A new innings opens
Indira Swaroop reading out one of her poems at her residence in New Delhi. Photo: R.V. Moorthy.
SHE SERVED as a public relations officer for 23 years but there was a time, when Indira Swaroop did not even know what does a `story' mean.
"Being the daughter of a lawyer from a village near Bundelkhand, I was not used to journalistic terms. So, when my husband, a journalist, finished a `story' in half an hour, I was shocked. After all, one needs time to think of the plot. When he found out what I was thinking, he had a hearty laugh and explained things to me," says Indira, Additional Director in the Madhya Pradesh Information Office in New Delhi till December 2003. "Once when I found my husband sitting at home for three days together soon after our wedding in Bhopal, I wrote to my father accusing him of giving me in marriage to a man who does not work. Fortunately, he found out the letter before it was posted," recalls the lady, laughing.
But the fate had it that she had to "chase journalists to publish stories" for years together.
"I came to Delhi in 1975 and joined the Madhya Pradesh Information Office as an Assistant Public Relations Officer," she says, remembering fondly those days when PR meant more than just professional relations. "So many people I used to meet those days have left their positions and yet we are in touch. Today, you cannot even think of it. Public relations today is too clinical," she says.
Serving eight chief ministers from the central state in her career, Indira says, "Surviving them was not so easy, specially when they belonged to different parties." The primary need, she adds, that a public relations officer has to have is the ability to generate trust in the one you are representing and also to those you are making your representation. "Being information officer for a state, you often tend to become political.
But your success lies in saving yourself from falling into that trap," Indira says.
Involved in writing short stories and poems in leisure time, this President of All India Lekhika Sangh for the third term running, has published many of them in Hindi dailies, magazines and also as part of books like "Pratichaya" and "Ant Swar" with preludes by well-known Hindi writer Kamaleshwar.
"The Dainik Bhaskar liked `Ant Swar' so much that they reproduced it in the paper," says this winner of the Rajendra Kumar Jansampark Award.
Being retired now, she is using her time to put on paper her thoughts as a woman, as a mother, as a resident of a concrete jungle called Delhi, not sure though if they would make it to the press.
SANGEETA BAROOAH PISHAROTY
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