The month of May meant that the exam season was in full swing in Delhi University thus beckoning me to go out all guns blazing in a bid to neutralize the lack of effort on my part in the first 3 semesters of my graduation and amend the stature of my CGPA which was hovering around the measly mark of 6 until now. However, while scoring well in the exams was a priority, a bigger priority was to secure a meaningful internship for the 2 months of summer break which were in the offing since binge watching my favorite TV shows somehow wasn’t as alluring as it was a year back. (That’s how summer of 2021 was spent!)
Thus, the search began with the regular mail from Internshala listing “15 internships matching your profile” being awaited with full fervor but alas, my search for an internship that could somehow transcend the boundaries between creative and content writing was going nowhere. The last exam was just a few days away and I was resigning to my presaged fate that perhaps, I would have to wait longer for an internship that could help me achieve the fruition of my writing ambitions. That was until I saw a magazine being listed in the mail containing internship recommendations. The brand was unheard of but the fact that it described itself as a magazine devoted to reportage on the sport of Polo seemed very novel to me as a concept. Curiosity was immediate and compelled me to apply and so I did. I got through the screening process which consisted of a write-up and an interview and the internship began.
My initial days at the office were spent reading books such as ‘The Evolution of Polo’ to ensure that I get acquainted with the sport and the charm it carried with it along with the last issue of THE magazine so that I get a gist of the kind of stories that are curated for the magazine.
Soon enough, I was charged with my first writing assignment for the autumn issue of the magazine. The fact that I was seated along with the other interns meant that there was never a dull moment in the office. The permanent employees were willing to help in any way they could, thus forging an amicable relationship with all the interns. My writing assignments were singled out as feature stories for the magazine which meant that I was learning to distinguish between the process of writing articles and the process of writing feature stories for a magazine which meant that exhaustive research and interviews were a must along with submission of several drafts before one could arrive at the final copy that would be ready for print.
The feature stories needed to be supplemented with inputs from people who had played polo professionally. Hence, several interviews were arranged with some veterans of the sport from the army since some of India’s finest polo players have been from the Indian Army. The army professionals had plenty of stories to recount as they reminisced the glories of a bygone era whilst chugging down several pints of beer. My one month at my internship was drawing to a close and restlessness started to creep in for now, I detested inactivity and feared the prospect of being slothful for the remainder of my vacations and hence, I got my internship extended for another 15 days. The days began with incorporating the editorial inputs from my supervisors into my feature stories while lunch breaks were spent exploring the by-lanes of Shahpur Jat near Hauz Khas with the many cafes dotting the sidewalk.
Moving away from my comfort zone, reversing my sluggish attitude and getting acquainted with a sport that is in fact, indigenous to India were some of the biggest takeaways from my first internship. The stipend was then just complimentary!
– Harshit, Editorial