Journalism is not the typical career path selected by young Indians in middle class families. However, Om made a choice and followed his passion.
SM: What was the first significant journalism job you had, something you consider a milestone? OM: I don’t think there has been anything that significant. I have been going through an evolutionary process – just one step at a time. I think the first job was the most crucial because without that I would not have had any foundation.
SM: The college music publication? OM: Yes. As I grew older I wrote about a whole bunch of issues for a whole bunch of newspapers. I think very early on in my life I went into a freelance mode, and took a multi-platform approach. I wrote for Sunday newspapers, daily newspapers, magazines, because I wanted to have maximum impact. That also meant I had to work too much, but that was part of the joy of writing for so many different people. It also meant more money.
SM: Did you go outside of India for work? OM: I left India mostly for personal reasons. There was not a pressing need to leave the country because I was doing well. For some personal reasons I realized I needed a break. Another thing I realized was that I wanted to be playing on a bigger stage. I was ambitious. I wanted to be a journalist in a big media market like New York, so I started working towards that.
SM: You did not go from Dehli to New York did you? OM: No, I went to various places. I traveled a little through Europe. I was in London for a while, and then spent time in Eastern Europe. I got to New York after. I think it was a bit of an epiphany to be honest, but I got to New York and stayed just for a couple of months. I then went back to Delhi, and then came back again.
SM: Why was that? OM: I was not ready for New York. My grandmother had passed away, and something inside me was telling me something was wrong and I had to go back. My parents never told me what was wrong, but I knew instinctively thatI had to go back. Then I heard that she was dead. I came back to New York after a few months with a bigger plan, with everything in place.