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NWMI Bengal gets together

The Bengal chapter of the Network of Women In Media, India, celebrated one and a half years of its existence with a get-together of its members at the Grain of Salt on Thursday, June 19.

The meeting emerged out of a yearning of all the women to get to know the faces behind those initials one kept seeing on the Net. And so, when the idea was mooted by ….ummn…no one is sure who, everyone pitched in with cries of Hear! Hear!

The only hiccup was that Rajashri Dasgupta — one of the coordinators —couldn't make it on the decided date, and the vote on the venue (okay two hiccups). And, of course, the searing heat (okay three hiccups!).

But Ranjita Biswas, in her decisive manner, came up with a suitable date and time, and suggested a fun venue that all agreed on. Soon, the plan began to take shape with lots of 'ayes' and 'no-ohs' flowing in from the rest of the gang. As for the heat, nature took care of that. She brought in the rain to cheer all of us up and cooled us down.

For a first meeting, the turnout was extremely satisfactory, especially given the nature of our (media) jobs. Appreciably, Ritusmita Sikdar made it after a gruelling day at work and attending to her grandma who'd had an unfortunate fall; while Benita Sen thought it worth spending a little time with friends in spite of having moved in only 48 hours ago on transfer.

Everyone, young and old, was in high spirits, something that had nothing to do with the drinks served. The hours we spent in the bar could have been an ad for the 'Happy Hours' the Grain of Salt publicizes so much, with our laughter and joy reverberating all over the room.

That Ladies Only night (it actually was a 'Ladies Only night') at the restaurant was a moment of self-discovery for us all. The interaction convinced everyone how alike we all were —young or old, freelance or working journalist.

Two important decisions we took, in the midst of all the fun, were to liven up the activities of our group with more programmes of common interest and to rotate the responsibility of group coordinator among us.

In keeping with this suggestion, Ananya Chatterjee stepped down to make way for a new coordinator, Chitralekha Basu. (From hereon, it was decided, she would have to function with Rajashri Dasgupta as coordinator.)

The gang broke up around 10 p.m with the promise of many more such get-togethers in the future.

Just for the record: let's keep track of all us who decided to let their hair down at the drop of a hat …sorry, bob-pin!…Ananya Chatterjee, Benita Sen, Chitralekha Basu, Shoma Chatterjee, Rajeswari Sen, Ritusmita Sikdar, Rajashri Dasgupta, Ranjita Biswas, Rina Mukherji, Sharmila Banerjie, Usha Gupta, Uttara Gangopadhyay.

Rina Mukherji

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