Skip to main content

Minutes Of A Meeting

When it comes to meetings, my office takes the cake. We have one every two hours these days. But Friday meetings is the mother of all meetings. We have a long video conference with the Bombay team and the South bureau joins us on the phone. Thats when stories ideas are thrashed out and brain stormed. These days, a new word is introduced: deadlines. Pretty hi-tech too, with the deskhead sitting on his laptop and keying in the dates promised. So, unlike the past when reporters sit on stories for months, now they have to deliver on time. Good in a way, helps us build a bank of stories and close the issue on time. The good part: everybody is doing their best to respect deadlines.

Under deadlines, sample this:
"Your story on xxxx was due two weeks ago. When can we have it?"
"Give me time till Tuesday. I haven't figured out what to work on".
"But we have a deadline for submisions."
"Monday I have my first meeting, and then I will tell you".
"OK cool. Keep me posted."

There are the overly enthusiastic ones who come up with ideas after ideas. Of course, what they ultimately deliver is quite far removed from what is spelt out. Some are laconic, but they know their stuff and then there are those who come up with,"I have nothing this week". In this case, no news is not good news.

I swear, it's not easy to be a writer, not easy being green! My young colleague was telling me, in sheer frustration, how he feels so under-read during these meetings and how he has no time to read the papers in the morning as he has to practically travel two hours to get to work. Such a stressful thing in Delhi's hot summers. The buses are so packed that the time that could ideally be spent reading while commuting -- the way people do abroad -- is actually spent otherwise, jostling for space. I have the luxury of travelling just 20 mins to work on a typical day. But relax, I told him. I read mostly page three and come to work. And I do all my thinking and reading in the loo when I get back home :).

My friend Visakha in the office, am sure, has vowed not to sit next to me in the next edit meeting. She was, of course, so vocal today about her stories that I thought the best thing to keep her quiet was to distract her. I told her I discoverd a humpty dumpty in the team, and then asked if my rings were shining enough."I refuse to answer that one", she scratched on a piece of paper. Actually, I was trying to keep the tempo in sync with the boss's line: keep meetings short. The rest can be discussed offline -- something I am totally in agreement with. Short meetings motivate, long meetings tire my little brain. Goodnite!


Jayant said…
Seriously, something HAS to be done about the length of these meetings. They just seem to be getting longer and longer every week.
And I agree with Pierre, I feel like an ignorant fool sitting there in that conference room in the company of people like L, Anup, Y et al. Doesn't do much to boost my morale. :(
Anonymous said…
dont worry abt not wanting to sit with u i dont mind at all. i really hope that i dont have to be vocal abt my stories but it does not work here otherwise i realised... :)But tks for providing pleasant distraction.... the meetings are such a drag :)
Unknown said…
Yes, i agree meetings are at drag times. But if you don't understand a topic, read up on it. At least J and P should surely do it and not complain. Do not underestimate your potential. In fact, these days, one can surely expect some sort of write up when it comes to the topics discussed in the meetings. Topics discussed in meetings a year ago seemed more like as if people wanted to show off their knowledge. And most stories did not turn up. Indie will agree I am sure...

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…