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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I conquered my fears and insecurities.

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Coming bag and baggage to Indore in 1996 was quite a challenge!

Much to my chagrin, there were 2 kinds of women in Indore. One, who did not know driving and also did not work. And the other, who worked and also knew driving. At 38-39, I was neither a hard core professional nor someone who knew driving. The only redeeming feature being that I had cycled a lot as a lilliputian. My husband, (a man of few words as compared to me) had probably anticipated this. He made me practice driving his Kinetic Honda before we left Mumbai for good. He would scold and I would protest. That's how it was. And then after landing in Indore one fine morning on August 14 to be precise, my husband took me to a showroom and bought me a Sunny. But, that was not all. He then told me to drive it back home alone, as he was getting late for work. The showroom was roughly 5-6 km from home. Fortunately, I was on the other side of the traffic. It was a very important moment of my life. Had I wanted, I could have stopped my husband from going. But then, I would have never learnt driving. On an impulse, I accepted the great challenge. With prayer on my lips, I rode all the way home.I remember filling petrol too. YES! I learnt driving that day. I proudly showed the keys of my 'Sunny' to the kids when they returned from school that day. They were so mighty impressed. It's really sad that in the year 2000, my Sunny got stolen and I perforce purchased a scooty. The memories of my copper sulphate MP09-621 however remain till today.

I soon joined an ad agency as a senior copywriter. A bigger shock awaited me there. The people of M.P., particularly Indore, spoke chaste Hindi. For instance, while I preferred saying"Yeh zara mushkil hai", I found the localites saying"Thodi asuvidha ho rahi Hai". But that's not all. Here we had a lot of press releases to write which I had never written in Mumbai. Thus, the very second day, I was told to write a press release for Maheshwar Dam. For those who don't know, there is a fundamental difference between writing an ad and writing a press release. One is a hard core marketing where we use words of the target audience to sell a product, service or idea. The other is mere reporting of facts in the plainest of plain words. My shortcoming was well- noticed by the Directors and the 'so called rivals' at work who lost no opportunity in using it against me. Naturally, I payed heavily for this drawback. But, there was something that stopped me from calling it quits. Soon I found myself reading Hindi newspapers ardently and learning the jargon so commonly used in press releases. It was certainly a matter of great delight when I found my press releases appearing without a single change.

The reason for writing all this is that today a 'difficult piece of work' is especially saved for me in the agency.I too enjoy doing it. Thus from "being a no good, I am being looked upon as a Press Release expert!" I have come a long way indeed. Nothing succeeds like hardwork, I guess! And that's the bottom line.