I hate being confined to a chair. I love walking down the narrow by-lanes of the inner-city area in Mumbai, only to discover places and people that most people don't know about. Newsdesk would mean fewer bylines, tighter deadlines, late-night shifts and editing badly-written or even incomplete copies. Newsdesk would mean that I would have to work weekends (even Sundays are full-working days) and would have to take my weekly offs on any other day of the week (it turns out to be Monday).
But I also realised that I would get a chance to learn something new. My knowledge of Quark Xpress (the key publishing software) is rather limited. I never had to design a page from scratch at the supplements desk simply because designers would do that. Sub-editors on the newsdesk are expected to design the newspaper's pages. Now that I am learning how to use Quark, I understand how difficult it is to design a page that looks good. I also have to work on my headlines as they tend to be very features-like. There's a lot I have to learn and there's a lot I have learned in my very first week. I quite enjoy the desk experience. I enjoy keeping tabs on what's happening around the world by looking up the agency tickers every few minutes. I get to edit different kinds of stories. One minute I'm editing a story on the Budget, the next minute I get to edit a BMC story.
Yes, I did get withdrawal symptoms initially when I couldn't just go out to check that exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery that I would have written on. But then, that didn't last long. The good thing about a hectic job is that you don't have the time to whine about everything you cannot do. I like that. I enjoy working again. And I enjoy the learning experience even more.
As for writing...I'll start as soon as I can manage desk-functions well. Till then, there's always the blog.