In Quest of Finding Special In The Simple
Everyone has a story of their lives- not necessarily their struggles but their life since childhood till now! And we might learn from other’s experience as well.
But are we interested in listening up to everyone’s story?
We might love to here the story being told by top influencers like Tony Robbins, Gary Vee, etc. and the struggling days of various eminent personalities like Barack Obama, Narendra Modi, etc. but its not like only they’ve their share of ups and downs.
Everyone has faced different challenges in their lives, have overcome various obstacles and have struggled a lot to reach the position where they are at present.
So, I thought why not talk to people randomly and get to know about them.
Wondering where to start from and how to go about it, I have decided to interview my connections (only if they permit me to!) from LinkedIn and get to know more about them and share with the world.
This also has an added bonus attached to it- And what’s that?
This will be an opportunity to connect with my connections in real sense. And I feel that in today’s world, its really very important, and difficult too, to have a real human connection with people.
So, with this thought process, I approached Mr. AJ (name abbreviated on request) who is an Assistant State Tax Officer in the GST Department.
So let’s get started!
Neha: Hi AJ! So tell us a bit about yourself!
AJ: Well, like you said earlier, I am an Assistant State Tax Officer in the GST Department at present. And I am associated with all the activities of verification and checks required to be carried out as per the GST Act and Rules. So, at times, I am doing documentation, verification and stuff and then at other times, I am on inspection.
Neha: Great! So, you cover a diverse range of activities here and how long have you been associated with this department?
AJ: Yes, I have been dealing with diverse cases each day and its quite interesting at times as well. For how long, well, I started my career in this department since 2005 and at that time, it was known as the Commercial Taxes Department. So it has been almost 14 years since i have been dealing with the Taxes Laws etc.
Neha: Awesome! So, looking at the tenure of your service, would it be correct to assume that you were inclined towards learning tax laws since the very start and have gained the relevant qualifications as well?
AJ: No, not really! Actually, I am not from commerce background. I was always interested in writing. So, I pursued BA in English Language and Literature. And then I did a Diploma in Journalism and Communication as well.
Neha: You like to write. So, was this the only reason you did journalism after BA or do you ever feel that it was easy since both BA and Journalism are related somehow?
AJ: No, surely not! BA is about English Language and Literature. But Journalism is all about news reporting, editing etc. Both are totally different. I had a passion to write and I used to write in Malayalam as well, though not poems or stories or personal anecdotes, etc. During my days in diploma course, I got an opportunity to learn from various working journalists, other experienced journalists and language specialists. The classes were fantastic. And I got to learn about reporting, sub-editing, communication, translation, history, law, computer, visual media and so on. In fact, that year, I also got a special award for the top scorer in English and Malayalam language exams.
Neha: Wow, that’s really interesting! And how you started your career? Have you directly joined the department or have you done any other job before that?
AJ: No, I didn’t joined the Department directly. Actually after my 10th, I passed Typewriting Lower exam. And then after 12th, I completed a certificate course in DTP-Desktop Publishing. There, I got a chance to learn Pagemaker and Photoshop in parts.
English literature was something I always loved studying. I never liked Maths. But I was so much fond of English and other literary classes. So, I decided to opt for English Literature. Though there were options to do B.Com, Economics or other subjects too, even BSc. But I opted BA.
During my graduation days, I did a part- time job in the field of Desktop Publishing. That was how I actually started my career. That really gave me a good command over the keyboard. I started doing the layouts of the books, advertisements etc. Thereafter, I learned typing in Malayalam keyboard as well. All these had helped me when I started my Journalism Career. I have designed newspaper front pages and back pages too. After completing journalism, I started translations as well. News from various foreign agencies received via internet and fax were the first few things I had translated. Also, I used to report news, worked as sub editor and typed in my story when all others were writing in papers. I even designed pages myself in pagemaker.
Neha: So, you joined journalism immediately after completion of BA?
AJ: No, not at all! Immediately after completion of my BA in Language and Literature, I got an offer for teaching job from Khalilabad in U.P. and I accepted it. So, right after BA, I worked as an English Teacher in Uttar Pradesh for one year. Well, it was a fantastic experience. I was the class teacher of class 4th and taught English to students of 8th class of ICSE Board.
Neha: That’s really amazing. So, you mentioned that you were in U.P. for a year. But what you did after that?
AJ: Well, I loved the job there but I also wanted to continue my studies and family wanted me back home too. So, I came back and gave the entrance for Journalism. And I was ranked 7th in the entrance. It was a one year course and I cleared the final exam of the course while securing 3rd position.
Neha: So, what you want to do now? Anything in your to-do-list?
AJ: Well, of course yes! I am looking for an opportunity to learn coding and want to make apps as well.
Neha: Another interesting area- isn’t it? Well, you mentioned about translations too, so tell us a bit about it.
AJ: Yes, I have done translation works too. I translated couple of books. One among them is the translation of a religious book from English to Malayalam.
Neha: Great AJ! So you do want to be a life-long learner, I believe, looking at your past experience. That’s really awesome. So, as we have come to an end of this interview, would you like to share with our audience one memorable day of your life?
AJ: Sure! The most memorable event I attended was the program of the then President, Late Shri A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Ji and I was there not to attend as a participant. Rather, I was the one reporting that event. He was such a genius. It is one special moment of my life.
Neha: Thanks a lot AJ for giving your valuable time and sharing such great insights with us. My favourite part in this whole interview is your interest in diverse fields and that you never say NO to any new learning that comes your way. So that is something really nice.
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