From then to now: My timeline

Let’s cut right to the chase. I am a reporter who is always on the move – documenting the best of times and the worst of times – in a relative sense. If you chart my travels on a map, you will find some of the hotspots that held the nation’s attention on headlines and television screens, traced out neatly on a graph. I prefer to bear witness to the events I write about. If the world loses its digital database, I have my memories to affirm that what I sought in those eventful corners of the country was part of a truth. At least, until my memory serves me.

After switching to studying journalism once my undergraduate degree in commerce from the University of Lucknow was completed, I knew nothing was holding me back. As soon as the educational end was taken care of (this field is more about fieldwork anyway), I stepped into the big bad world of Indian journalism as a sub-editor at United News of India, where I worked for a bit longer than a year starting in January 2015.

November ’23: Covering the rescue of the workers trapped in the Silkyara Bend–Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand, India

During this time, I understood my passions lay in long-form and investigative journalism, and my interests hovered over beats like human rights violations, gender issues, crime, climate change, and Indian politics. And so it began, what has come to be now, the career of a wayfaring newsman.

Eventually, I found myself working for Newstrack, where I further honed my specific set of skills. In this period, I extensively covered the Bundelkhand water crisis. People in the industry soon took notice, and I completed my transition to being a full-time freelance journalist, which is what I am right now.

Life took off, and so did my career. After having a fairly eventful stint as a freelance journalist, I was approached by 101 reporters for the role of editor, which I accepted. Outside of my editorial responsibilities, I was also tasked to create and maintain a network of fellow South Asian (India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka) freelance journalists. Today, I’m proud to say our humble effort has grown into a thriving network of over 3,000 reporters.

While I was busy with my work with 101 reporters and other publications, I started working with Reuters in 2019 on a contractual basis covering topics from crime, and politics to human rights violations. The Reuters gig came at the heels of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which I covered extensively with the rest of the team. Outside of these national publications, I have also worked for various international news outlets like Al Jazeera and The Times (UK).

So what’s next? I am still on the lookout – on the hunt for stories – deep diving into the many locales of India. Sometimes there’s a story; sometimes there isn’t. But the prowl goes on as the evening sun sets in the west, and I prepare for its rise again.

Thank you for reading