Coorg, beguiling paradise of Karnataka

I am often asked, what makes me happiest. I answer, “My backpack, camera, and a ticket that leads to a place untraveled.”

Little do I write travel pieces. All these years, all my travel pieces have been restrained to my personal diary. I still remember those days when my mother used to correct my travel pieces filled with spelling and grammatical errors, and the handwriting which is better named as scribbles.

Not that I have calligraphic handwriting or write like a Grammar Nazi, I have my part of flaws. I try to write according to my heart’s content.

My visit to a small district of Karnataka, named Kodagu aka Coorg, has been absolutely enthralling. The invigorating journey to this place which served the purpose of shooting a documentary film on the exploitation of the River Cauvery. This river not only has a mythical connection with the place, but also serves as the only source of water for the whole State of Karnataka.


              The beguiling view from the hill-top of TalaCauvery


My dark-held secret


It has been long that I have actually spoken about this. It is a secret which is untold to most of the people I know. This is a secret I kept hidden from my parents until I grew up to be a high-school girl. I was scared and stuck with the stigma of being judged. This still remains as a horror of my childhood.

It’s high time I spill out this dirty secret as I have not done anything wrong. Sexual abuse on women and children has been prevalent. One or more occurrence of such incident appears daily in the newspaper. Alike me, every girl has faced a minimum amount of molestation in their lives. I have faced public harassments after growing up and I never failed to raise a voice against them. But as a five-year-old, I failed to protect myself from being a victim of a pervert, or as I would be comfortable terming him as, a paedophile.

I am following up with the recent incident at one of the leading Montessori chains of the city and every detail which passes my ears is shocking me and taking me back to that horrific day. I was a toddler who had just joined her school and lived with her parents and a nanny at a rented house in Garden Reach, Kolkata. Alike many, my parents were out for work and after coming back from school I completed my lunch which was prepared by my Nanny. I had a habit of visiting a local club opposite to my house after lunch. I loved watching the grown up kids practising Karate at the club. My parents remained unconcerned because they knew I was safe there and everyone knew and adored me as a child.  That afternoon I was crossing the lane opposite my house to reach the club when a local guy whom I knew as an acquaintance called me and said,

“Hey! Come here, I have some magic for you.”

I did not hesitate because I had always considered him safe. I cannot recall his name but I have faded memories of his face. I was a popular wide-eyed and chubby young girl back in my childhood. I approached him near my house where he was standing. “What kind of magic?” I shrugged. It was a lonely afternoon and no one was passing that way. He beckoned me to a wall beside my house. I went with him and saw him unzipping his pants. I couldn’t react as the sight which followed was something weird and abnormal for me. He had coated a handful amount of celery on his man prick and asked me to blow it. I denied as I smelled some kind of fishiness. He convinced me somehow and pushed it inside my mouth. After a while, he shunned me away and threatened me to keep it as a secret. I ran to my house and told this to my nanny who in return asked me to keep quiet and never tell anyone, not even my parents. She asked me to forget it and told me if anyone knows about it, they will judge me as a bad girl. I remained shut for years until I understood things and revealed this long-kept dark secret to my mother which has been haunting me for years.

I hardly remember my five-year-old days but this day still comes as a nightmare. I was a fool to have kept quiet or not shout out for help when things were happening to me. After that, I have never kept quiet against any kind of atrocities against me or someone else.

I advise all parents to teach their children to raise a voice against such culprits and counsel them in order to know things they hesitate to reveal. Don’t ignore your child’s silence. Some culprit might just be next to you. That age is delicate and such a life-scarring incident can ruin their childhood. VOICE UP AGAINST CHILD ABUSE!


Kolkata, a city that loves back

‘’Kolkata is not just a city, but an emotion.’’
This is a common statement you’ll be hearing from any person hailing from the city of joy. I am no different. I too love my city, a lot. Lately, I have a feeling that the strings attached to my city are breaking. I no more feel that bad staying away from her. Maybe equations have changed or I am growing up. She is like my former lover. Every time I go back to the city for a visit, I get back my feelings for her. I tend to find back the love I had left behind. Coming back is no more the same. My heart no more aches the same way while coming back.
It’s called moving on. Isn’t it?
It’s also true that I can never love a city as much as I had loved her. She has raised me for 23 years. I ditched her and moved on to a better settlement option. I had to do something for my career. She could offer anything but my dream career. I wasn’t selfish, was I?
She gave me my childhood, my adolescence, my first college-bunk trip to Science city, my first movie with friends at South city Mall, my childhood afternoons at College street amidst the musty smell of old books, the evening strolls beside Prinsep Ghat, my first night out on the New year eve at Park Street, and many other memories which fall short of words.
I had to leave her because it had fewer jobs to offer and I wanted a better future. A selfish statement yet a feeling many of us would share.
We all know it’s hard to go back, but we still love her. This is because she is one city that loves back.

6 Stereotyped Statements Faced By Every Journalism Student

There are few statements and questions which a journalism student faces almost on a daily basis. These statements mainly come from neighbors, social gatherings and so on. Here are some of those statements and following are the answers that is, I suppose, is enough to shut up the judgmental mouths.

  1. Why journalism? There were so many better options?

When was the last time you asked a doctor, why did he choose being a Doctor over anything else, or an Engineer been asked a similar question?

This is a profession I have selected which I think suits me perfectly, and it’s my ambition. To the irritating next door aunt who is way too proud to possess a Government employee as her ward, I am studying journalism because this is what interests me the most and I don’t ask you the reason for cooking grilled potatoes for lunch. There were so many other options you know.


  1. Studying journalism? You must be a glamour chaser.

Journalism has got a lot to do over chasing glamour. Covering a disaster, a political goon-fight, or something bigger, has nothing to follow glamour. Even some of us, who plan to join entertainment journalism are not only glamour-oriented. We are not the honey bee buzzing around the star candies. Yes, we tend to keep ourselves presentable under any scenario. That’s the attitude we carry. Get it right.


  1. Studying journalism means you would get into smoking cigarettes and turn into a vociferous and a slanderous character.

Firstly, we are on a mission to act as the mirrors of the society, not shake hands with Cancer. Smoking is not synonymous with becoming a journalist. Secondly, if speaking wittily and becoming opinionated considers being vociferous and slanderous, then, oh yes! We are glad to be so.


  1. What do you want to do by becoming a journalist? Wearing loose attires and carrying a jhola?

Journalism is no uniform game. We are going to be journalists, not priests as described. The attire you are talking of is a hippy attire and that is completely an individual choice. You do not need to wear that to be a journalist, or vice versa. Imagine Arnab Goswami in the attire you described. Breaking News! He’s a journalist too.


  1. Journalists are information manipulators. They forge the information according to their profits, disparaging their profession.

    Who told you that? The stereotyped movies? We care a lot about our audience as of our profession. We are here to cater the demands of the audience, overlooking our profits. Mirrors can’t forge, they reflect. So do we.


  1. But, why journalism? That is the least paid media job.

We love the profession we have chosen. End of the day, the job satisfaction matters,             not the monetary amount retrieved.

I penned down these statements as I have faced these myself, and the answers are from behalf of all journalism students. As I mentioned previously, journalism students are opinionated. We welcome criticism and your opinions too.




# The featured picture is of Rani Mukherji, who played the role of a journalist in No One Killed Jessica.(Source: Movie screenshot)