Dressed in a tattered old dress, the old woman looks hungrily at a bunch of college students laughing over freshly bought peanut butter ice-cream. A kid, no older than 12, sits a few feet away, making music with a couple of rusted pots and pans. On the next street, a spot on the sidewalk is claimed only by a broken pram and a dusty stuffed animal. A few blocks away, two dogs snuggle next to their owner, as they all retire for another very long night.
Mapping the cityscape, that’s what I do. New York, Bucharest, Beijing, New Delhi.
Distinct smells peculiar to local spices and homegrown emotions, cutting across cultures to tell a story that would be the same in essentials but very different when punctuated by details that are created only by a distance of several oceans and deserts.
Journalism has rightly been called the first draft of history. This is art; a record of human tragedy and accomplishment, of our poor joys and rich sorrows, of atom bombs and holocausts and Carmina Buranas and Romeos dead in the service of a hundred different Julliets.
I am a journalist and I am proud of being a stenographer for the changing world of this century.