city revolved.

Palayam- The market place providing all the essential goods for the citizens to survive

Sopanam- A veg restaurant that offers Biriyani for 30 Rs and Gobi for 10 Rs

Railway station- For being a venue of my meeting with my best friend

SM Street or Mittayitheruvu – Get jeans that costs only Rs 150 from here. Not only jeans, you can find many quality items especially on Sunday market here.

Focus Mall- One of my favorite hangouts

Big Bazaar- For making me crazy with its huge collection of teddies

May Flower- The chiratta biriyani of this hotel is awesome

Beaches- No words to describe

Modern Coolbar- For giving me yummy mango juice

Dominos- For serving hot pizzas especially when it rains outside, lovely

Ojin Bakes- A place to hide from heavy showers and to have a nice coffee

Happy Creations- The mobile hub that presented me a Nokia X2 cell phone

Sonali- An air-conditioned bus which takes me home on my weekends

Also there are so many people who have entered and rarely some who have exited from my heart. Some characters can break your heart, while others can heal it. Luckily, in my office, I’ve a group of good friends-Amith, Ayesha, Basabi, Jishnu, Nikhil, Nimiya, Roshna and Shahan-whom I can always count. Also thanks to:

Muthashan, Vallyaphan and Cheriyamma- For your guidance and help

Appu and Alaka- My brother and sister; remembering all crazy things we’ve done here

Anoopettan- A close friend gifted to me by Kozhikode

Vibinettan- Also known as yoyo, who always love to be in touch with everyone he meets

Uncle- RK’s dad for his care

Laxmi- My college mate who belongs to Calicut, now working in Bangalore (though whenever we plan to meet, it’ll be cancelled because of some or other reasons)

Many more names of people and places are left out. If I continue, you’ll get bored. See, I forgot to mention about the Press Club, the sight of which reminds me every day that I’d a life of journalist once. It is already 12 o’ clock. I’ve miles to go…Let me have a nap!!!


Village Girl

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ethnic Thinking

Are we really concerned about ethnicity? I really don’t have a clear idea about it as I’d seen people recollecting memories very nostalgically about their native, while some others hate their own homeland and instead they love the place where they are born and brought up.

Once I was surprised by my cousin’s kid, who is just 6 years, saying that he belongs to Phoenix, a place in USA. He studied his KG in United States. When he sees US flag, he’ll proudly say,”That is my flag”. No one can be accused for this. How can we blame a child who had to spend his initial schooling years in an American school that injects the sense of pride being a US citizen? Also, his parents have a limit to make him understand that they are aliens in US and will have to return to their own native one day.

Another instance I could see is my Banglorean friend who married a Keralite, always tells me that she has to transform into a Malayali. Though, she tells all these, I know she can’t leave behind her roots. Even today, she yearns for a life back in Banglore, the IT city of India. I used to tell her that she must not shed her ethnical identity as she always in her inner mind will remain as a Banglorean. She is not the only one with this story. In India, when a woman is married, she has to leave her home and settle down in her hubby’s native.

We are truly attached to the surroundings where we are brought up, no matter whether it is in your own country or abroad. You may get accustomed to the new place when transplantation occurs. However, you always love to go back to the place that you consider as your home. Because, home is where you remove all your masks and be yourself. It is the same reason why everyone is attracted towards their home as the element of belongingness that we carry cannot be relocated.