Anniversaries and birthdays come around with unerring regularity in our lives, but we still love to celebrate them. They are there to mark something important that happened in the past and an opportunity to reflect on the changes that have occurred over the years and look ahead to the future. Countries celebrate their independence days and the birthdays of their heroes, just as people celebrate their wedding anniversaries and their own birthdays.
The higher the anniversary number, the hazier the memories, which is why I advise those who would write their memoirs to do it a little early (like Gandhiji did, at the age of 58). Vibes of India has no such problem. We are just turning two and remember everything that has happened so far.
Vibes of India (VOI) was born during the second wave of the Covid pandemic. Our earliest meetings, in the month of May 2021, were all online. The new team had a few veterans (including the author of this article) but for the most part it consisted of freshers in their early 20s, just starting out on their careers. For the most part, we discussed story ideas and the modalities of bringing them to fruition.
Also Read : Vibes Of India Turns Two…
It was an interesting time for journalism. The pandemic had changed the contours of the profession drastically. Print was laid low since the lockdown had halted newspaper distribution in many parts of the country. Television news had taken a hit with reporters unable to go out and gather visuals. News itself was restricted mostly to Covid stories, and fatigue had set in. In such a depressing scenario, VOI promised to be an optimistic alternative as a digital publication, offering news and feature stories, both in text and video formats, in English, Gujarati and Hindi.
In mid-June, the VOI team met for the first time, wearing VOI-branded t-shirts and face masks specially designed for the occasion. The meeting took the form of an all-day workshop on a terrace venue in Navrangpura, where some veteran journalists joined us through video link. VOI journalists also met the support staff for the first time: the head of administration, our accounts chief, the human resources manager, the graphic design info-tech (IT) team. Sixteen months after the lockdown, the workshop-meeting felt like a liberation.
Later that week, VOI moved into a temporary office at Vijay Crossroads, which would be our home for four months. It was a small office compared to the one we have now, and it was bustling with frenetic activity. It was from here that the VOI website officially went live on 24 June. The stories that our journalists had been working on for over a month finally went out into the world.
Over the past two eventful years, VOI has covered a range of topics, ranging from politics, crime and business to sports, lifestyle and entertainment. We have been privileged to have a ringside view of major events like the Gujarat assembly elections, the Morbi bridge tragedy, the Adani-Hindenberg report, the 2022 Gujarat hooch tragedy, the release of the Bilkis Bano convicts, Rahul Gandhi’s defamation case in Surat, the change of guard at Amul.
As we enter our third year, one which will see a general election in April-May 2024, VOI is all primed up to keep you up to date on the issues that matter.