I have been a journalist for about 17 years now and am based in New Delhi. I am passionate about what I do and the fact that journalism has endless possibilities to learn ensures that I can approach each day with a desire to improve. My love for writing is dwarfed only by the joy I get from reading. Nothing pleases me more than reading something that is well-written.
Almost till about the first quarter of 2009, the J.D. Salinger quote was quite close to the way I actually lived, ‘I was a paranoiac in reverse. I suspected people of plotting to make me happy.’ No I haven’t gone anywhere near to the other extreme but I am a bit more circumspect.
The pleasure of a good book on a rainy day in our family home in Himachal; from where you can see the expanse of the sky, mountain ranges and a river below is something I miss once in a while.
I spent the first 23 years of my life in Himachal Pradesh and I enjoy the day-to-day lessons that the mountains teach. Mountain climbing is a joy that I have not had for some years now. I am in touch with my mountain-climbing friends; it is the kind of touch you never need to revive because if you’ve gone on even one long and slightly-risky climbing tour then it transforms the relationship. You can then pick it up after any small or big gap.
I was happy and surprised last year when a researcher in New Zealand called Lee Davidson presented a thesis with a theme that described a different quality that climbing naturally gives and I spoke to her and she said that when climbers call her and say that her study matches with their experience that is the greatest joy for her. It was unlucky that I could not do a story on her, though I will make up for it.
I also love to drive on the winding roads of Himachal and soak the slow and eternal pace of life on the Himalayan foothills. I don’t make a living as a sports journalist but I live sports. The annual trips are planned keeping in mind the sporting calendar. India’s Test matches, other good Test contests, and the four Grand Slams are top priority, the rest are not that imperative.
The question in the headline is the only query needed according to the teachings of the south Indian silent saint Ramana Maharishi. In his 1944 classic The Razor’s Edge, author Somerset Maugham, who had met Ramana Maharishi sometime in the 1930s, used his impression to describe the saint that his novel’s central character Larry Darrell meets in south India. If asked in that sense, I don’t know Who Am I?