You’ve been steadfast in this last decade. You’ve read me and written to me. Reader, you’ve kept me going.
This is my last edit in Lounge, and I want to thank you. Thankful also to Salman Khan devotees who have sent unique expletives to my inbox on the couple of occasions I have written scathingly about his movies.
I don’t know most of you by face, but after 10 years in this magazine, I know who a Lounge reader is. He or she likes surprises and original voices, and dislikes paeans of the famous. He or she is mentally sophisticated, and can be found everywhere in India. I once met a fan of Natasha Badhwar at a party in an army cantonment in Vadodara. As expected, the officer was charmingly ceremonious. When he learnt I wrote for Lounge, he said, “Natasha Badhwar is so heartfelt.” His elegant wife nodded—she had, indeed, introduced him to our columnist, and the officer took Natasha to heart. At a Chinese restaurant in Shillong, a local musician saw me in a new light when I said I was a colleague of Shamik Bag. An acquaintance from an advertising agency once told me he has been sending Lounge copies to his parents in a small town in Madhya Pradesh for several years.
Besides you, reader, there is the Lounge team that makes the job of an editor tough and fulfilling. The team has kept changing over the years, but the thing that makes it a Lounge team hasn’t ever changed: Each writer with a unique voice and the rigour of telling the best story possible. Scattered across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru, we’ve bonded without regular editorial
Ten years ago, Lounge was launched by the instinctive, sharp and indefatigable editor Priya Ramani and her founding team. I was a features writer, also in charge of the two books pages. Since then, I’ve never not wanted to come to work. So a decade isn’t sometimes that long a time at one job.
After writing for eight years, I became editor, and as you know, last year we relaunched as a broadsheet. The magazine now has more variety in style and subjects; we are constantly trying to do more on Livemint. It is bigger, but with the same DNA with which we launched in February 2007.
So why have I decided to move on from the best features journalism job in India? It’s that point when daily working hours need to take a back seat, and personal life needs attention. Equally importantly, I am beginning again as a writer.
I hope to write much more across Mint. I plan to travel within the city and outside of it much more than I have done in the past several years. I plan to learn swimming. Mid-mornings, while the world drinks coffee and turmeric latte in offices, I will work out with my trainer in a shaded corner of my neighbourhood park. And while all this gets done, I get much more time with my five-year-old daughter. We already have great conversations, now she will get to know me more (for better or for worse!).
So goodbye, reader.
Keep reading Lounge. I certainly will.