Of working, cooking and more

Apparently, a lot of people have been restlessly urging me to update my blog. This has happened before but not to extent of getting random, sometimes anonymous, requests, messages and tweets from people I do not know expressing their delight in reading my rants.

I have no clue whether this is a cause enough to be flattered. But I’m sure conscious of what I rant from now on, which, I would like to believe, is a good thing.

Since I have been spending some quality time in my office and living on my own these days, I thought I’d be logical enough to rant about the same.

It’s a little exhausting to describe work and whether or not I’m “enjoying” it. These are too strong words to use for an endeavor that has barely lasted for 2 weeks now. Meanwhile, I have been constantly avoiding having to answer that question to my friends and colleagues saying: “It’s too early to say”, completely aware that time and tide wait for no one and soon this excuse (if you will) would become too stale for usage.

More than entering into the “big bad world” of the media industry and having to face the ups and downs of my first job, this is also the first time that I have ventured into the domain of living by myself. And that doesn’t just mean living alone without a roommate. It means to live alone, cook, clean, organize, maintain and take care of the “household”—a term that never had space in my life until now.

Cooking—another domain I was alien to, or let’s just say I never explored or felt the need to.

But now when my hungry stomach growls and I don’t have the hostel food waiting for me downstairs in the dining hall, I realize that it is high time I move my ass to the kitchen and make something edible out of scratch. I wouldn’t be a fuss and frankly admit that it sure is thrilling. To observe how something so raw can be converted into something deliciously digestible, to feel a sense of deep satisfaction that the food I’m consuming is actually because of the efforts I took for it to happen, to gape at how a simple gas can work wonders and produce a cartload of dishes only if you know how to do it right—it’s pretty exciting. Of course there are mistakes, scratches, cuts and burns here and there. But it feels good. In a strange way, it feels mature. Oddly enough, it makes me feel old too. And I’m trying to make my peace with that.

Cooking also needs calculation. One needs to know the quantity in order to produce quality. While the latter is achievable, the former is messed up every now and then. Since I have to cook only for myself, there are a few troubles that need to be taken before I begin the actual procedure of cooking. It just seems a tad little too much fuss to make that extra effort when I know I’m the only one who’s going to consume it. When you live alone, you begin taking yourself for granted. And, often, salad begins to look like a luxury. You end up concluding that rice and some random curry is more than enough. Chapati, dal and raita—they seem like things to be prepared on some “special” occasion (and God knows when that’ll come!)

In short, I get too lazy to take that fuss. Obviously it isn’t a good thing if it happens on a daily basis and I’m trying to avoid that. But nothing pisses me more these days than leftover food. And if I miscalculate just a little, which happens almost all the time, something or the other stays back in the kitchen only to become a victim of my forgetfulness and, consequently, the staple food of the most regular resident and visitor of my house—the ants.

Besides the challenge of cooking, I have suddenly been thrown into the world of “bills”. Electricity bill, water bill, property tax bill, maintenance charge, drainage fee, newspaper bill, milk bill, vegetable bill (the list is endless). Again, another factor that makes me realize, that I have reached a stage where I need to understand the economics of spending and saving. I’m not unfamiliar to either but this is the first time when the basis of the same would be the money that I earn and not what my father (used to) earn.

Speaking of money, nothing in life is free. Everything comes at a price and let’s not make Madurai, as an expensive city, become any factor here, for the time being. And the price, speaking monetarily, obviously comes from the work I do. I remember frowning at page designing when I was made the sub-editor in college during our in-house publication days. I was willing to do anything but that, primarily because of my technically challenged nature. And here I am, designing pages six days a week on Adobe InDesign CS3 before editing copies that are sometimes so bad that one wonders if the reporter was taught the basic difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’ or ‘therefore’ and ‘meanwhile’ or ‘instead of’ and ‘despite that’. Oh and by the way, if any reporter is reading this, please note that there is no phrase as ‘Despites of that’.

In a way, it’s good that these mistakes are made. I wouldn’t have any work if they don’t err. My job depends on their flaws so I could clean them and turn them into a publishable story. Meanwhile, to be a “publishable” story does not require much effort these days. Or so it seems in the newspaper that I work for. No one follows the Associated Press (AP) style of English grammar here, sources are often unnamed, there are no quotes (I deliberately introduce them when I edit) and you’d be lucky to find any attribution that has a proper name to it. In short, all I learned about editing rules do not apply here coz the rules are completely different here. Or should I say there aren’t any rules at all?

It’s easy to question a lot of stuff going in my personal and professional life right now and hence I’m trying to cut that down and focus more on the other things that life is demanding if me with each passing day. It’s unbelievable how, while typing this, I’m simultaneously thinking what to make for tonight’s dinner so I could pack and take it to office. Maybe tonight I’ll give paneer a chance. I need to put on some weight to bear the heavy weight of what they call “life”.



6 thoughts on “Of working, cooking and more

  1. >Well.. a very mature post, presenting the thoughts of a mature 'girl'. Am glad you never allowed a glimpse of hatred to develop within yourself for doing any of those (at least in this writeup). That's a real good sign of making a successful living.Cheers to Life! :o)

  2. >Teju, a writeup on 'real journalism'? Hmmm.. interesting, am following your posts too :o)Deepa & Teju, this is the real 'transition' phase for you, from what you thought 'journalism' is and when you realize what 'journalism' actually is. This, is common in any profession. To be frank, during this transition, I totally lost interest in my profession and later on somehow managed to pick it up all again.Please note, this is the crucial phase that counts most to shape you up as a professional and your career altogether. So, my best wishes for you both :o)


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