One year on at The Express Tribune

Published: December 30, 2011

What followed was nothing short of a life-changing experience.

“It’s an alternate universe, we’re all vampires who work late into the night,” would be the first thing I’d hear from a would-be co-worker. The whimsical quip didn’t help much, so I made the plunge, not quite knowing what to expect.

Clichéd as it may sound, what followed was nothing short of a life-changing experience. Not in my wildest dream had I anticipated what one year at The Express Tribune could potentially offer. A little dazed, I learnt the ropes slowly yet surely and made some wonderful friends along the way.

Work is only part of the package. Perhaps what stands out the most is the smooth transition in terms of independence; driving my car and all the dents to prove it, tickets on the highway and my media card not helping. Blinding rainy days, overworked parents, the list goes on really.

A shift from the overprotected lifestyle of a stay-at-home freelancer to driving home as late as midnight or beyond, getting lost in this shoebox of a city, taming my dragons, exposure to the ‘real’ world, blending into the culture and finding my voice.

I remember working on my first story, eying Mukhtaran Mai and realising with mounting unease that I didn’t have the slightest clue on what to ask her. Or going up to an eminent literary figure and asking for his ‘designation’ only to be greeted by a friendly grin. So many firsts.

Above all, it’s been a humbling experience, where I learnt to take criticism in my stride, step out of the comfort zone and see things from an altogether different vantage point. Little did I know about the world of news or politics or anything remotely outside my limited bubble. But the cacophonous newsroom, the people, the crunching deadlines, the late nights, the moments of inspiration and discovery changed all that for the better.

All of this and so much more, has definitely changed me for the better. And I’d happily do it all over again.

Maryam.Usman

Maryam Usman

Maryam Usman is a freelance writer, sussing out stories from the capital.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Literati

    What a waste of spaceRecommend

  • Waris

    @Literati: I see you are an expert on space utilisation. Get a move on. It’s about the freedom of expression. If you have the liberty to call something a waste of space so do others have the right to state their opinion. Recommend

  • Godhpur

    @Literati: What a waste of a DNA you are!Recommend

  • http://facebook.com/sarimjamal twitter.com/sarimjamal

    haha troll comment^

    It’s awesome that you are working for a news agency. Not many of us, have the liberty to do that. Recommend

  • saima

    hadd ho gae.. a 5th grader could write betterRecommend

  • Parvez

    From reading this small article, I gather that you show humility, have the urge to learn and are not afraid to push forwards – all qualities that should take you far. Of course working in a good environment helps immensely. I liked the way you wrote this.Recommend