Since returning to Bombay much of my time has been taken up with searching for a job. Part of the reason I wanted to come and live here for a while was to work as a journalist in a region where there's actually stuff happening. Not that Melbourne isn't a hotbed of activity, but there's only so much AFL one can avoid in a career. We opted to chuck in our jobs at home and go travelling, rather than line something up before we arrived; mainly so we wouldn't feel hemmed in, but also so we'd have more of an informed choice of what direction we'd go in. Back in Australia I was looking forward to getting a toehold into the local media here, but after a few weeks of watching India's many 24-hour news channels, I've decided it's probably not for me. In any case, the salaries are reportedly dire: in the region of $A100 per week, as I was told the other day.
But as I've quickly found out, the midst of a credit crunch-driven downturn that has significantly affected India is probably NOT the best time to be looking for a job in the media. "Didn't you think of that when you came?" asked the guy I met today to sound out about a gig at a to-be-launched TV channel. Yes I did, mate, but I made the decision to leave months ago when the credit crisis was limited to McMansion owners in Tennessee.
So today, another friendly chat, no bites, "but if you'd been here a few months ago when they were hiring you would have had no trouble". Jason, too, had a chat at a newly-launched magazine in town but got exactly the same response. So we are both throwing a little pity party tonight.
I may have shed a few tears in the cab on the way home, much to the dismay of my Sai Baba worshipping driver. But I dealt with the sadness in the only way I know how: retail therapy and ice cream. And now I have a PLAN. If this media in India thing doesn't work out, I can happily ride out the downturn for the rest of the year by doing something else. Like be a tour guide. Or something. Or maybe I'll try to eke out a freelance existence. Or maybe I'll stop stressing about finding work when I've been looking seriously for exactly four days.