A Joyful Experience

...from Hooghly to Hyderabad and beyond.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The First Year

I came to this country on 13th august 2008. So this post was supposed to be kind of an anniversary post. However, the last few weeks have been really hectic with my Ph.D. work and a summer job on the weekdays and travelling on the weekends. At the moment I am really really sleepy and must go to bed soon, but still I'll write in short about my summer job because it is kind of a dream come true for me.

Everything started a year ago when I took this photo from my college hostel roof. It shows a part of the school with the Newark skyline. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this photo was then selected by our president as his holiday greeting card. That was the end of the story, or so I thought, until one day in the middle of June. I am a member of a walking club in the school and we walk twice a week for half an hour. The club has some high-ranked officials from various departments of the university as members, and two such people were talking about publicity photos as we walked.

Now, as you may be aware, I can't help a bit of bragging when I get the chance, and I saw my chance here. I proudly told them that a photo taken by me was selected for the president's card last winter. The lady stared at me for sometime and said, "Oh, it was you then? What's your name again?"

I hardly expected them to even remember the card, let alone my name which was printed on the card. How many of us remember the photographer's name (assuming it is given) six months after we see a card? But I was lucky - the lady was the executive director of the University Communications department, the people who print the president's holiday card, among other things. So she was one of the people who chose the photo for the card and remembered it vividly.

"Have you ever considered working for us?" she asked. I wasn't surprised, because this was not the first time someone was asking me a similar question - basically why I wasn't a professional photographer - and I had my answer ready. "No, because I don't have a DSLR camera."

"But we do have one," she said. "You mail me your photos and apply for the job. In case you pass the interview, you can use the brand new DSLR that we have. We bought it just for such a situation."

This was totally unexpected. Getting paid for doing what I love doing most, and then also getting to use a DSLR camera - this was too god to be true. But it was true, and I finally cleared the interview. I have been taking photos and doing other related work for the last month and a half, and I'm loving it. Although I am not in a position to decide whether my photography has improved, I can no longer call myself "strictly an amateur." The job is only till the end of August though - after that I will go back to my teaching assistantship and being an amateur photographer as I am not allowed to work more than 20 hours per week in the US.

But being in this job also means I have to sit in an office whole day and go to work at odd hours on some days, because of which I am perpetually sleepy and short of time. That is why I must end this post right here. The first year in the US went by quicker than I expected. I hope the other years will be at least as quick as this one in passing by.


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