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Amrita Tripathi

Writer/ Journalist/ Time Traveller

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Blog posts September 2014

(It's All About) The Journey

September 26, 2014

THE JOURNEY

It's amazing how much can change in a decade. From my vantage point here towards the end of 2014 – just 100 days left to go in this year, people! – I look back and marvel at that incredible joyride that is life. 

 By December, hopefully, I'll be two books old, there's a magazine column I feel privileged to write, there are speaking engagements here and there, there are the perks of being a reporter and news anchor...and that does bring me to the mainstay of my job for nearly a decade – it was great being an anchor, it really was. You feel connected to the information zeitgeist, you feel you're part of the news in some small way, you get a lovely kick out of someone meeting you at a literary festival in Kerala, and shrugging away an introduction saying “I know you, we have breakfast with you every morning,” – and remember this was a sweeter, kinder era, pre-Twitter! Now there's constant feedback, there's some positives and lots of negatives, the trolling, the objectifying, the sexism, and more. But choose to filter, to block, to hold on to the positive but take the criticism constructively, where possible, and it's a brilliant sort of feedback mechanism, isn't it?

THE TRANSITION

For me, I'm bowing out of the arc-lights, such as they are! (And despite this era of 24/7 news cycles and hundreds of channels, at least in the “English speaking news channel” space , we're still a fairly small tribe). That feeling of belonging – I'm going to hold on to. I know that TV journalists everywhere just “get” each other in terms of the pressures and lifestyle. You relate to that manic pressure, the addiction to that constant buzz, no matter what continent you're on! 9 years in, though, it's time to take a step back. I love the news, and the adrenaline and the insanity and the newsroom, not to mention reporting, but there's also a need for a little space and me-time. A balance. (This is also age kicking in).

But looking back down the corridor of time, I'm amazed at all that I've managed to change, how I managed to grow, and all the wonderful people who helped me, the encounters that shaped me... From a potty-mouth, grungy, under-confident 24 year old to a more grounded, less profane, more evolved and empathetic human bean. It's been a ride! I've gone from thinking that I will change the world (and oh the egotism wrapped up in that thought!!) to thinking that it's such a gift to have a job that changes you. There is great work being done that I hope to add to...and there will always be stories to be told. That won't change.

 I've seen it several times in my own career – It's a profoundly moving and humbling experience to have an encounter / do a profile/ meet someone who changes you. I've seen courageous children, parents, doctors defying all odds, writers spinning great webs of imagination, I have been touched by the humility of some of the great minds and personalities of our time!

The roll call of interviewees has been staggering - that I didn't out and out make a complete idjit of myself is part of the training in the performance art that is anchoring...
I loved reading and interacting with Ramachandra Guha, speaking with Gloria Steinem, reading and chatting with David Remnick...I got to hang out with and interview Amitav Ghosh, listen to Yoko Ono, speed read the final Harry Potter for work! There was the quizzing of Lady Gaga, the Grammys in LA, five to six months in New York! I got to listen to Sting and his band rehearse and play, and then a chance to chat with him, not to mention, my teenage idol Jostein Gaarder, whose masterpiece Sophie's World, changed my life... T
here have been so many mind-bending moments that it more than makes up for the banality of other days. It's not all fake breaking news and stroke-inducing graphics pointers, I'll have you know! I've had my universe enriched and mental horizons expanded by the people I did get to meet... And even by the process of research, the prep work, the buzz of being live and representing a major channel, it's all been a phenomenal experience.

AND THEN...

I have enjoyed interacting with so many of you -- from our sessions at the Jaipur Lit Fest, to travels from Kerala to Mumbai, Delhi to Bhutan, Hanoi to New York! And online, too, right? The world has been at our fingertips – I hope that continues (and for that, we can always thank Twitter!) 

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