‘Barkha Dutt? Who’s that?’

Posted: June 12, 2012 in Education, Media
Tags: ,

I just finished four days of GDPIs at a well-known media school and it was an eye-opener – some of the moments for their sheer inanity, others for their intelligence and yet others for their brazenness and refreshing honesty.

I’ve been a part of the panel for the past couple of years and each year some of the kids I meet reinforce my faith in the profession while others make me wonder why they even bother to show up.

Out of the thousands who apply to such institutes only a hundred plus actually make it. It’s only those who seem really interested and passionate about the profession they intend to embark upon who make that impression – at least on me. I am okay with thinking out of the box.

I love it actually when a candidate says “I can sing well, can I sing you a song?” or “I do the Bharat Natyam, would you like me to show you?”. It shows that work is not all they care about. Last year one of the kids walked in with his guitar and played and sang for the faculty! Today he’s playing at the city’s hot spots making money on the side while he goes through his classes during the day.

These are the kids who leave a lasting impression. Every year there are those special ones who make you sit up for their sheer talent, honesty or audacity. This year too there were a few.

Some kids stood out for all the right reasons from the 50-odd students we encountered in the four days I was there.

The first was an 18-year-old from Jaipur, who walked in, supremely confident about her abilities and her talent. She placed her portfolio on the desk in front of us and showed us what she had written for some of the national newspapers. With a journalist mother, writing was obviously in her genes. But she was firm – NO print for her, even though she had the talent. She was more interested in broadcast and was even more determined to make a success of it.

Whether she gets in or not will depend on how she fares in everything else the college had lined up for her. But, wherever she goes she’s sure to make a success of her career – if she follows her heart.

The other was a young lady with a passion for photography. Here was a talent that made my colleague and I sit up. Still only 18, her pictures were amazing. She was focused. She was firm that she would study all the subjects but at the end of the day, all she ever wanted to do was photography. A lot of the kids who came in, said that as well, but it’s the way this girl put it across that was different and refreshing.

Then there was this young man who chucked up an academic career at Delhi’s most prestigious college and wanted to enter the world of media because he loved writing and music – and as he said, “Didn’t know what the hell was going in Economics class, and couldn’t take it anymore. And it wasn’t because of the girls here, there were plenty of those where I come from.”

These are the kids, you hope, who will make it someday in their profession.

Another good looking young man stood out for all the wrong reasons. He walked in today, smug in the belief that his looks and charm would win the day, even if his dismal academic record didn’t. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way always. I asked him if he knew who Rajdeep Sardesai or Barkha Dutt were and he looked completely zapped — “Nope.” I stood up and shook hands with him for his sheer audacity and honesty!

And I am okay with that too, because as a friend commented on my Facebook page, not even adults know who these media personalities are. But when the guy believes his father’s loaded and he isn’t too keen on doing anything except “making out” with the girls and generally splurging on his father’s wealth, it rubs me the wrong way.

I just think that an average kid who comes in through a student loan deserves a chance rather than some rich spoilt brat with spiked hair and low waist trousers, even if he is refreshingly honest. Even if he or she doesn’t know who Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai are.

  1. Manoj Bandivadekar says:

    I thought at the end of the article you might enlighten me as to who is Barkha Dutt and Rajdeep Sardesai. I guess I need to waste my time googling them, is it worth my efforts….. guess not.

  2. Vrinda says:

    Would love to be a fly on the wall during one of your interviews! With the electronic media having glamourised Mass Comm, spiked hair and heeled shoes will be part of your lot…May the refreshing liril taazgi continue 🙂

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