This was a story I told my kids a few days ago about a very good friend of mine, who is a journalist, a photographer, an AIR news reader, an activist, a volunteer, an author and an individual who is as tough as a coconut shell and as soft as a kid. In the series of everyday heroes, she was the hero I introduced my kids to.
Me: Do you know who a journalist is?
D&S (Daughter & Son): No, we don’t
Me: Ok, when you see the newspapers or the tv news channels, the person who brings the news to us, is the journalist. They are the people who travel deep into the villages, into the cities and bring their stories to us in a way that will make us understand them better
S: So does she travel alone? How does she travel? Does she walk?
Me: Well, she travels by the bus, the train, the car and even walks because she travels to places where the cars can’t even go.
D: What kind of stories does she write?
Me: She writes about anything and everything. She writes about movies (My son interrupts me immediately)
S: Did she write about Bahubali?
Me: Not yet, but may be she will. So she writes about movies, about kids, about mothers, about road trips, buildings, trees etc. Oh, and she also did do a great campaign to protect trees in a park near her house.
D: What happened?
Me: Imagine the trees in the park near our house were to be cut down, how would the park look like?
S: Not good, that’s bad
Me: Exactly. So she fought the people who were trying to cut the trees and she even dragged them to the court and stopped them from cutting down the trees.
D: How did you know her?
Me: Ah, thats a funny story. I met her on the internet. I read a story that she wrote about a village (http://www.indiatogether.org/medepally-health) and it was so well written, that I wanted to know more about the village and wanted to even visit it. Luckily the article had the name of the author and that’s how I got in touch and its almost 10 years now since I’ve known her.
S: That was not a funny story (Everyone laughed 🙂
Me: And she is also a news reader on radio.
D: What do you mean?
Me: Remember how I listen to the news in the car on the radio, well she reads on the radio in India. I once went to the radio station and saw her read the news. She was brilliant. She had just 5 minutes to prepare and be ready and when she read, it felt as if she had prepared for at least 30 minutes or more.
D: Daddy, didn’t she also write the foreword for our book?
Me: Exactly. She wrote many books as well and many books which had beautiful pictures. You know there is one thing that she always carrys with her.
D: A book and a pen
Me: Good answer
S: A suitcase
Me: One more good answer. She also carrys a camera with her. And she talks pictures with of people in their natural self i.e. she doesn’t tell she is taking pictures
D: Why not?
Me: Because people get conscious. She takes the pictures without telling them and captures their true emotions – their big smiles, their cheerfulness, their brightness. She then puts all these pictures together along with beautiful words to describe them.
So Usha is a journalist, the radio news reader, the photographer, the volunteer, the author.
S: So she is like a leader of all the good people
Me: Exactly Sonu, you said it very nicely. She is indeed the “Leader of the good people” and lets wish her to keep writing, keep clicking, keep reading and keep bringing beautiful stories.
Have a goodnight.