Down with flu, but cannot skip work. Things have come to such a pass that to even think about taking a day off is made to seem like dereliction of duty. The only reason I allow my seniors to enforce their will is due to the fact that I enjoy the bustle of the Newsroom; to say I am sort of addicted to the buzz would not be incorrect.

Anyway, I was accusing a junior colleague of being the fountainhead of this outbreak, which has already felled four of my prime copy editors. I have been clear that a person down with flu should take the day off. There are other avenues to show one’s professionalism rather than turning up for work with a running nose and phlegm-infested chest. I am of the humble opinion that the debilitating cold is made common by people affected by it generously serving the virus load to their hapless and unwitting colleagues. Then comes the internal query: What am I doing at work with the same running nose and phlegm-infested chest? Talk about dichotomy.

Elections mean busy time at the office. Not that it’s breathe easy other times, but when elections come, people are into an overdrive. Even the minute developments have the potential of snowballing into major electoral points and one needs to be careful while handling such articles. Temper flare-ups are common, so are skirmishes between the reporters and the desk. Quarrels are picked up over small offence, and such mindless and pointless arguments end up straining relationships. This is where the virtue of a calm head is highlighted. A person who understands his job and respects others’ often finds an amicable solution to soothe frayed nerves and allays insecurities, if any.

I have come across instances when reporters took offence to certain angle introduced by the desk. Not that the write-ups were inaccurate or mistake-laden, but the tack was not to the taste of the original writer. In my earlier days, when I was accused of being headstrong, I would invariably try to teach the accuser. This was a very wrong approach I soon learnt. Now, I realize that the best fights are those that are never fought. Once you defuse tension through carefully crafted arguments, not to offend but to put forth a view point, they go a long way in solving issues of both the parties. I have formed an opinion that most people pick up fights only to feel good. Most of us go through our lives without realizing that our sticking to the routine makes today seem exactly like yesterday, and such a progression would ensure that tomorrow would be none too different.

For us, building reputation or making a name is the sole driving agent. However, the zest for such an achievement is compromised in the daily grind for bread and butter. Just like my earlier talk about how the lack of self-respect and self-worth affect our inter-personal skills, here too people take offence at the slightest provocation as they feel that they deserve better and more. When their abilities are challenged by others, who introduce a new concept or an angle, they take offence as their entire life is pegged on what they bring to the table.

Watched a movie the other night: Manikarnika. An awful piece of crass cinematic pseudo craft masquerading as art. Heard that it was a huge money-spinner. No wonder. With the number of people with disposable income on the rise, it is only natural that hordes with nothing better to do would throng cinema halls and spend their hard-earned money for such a mediocre fare. Apart from being unapologetically jingoistic, it reeked of an abominable agenda to rewrite history. More on that later.