Battle of perception

A lot of people around me suggest that I should care less about what others think about me. I am told that people who don’t bother about what the world says about them are the most successful. Unperturbed, highly motivated and determined. All these attributes help you achieve a perfect life. All my life I have tried to be this person though yet to reach the perfection.

Now that I am approaching the age of 30, I can say that I don’t get bothered with the criticism and even confrontation if necessary. In fact, more people criticize me and my work, better I become. But there’s one thing, one battle I haven’t won yet. It’s the perception about me. And after having spent more than a decade just to change their perception that ‘hey I am good enough if not better than you (in work)’, I still get the feeling people giving me the vibe of me being inferior to them.

“Hey, he is Kul Bhushan. He uploads our copies,” a colleague introduced me by saying this. Honestly speaking, I almost cried inside. By that time I had earned ‘Sub Editor’ designation after having worked for almost four-five years. That designation meant a lot to me and still I value the editorial positions over the money I am thrown at. Surprisingly, I was writing news stories by then and yet colleagues reduced my value by a guy who uploads their copy. I wish I could tell him that before uploading your copies, I edit them and if necessary I ask you to make changes. That ‘uploader’ tag haunted me forever. I was offended but I could do nothing about it because no matter how good I am they have already judged me.

Then came the next big challenge. Looking for a new job. To build something on the basis of what I had learned and observed in the field I had come in. Guess what, no publication was looking to hire a journalist. No one rated me for how good was I in understanding the journalism. No one even bothered asked me anything relevant. Most of the times I was rejected because I hadn’t written a review of a smartphone. No one cared if I could write good analytical stories and even write reviews if asked. It was not the battle of merit but the battle of perception, I think at this moment. Hope I am proven wrong in a longer term.

I can easily sense the superiority complex when people have. During my early days in the field of technology media I could not relate to a lot of things people around me used to talk about. Growing up I never watched English movies, never knew about the frenzy around Star Wars or any English stuff of the time. And guess what, all these mattered. I never regret my childhood, it was awesome, even if it was spent in smaller towns like Patna and Ranchi. I have seen the real India, and I am the real deal.

And even in metro city like Delhi, my student phase went in investing in reading about politics and all the journalism-related books. And my early career was spent with old-school journalists who will talk about the news that would matter to real people. Never really got the company where I could learn all the urban stuff organically.

Now when I look back at all these years, I feel there are people who are going to judge you by your looks and your background. No matter how urban and cool they seem, they just look down upon you. And there’s no way you can fix it. You will never be part of their hip conversation. You will never earn their respect or even credit that you have done something out of your life. I am yet to complete my rags to riches story, but thought it would a good time speak my heart out. Don’t mind.