You’re well-placed or placed in a well?

BY VISHWAS HEATHCLIFF

Are you placed at right place?Showing me his handwriting, a friend’s cousin Raman once asked me which profession will suit him. I looked at the handwriting and told him that he should go for something that does not require a great deal of concentration and the need to focus.

“Hospitality industry or PR job will be good for you. What course are you pursuing, by the way?” I asked Raman.

“What I am planning to do in life is completely different from what you are saying: I am pursuing journalism. I want to be a journalist…”

“Are you sure? I mean… you have made up your mind already?” I said.

“Yea, after a lot of consideration I decided to be a journalist. My dad also wants me to be a journalist. In fact, the mission of my life is to be a journalist. I want to be on the desk and want to become an editor one day…”

“Good! All the best!” I told Raman.

Our conversation ended soon after that, but I was convinced he was not going to get into the right profession because he did not have the kind of intelligence (mind you, I’m talking about intelligence, not skills) which is required in a journalism.

Let’s look at his handwriting. It shows that Raman is a slow thinker and does not have the ability to investigate (shown by the round formation of m’s and n’s). To be an editor, one is required to sit for long hours trying to focus. But the big size of Raman’s handwriting shows he can’t sit for long and lacks concentration and the ability to focus. Writers like Raman leave their seats very often and most of their energy is wasted in talking about food, clothes, parties etc.

The prominent middle zone of Raman’s writing (absence of upper and lower extension) shows he won’t like to use his intelligence to work. He would rather spend time interacting with people (that’s why I said PR job or hospitality industry will be good for him) and talking about a host of things other than work.

But before you start thinking that Raman is a duffer, I must stop you. I’m not saying that he is good for nothing: what I’m pointing out is that he is probably unfit for the job he is planning to take up. Soon after getting the kind of job which requires monotonous repetition (such as desk job in journalism), writer like Raman will be bored and then they won’t feel like working. And then frustration will creep in. Slowly. He may realise sooner or later that journalism is not his cup of tea.

Raman wants to be a journalist because his father wants him to be one. And because he can’t think independently, he feels he must live up to his dad’s expectation. It really does not matter to him whether he will be able to do it or not. He just wants to win the approval of his father.

Now, I’m asking YOU: Is Raman doing the right thing?

Do post your comments on this and let me know your views.

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6 thoughts on “You’re well-placed or placed in a well?

  1. well….it depends…mayb its not his cup of tea but there’s no harm in tryin…even though u pointed out tht he may not b suitable 4 this profession u never know…he may jus end up lyking journalism….neway if he doesnt do well then he can always change his mind….and he will even b livin up 2 his father’s expectation and his fater will probably realise tht he’s expecting to much frm his son and let him select a career of his choice….

  2. Heylo!…I think he shud go wid wht Vishwas has suggested..as in d article he points out tht Raman is a slow thinkr ((which proves 2b a hindrance in d kinda job he (act’ly his father) wishes 2 gt in)).. n’ yeah such ppl do feel frustrated easily…
    ..so probably by th time he realises journalism is nt his cup of tea..it might b too late fr him!

  3. Going by or meeting father’s expectations is an age old culture, probably practiced by all Indians. There was a time when father’s profession also needed to be carried on for generations, which is not so rampant today, due to development of new work spheres.
    In my opinion, Raman is wrong in blindly trying to meet his father’s expectation. Raman should consult more people who can give him an insight on career choice. If he is bent upon Journalism, then probably you can suggest changes in his handwriting for him to pursue journalism, which will also keep his father happy.

  4. Intelligent journalists…Oh really?

    “Even though you are a journalist, you are intelligent,” a distant cousin remarked when I had helped her fix a puncture. Though I was sure it was a compliment (quite befitting of my talent), I couldn’t heock ovlp expressing my shock. My cousin wasn’t in the mood to explain and I didn’t want to pursue her.

    During my internship with Bombay Times, I had the priviledge (it was indeed an eye-opener), to meet students of the prestigious Lahore University Management Studies (LUMS). I struck a friendship with one of them, Sheikh Aslam – a tall, lanky guy with brown skin and light eyes. Sheikh was intelligent…and he aspired to be a journalist. He was the editor of the premier business schools in-house magazine – “it’s a much sought-after post”, he’d proudly declared. During the course of our conversation, I told him that I had studied life sciences before switching over to journalism. He said, “No wonder.” I asked, “What?” He stated, “You are too intelligent to be a journalist.” I was surprised he would make a comment like that. After all, I met him on a journalistic assignment. I asked him for an explanation. He simply said, “You are wasting your brains.”

    Over the course of my short journalistic career spanning three years, I’ve been repeatedly told that I’m too intelligent to be a journalist. I once asked my boss if I were a misfit in the media. He said, “Look at your stories. They’re really good. You must be doing something right.” Now, how’s that for encouragement.

    But why am I talking about all this right now? Because Vishwas Heathcliff, on his blog writechoice.wordpress.com, has said that you need intelligence for journalism. Probably Vishwas is caught in a time-warp. Or maybe he should just go on field to actually see for himself, how many intelligent journalists actually make the grade.

    I’ve had TV journos asking me full forms of IO (investigating officer, for the uninitiated), nearly four days after their routine court drills. Better late than never, huh? Then, there was one who couldn’t tell the difference between Kangana Ranaut and Shamita Shetty (how?). And though I have my sympathies for those convent-educated literature graduates who become sub-editors and can’t understand basic arithmetic such as percentages (that doesn’t stop us from using them any way), I am not as grateful to those who believe that 1,500 and 15,000 are equal. I actually had a senior sub-editor reason this one out!

    What I find unnerving is that there is more than just enough room for such intelligent journalists to thrive and even flourish. I may perish but they won’t, I am sure.

    So when Vishwas says, journalism requires intelligence and concentration, I simply don’t understand.

  5. Hi Vishwas,

    Another nice article.

    What about people who have learned to write only in middle zone (e.g. Gujarati/Hindi)?

    Take care
    Sneha

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    Blog Editor- SiliconIndia

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