My Story

Picture: Economic Times

One day in late 2009, armed with negligible comic intellect, I wrote a satirical interview of the never-retiring cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, set in 2029. I was then a first-year engineering student, a month shy of my 18th birthday. My close circles found the piece funny, and that became the first one in the journey of an unscripted “start-up”, News That Matters Not  (NTMN)— one of the earliest popular satirical websites in India.

Other young writers like me, eager and excited, joined soon. We together set off on the goal to “inspire change through humour”. For our efforts, we won two major international e-content awards, and were acknowledged in the media often.

We produced some of the finest and most read satirical pieces on the Indian web in those days, closely impacting the public discourse during 2010–2014 — the years of the anti-corruption movement, the post-Nirbhaya struggle, and the build-up to the general elections. I also spearheaded our acclaimed internship program, and closely mentored hundreds of young writers.

Working with the best of people, I gained the most crucial and challenging life experiences and learnings in leadership, coaching and entrepreneurship. However, as college drew to a close, I quit from an active role as Editor-in-chief in May 2013.

With my students, December 2014.

I quit, because at this point I joined the Teach For India Fellowship. I spent two extremely rigorous, learning-filled, and reflective years teaching 50-odd primary children in a municipal school catering to a low-income community in Shahdara, Delhi. I also spent significant time as a recruiter, interviewer and leadership coach.

These two years made me a philosophical beast of sorts. I realised journalism was my tool to influence the way the world works. From July 2015 to April 2016, I trained under an acclaimed UK journalist at a Bengaluru journalism school. I am currently working on, among other projects, a book about my experiences as a Teach For India Fellow and a new journalistic initiative. Over the past year, I have also written a series on ordinariness and leadership, and my ideas in education. I now work with Scroll’s The Latest team.

 

How to contact me

Please use email or my social media handles to write to me for feedback, collaborations, opportunities, advice, debates, views, or if you want to know me better personally. Queries about News That Matters Not from journalists and advertisers also need to be directed to me for quicker response.

Kindly note that I am not an official spokesperson for Teach For India, and no longer work with the organisation. However, readers may get in touch to know more about my journey in entrepreneurship and education.

My email address is: tanay.s91@gmail.com. You may also get in touch through the form below.