Friday, September 14, 2012

My Television Journey

When people ask me, how I ended up working for television, I tell them because I have always wanted to. I do not know what motivates people to join television today, for many fame could be one reason, for me in all honesty it was an extreme fascination to understand how television worked. My very first memory of television is watching Bengali tele-serials on a small black  and white television set. I did not understand a word but enjoyed the changing scenes, music and dancing texts on the screen.

I was just ten when I promised myself to work for TV one day. This ardent passion towards the electronic box is perhaps one reason why I did not limit myself to appearing just on screen rather got in the whole process of production, direction and editing. I started small 10 years back as a TV presenter working for Image Channel and later saw myself lead as an executive head. The journey has not been easy; I had to endure hardships to get to where I reached in Nepali media.

Being 17, a recent high school graduate with good results I was in constant pressure to study engineering. I headed completely opposite way of what was expected by stepping in for an interview for a Radio Jockey position in Image FM. When asked if I was willing to give an upcoming new television channel a try, there has been no looking back.

I went ahead and got myself admitted in social work instead engineering, because for one I wanted to give back to the society directly and two I thought it would allow spare time for work in TV. But boy was I wrong! Imagine working for television full time and then studying a subject that focused on practical field experience 'Social Work' that too in one of the finest and strict colleges, St. Xavier's. It required  work placement in reputed organizations such as Maiti Nepal, Family Planning Association of Nepal, Prison cells, rehabilitation centers etc. and on top of that a perfect attendance.

I had to juggle many things but mainly three i) my studies ii) work in TV and iii) work in a non-profit. I really do not know how I completed the three years because it all went so quickly. I used to get up early in the morning around 5 AM get ready to work, reach office around 6:30 AM for editing and then to school around 9 AM. Rush back from school around 2:30 PM finishing group work for a live show on TV and then settle in for editing till 9 PM. While other days of the week, I would work in Maiti Nepal then rush to office around 4:30 for a live show. In the weekends I used to shoot other TV programs and edit them while simultaneously working for my radio program.  I used to host and produce four TV shows and one FM show at that time. When I look back I wonder how I managed to study at all.
I remember, on the second year of college my grades went really down. Being the perfectionist that I am, I was very disappointed and so were my parents. I swore right then that it was just one year that I had to work really hard and that the next year I would graduate. Ultimately, in the last year of my school I surprised myself, my teachers and my classmates by getting a distinction. I also surprised my work colleagues because that year apparently according to a survey done by a private organization my program 'Got the Guts' was listed among the top fifteen famous TV shows in Nepal.

When I look back, I feel nothing but pride and I know it was all worth it. I did not study engineering like my parents wanted to but they couldn’t be prouder of me today. I have earned name, recognition and experience.

My fascination for television continues and I look for opportunities to communicate issues that concern me and matters that could motivate society towards change, towards development. And my fascination is now not just limited to this one medium but equally to other fascinating mass media, especially new media and mobile phones. Around 9.2 million (NTA, 2010) people in Nepal have access to mobile phones and its importance has increased with mobile internet. I truly believe that new technologies especially in a developing country like Nepal if utilized inventively can indeed bring about transformation and development.

1 comment:

  1. i was having the same problem about time management. this is certainly inspirational :)