Saturday, February 19, 2005

Opening doors

Little more than a year ago, as I sat at home without a job, one of the things that occoured to me was that I didn't want to work in advertising anymore, but wanted to do something meaningful; change the world in some way. The processes of advertising were more different than I had imagined - no, I had never imagined advertising could be anything other than the wonderfully creative profession I thought it would be as I churned out headline after headline in college. Then suddenly, a few years after working, things changed. Somewhere, a mental key turned and opened a door to a larger world.

Lately, another door has opened. It happened sometime during the week, as I spoke with one person after another within the cricket board and reached nowhere with my questions about scandals within the organisation. (I'm writing a story that is due in two days.) Each member remained quiet, offering a philosophical 'it is one big family and we'll solve our problems in the end' answer to hard questions. Questions about favouritism, warring factions, huge sums of personal money involved in transactions, all went unanswered. The exercise was relentless in its despair. People refused to pick up phones, asked me to fly to far-off places to meet them, said it was best to let bygones be bygones. What to do but wonder where your next break will come from? Who has the key to the door you need opened?

Then, in the course of a conversation with a member of the board, his response to a question suggested that harder questions needed to be asked. The question I can't repeat, but the answer was, "Are you recording this?" It was hesitant. That's all you need on some days for hope. A stutter here, a pause there. They can be all the information you need to carry on.

Heh. I only hope the next two days bring information in ways other than stutters and pauses. These things are good for hope, but they don't help you write a 1500-word story.

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