In Bylanes of Journalism is a natural outcome of a professional career spanning over three decades. Written by city-based Harbans Singh Virdi, a journalist and media advisor to former Punjab chief minister and ex-leader of opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, the book was released by Bhattal in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
Sharing information about his book, Virdi says, “Drifting in the mist of the media world for more than 30 years now, I have met many people.” As a result, the book, claims the writer, is a mirror to the world of media, written with objectivity. “No one has been praised, because it is written from my heart, and not my pen,” adds he.
Virdi has previously served in the capacity of an assistant editor, a deputy news editor and the city editor of some English newspapers and magazines. However, his deepest love remains for Sikh history. “My first book was released in 1982, titled Sikh in Sports, since my second love was for sports. I have been a state-level table tennis player,” shares the author of books such as Warrior-diplomat: Jassa Singh Ramgarhia (1997) and Sikh Sportstars: Past and Present (2002).
His latest book, which took four years to be written, finds mention of personalities including former President of India, Giani Zail Singh, acclaimed writer Khushwant Singh, former athlete Milkha Singh, former editor of The Tribune, Prem Bhati (whom Virdi calls both a terror as well as the most intelligent man) and Late Jaspal Bhatti (who Virdi says encouraged him to write on humour.)
For the youngsters, Virdi says his book will serve as an eye opener. “It is unfortunate to see youngsters rating journalism as one of the ‘glamorous’ options and wanting to earn fame using short cuts. My book has a clear picture about the working of media houses, deadlines and demanding editors, a far cry from their present image.”