Gowri Ramnarayan has earned a name for herself in the field of journalism, theatre, music and academics. She has worked with The Hindu for a period of 23 years. Currently, she teaches Media and Culture in Asian College of Journalism, Chennai.
Q1) What inspired you into the field of journalism?
Honestly, I never thought that I would be a journalist. Right after my marriage, I moved to Hyderabad. Over there I had taken up a teaching job at a college. However, when we returned to Chennai, I faced a bit of struggle in order to find a job. While I was applying someone in The Hindu suggested me to write a music review. Since they knew I was a musician. They liked my work so much that they offered me a job.
Q2) How was your experience working with the Hindu?
I joined because their main music critic was overburdened with work. So I was able to provide him a helping hand. When I got the job, I became the first female correspondent with a byline. As time passed they wanted me to write dance and literature reviews as well. My personal favorite was socio-political issues. One particular thing noticed by me was the patriarchal nature present in the office.
Q3 How did you cope up with the patriarchal nature prevalent in The Hindu.
The office at that time had a majority of men. There were only 3 or 4 women working at the desk. I don’t know whether it was deliberately patriarchal or women did not prefer coming into journalism. Since very less percentage of women were willing to work at such odd hours or even travel to such a large extant. This profession became non-patriarchal over the years, as women decided that they would take up these jobs. Because today you have a large number of women working in the Hindu or for that matter any leading newspaper.
Q5 According to you what are the three most important qualities a journalist should poses?
First would be alertness. Second would be a certain flair for nosing out interesting things to write about and the ability to write. Third would be reliability.
Q6) How has your experience been at the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF)
My experience has been very good. I have really enjoyed this because I felt that this is a genuine festival. There is less of glitz and more of substance.
Q7) Do you think because of popular or high culture our classical culture is loosing its relevance?
No, not at all. This is because it is all available on the internet. Now more people have access to classical music and enjoy it than ever before. All over the world, you will find people who have a better understanding of classical music than they did ever before.
She attended the PIFF, which took place from January 12 to 19 as a part of the Jury. Other than her, the films were judged by world famous personalities such as Aparna Sen, Bennett Rathnayake, Narhes Abyar to name a few.