"A hole!" I shuddered in a way that even Alice would not have, after having fallen into the rabbit hole. The better half muttered, "Happens". "Why me?" I uttered through the sudden white noise that had settled between my ears. The offending hole could be seen quite clearly on my almost decade-old pink kurta. Just a pink kurta, you say? Quite not. It was a kurta that I'd bought with my first salary at a mammoth media organisation. I was a mere minion, but so what? This piece of cotton-candy hues, masquerading under the garb of being part of the khadi family, saw me through some great times including my first kiss, my first media junket overseas, and also some tough times, including hanging around the Bachchan residence during the media melee surrounding Bachchan Jr's marriage to the beauty queen and to waiting for hours outside the sessions court waiting for trials to end. I wore that kurta when I felt my journalistic fervour was dying, a remedy to sort of restore faith in my work. Sigh! Cosmetic, you say? Well I say whatever works, right?
It was what connected me to the mad mad world of media that I had once been a part of. Imagine sitting outside the hospital waiting for bad news about a certain celebrity, only to relay it to the world. Or even lurking around the funeral grounds waiting for that elusive, reluctant yesteryears film star to comment on the death of a former rival/ friend. The kurta witnessed all of that. A sordid mess, do you miss it, you ask? Well I do, because amidst all the craziness there was a weird, almost inexplicable adrenaline rush, a feeling of doing something that could perhaps help inform people and actually be relevant to their lives. So this kurta is a remnant of that world, a world where I faced a grim bomb blast site that smelt of burnt flesh, a world where I met naked sadhus who spoke of philosophy with gay abandon, a world where, unknowingly, we the people from the fourth estate stood by each other and turned into self-appointed narcissistic experts on certain issues.
The kurta connected me to that world where I had ventured as a rookie; a naive person filled with ideas of how certain things worked and, in the end, learnt that they did not. After almost 10 years of serious wear and tear it represented one section of my life history, one that chronicled the evolution of a young ambitious girl from a small city trying to make her professional journey in a big city, to a woman who now sort of knew the drill but perhaps would rather stay in the sidelines and view things, albeit cynically. And that hole in my pink kurta somewhere threatens that link and severs the (rather flimsy?) link to my former weird but fun profession as a TV journalist.
Even as I emit yet another sigh, I reach for my phone and ask my friend for places where I can darn the tear. Perhaps the link can be restored. Perhaps the hole may not mean the end, after all.