In 1999, I was in my second year of junior college and freelancing for The Free Press Journal. A few months later, I had shifted to The Indian Express, then to various publications of The Times of India.
It’s 10 years later and I’m being interviewed for a TOI publication, being described as (and here I cringe at how ra-ra it sounds) an “award-winning copywriter”. The girl interviewing me was a college student, who said my writing on this blog was “quite youthful”. She seemed genuinely surprised by this. I felt like telling her that once you graduate from college, you DON’T actually have to sign a contract that goes “I hereby declare all my days of fun and frolic, youth and abandon, utterly and officially over. I shall henceworth endeavour to be a boring old fart, with special emphasis on the ‘old’ part.”
But I didn’t.
Because I remember what it was like sitting on the other side of the table, meeting people you didn’t know, asking questions you didn’t care about and writing down their answers from memory. What made it all worth it was the kick you got out of seeing your by-line in the newspaper. Good times.
And hey, the kid was actually pretty complimentary at the end of it. Not like you know, mints or anything, but appreciative. And who knows? 10 years from now, I might be writing a quasi-nostalgic piece about advertising. It’s all just a matter or time.