"I've had a career as a journalist for many years before I decided to move into Public Relations. As a journalist there have been many things I've seen and covered, but I think the stories that have mattered to me the most were the ones where as a result of my reporting a difference was made.
One such story was in 2005 or 2006 when Surat was practically underwater because of floods for close to 5 days. I went from Mumbai to Surat and believe me, it was even difficult to enter the city. We went to a particular area where nobody had reached for 4 days - no media, no help, no relief...it was that bad! I went to this area along with the first group of army officials who were part of the rescue team. One of them even said that 'because you're coming, we can't take more relief material' but I was hellbent on going because I knew that it was only through a story that more help would come from the world.
It was devastating...people were starving without water and these are not poor people- they were upper class people who were completely stranded. We distributed our materials, but as we were returning I heard a woman shouting 'help my child she is burning with fever'. She was passed to us from the 4th floor through the water, and when I picked her up she was completely burning up. As soon as I picked her up, there was this one moment where everyone on the streets began to clap -- not only because help was coming, but because a child's life was being saved. I think every journalist goes through a little bit of a dilemma where we don't know whether to cover a story or to be a part of it...but in this case I did both. I covered her story so that people knew that there were many such other children who also needed help, and I also took her to the doctor to ensure she was okay. That day was when the debate ended for me -- you don't need to always be on the sidelines, you can cover the story but still help.
Another incident which has stayed with me, is the night of 26/11 where I believe it was a situation where a journalist won, but a daughter lost. It was my cousins wedding in Patna, and because my dad couldn't travel by flight because of health reasons-- I was at CST to drop my parents off. I dropped them and I went to Sterling to have coffee, when I got a call from my mother saying that people were firing gun shots and I could hear it in the background. I reached CST and saw a sea of people coming out and at this point I was still talking to my mother on the phone. He was sitting at the outstation terminal near the trains with my uncle, but my mother couldn't get through to him. So I tried his number once and couldn't get through, but the second call I made was to my output desk...because of the journalist within me. In between I kept trying my dad, but I was constantly on the line with my office giving them the news. So the situation was such that while my parents were inside the CST during the shootout, their daughter was reporting the incident live, outside the station.
Finally I did get through to my dad and my uncle told me they were safe as well. I walked into CST after the firing stopped, shot and reported the story. I was really worried about my family, but the moment I knew they were safe I did not go to drop them somewhere -- I was reporting. So I think that was a night of conflict for me, but by God's grace my family was safe and my reporting helped get the story of 26/11 live to people as well."