Thursday, December 18, 2008

Preface

One more blogger on the block! You may think….and you are right! There’s nothing extraordinary about this blog. My Sojourns is about the innumerable experiences I had as a journalist while chasing deadlines like a maniac. It’s also about the out of job observations, one of my favourite pastimes even today.

My friends say I am good at weaving picturesque plots around the most mundane incidents. I hope they did not mean “fabrication”! After a lot of dilly-dallying, I decided to compile those incidents I talk about over and over again.

This is no disclaimer, but here I am going to talk about the people who contributed directly and indirectly to navigate my thoughts in a direction, I thought, never existed. Most of them have moved on but what left of them with me are their faded faces and distant voices in my memory and the lessons I learnt. Many may not read these pages as they are not tech-savvy and others, if they read, will be able to identify themselves. Folks, thank you!

Glucklich Lesen!

Sudha

A unique name

It was a sultry summer evening; I was waiting for the bus at the stand. With darkness fast approaching and no good story yet for the coming edition, I didn’t know whether to feel restless or enjoy the cool sea breeze that can draw anyone into the lull of sleep. That’s when I noticed a pan shop with a peculiar name, Post Graduate Pan Shop. Out of curiosity, I first bought a couple of water packets and slowly started a conversation with the owner, Mr. Prasad.

Obviously, I was not the first one to enquire about the name. The shop spoke a lot about his trials and tribulations. A post-graduate in Commerce, his excellent academic record couldn’t earn him a job of even Rs 3,000 a month. After enrolling himself at Employment Exchange, he waited two-long futile years in the hope of hearing from them. He kept himself sane by doing sundry jobs. Finally, he thought of self employment and opened a pan shop. The name drew flak from the local MLAs and municipal corporator. Mr. Prasad was pressurized to change it for it became a testament of a limping political system.

A few blocks away in Andhra University, the pan shop story stealthily sneaked into the classroom discussions of MBA courses. Later, the students did a case study on Mr. Prasad’s unique venture under self employment.

On my last visit to Vizag, my hometown, I went there to check if the shop exists. I saw Mr. Prasad busy attending to his customers. Little seemed to have changed in all these years. He looked prosperous with a slight paunch and peppered hair. The shop is slightly bigger now.

Even today the name catches attention of many passersby.