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Interview with Featured Sports Columnist, Anand Datla
In his own words Anand Datla is “A passionate follower of sport, hopelessly hooked to the perennial drama and effort that characterize the journey of a sportsperson.”
Datla has written more than 500 columns as a Featured Columnist for Sportskeeda, which is India’s #1 online site for sports news. Datla is also Senior Editor for Golf in India and Head of Sports at Tata trusts.
The Sports Column caught up recently with Datla for a conversation about his life and sport writing.
Ravi: Thank you for accepting our invitation for an interview! How did your career unfold?
Anand: I fell in love with sport in my childhood. I came from a small hamlet on the East coast of India. My father was a farmer, eager to have his children pursue the relative safety of a career outside sport. I was forced to give up my aspirations in sport for the love of my parents. However, the bug lives long. Even as I pursued a career in management consulting I continued to remain hopelessly drawn toward sport.
The rough and tumble of life underline the deep connection between nature and our soul. I met with an accident about ten years ago and broke my arm in two. The workplace was kind enough to allow me to stay home for a few weeks. Fortunately, that opened a window for me to sit and write about sport. My genuine love for sport shone through my words and the various platforms have been generous in allowing me space since then to express my passion
Ravi: Who were the biggest inspirations for your career? What has been your personal key to success?
Anand: Nelson Mandela is my greatest hero. His perseverance and wisdom have left me in awe. He is one of the greatest men to have ever walked the planet. I have also been greatly inspired by the heroic effort of sportspersons over the past three decades. Their single-minded determination and willingness to suffer in the pursuit of excellence leave me speechless. We have been fortunate to witness athletes such as Ayrton Senna, Boris Becker, Michael Jordan, Roger Federer and Usain Bolt – just to name a handful of insanely brilliant people.
Nirmal Shekar, Rohit Brijnath, and Simon Barnes are some of my heroes so far as the art of expression goes. I believe they are some fine examples of the high priests that preside the gallery.
Ravi: What are some of your personal and/or professional goals for the future?
Anand: I wish to travel to and write about events, such as Wimbledon, The World Cup, and Olympics. I also hope sincerely that the cells in my body perish before the ink dries out in my pen.
Interview with Featured Sports Columnist, Anand Datla – The Sports Column | Sports Articles, Analysis, News and Media
Ravi: Is a formal journalism education necessary to succeed in the field, particularly if a person is already a talented writer?
Anand: I really do not think that a formal education is needed to thrive as a wordsmith. It is more important to gain a deep knowledge of sport and an undying passion for the craft of writing.
Ravi: What are some common myths about the journalism profession?
Anand: Am I really qualified to comment about journalism? I hope to one day make the transition but, for now, I am a mere writer of stories around the world of sport. However I do believe that present age journalism is often held ransom to the power of rating points and meaningless click numbers. I wish that changes during our time.
Ravi: How has the popularity of the Internet affected your profession?
Anand: It has been an enormous boon. It has been the chalice in which my dreams have been cast into reality. I am very grateful for this medium of the internet, which has been instrumental in my existence as a writer.
Ravi: Do you feel that is important for someone to be passionate about the journalism profession to be successful?
Anand: Passion is an absolute need. It is difficult to imagine a writer who can do the narration without the ingredients of energy and excitement. I would think passion is an absolute essential to pursue the profession of a journalist or a writer.
Ravi: Last, but surely not the least, we are very happy for the success you have achieved so far. What plans are going to be put up in times ahead? What areas are you concentrating on in nurturing the young talent?
Anand: One day in the future I hope to be in a position of influence to help nurture the dreams of young people. At this moment though, I am just a columnist looking for an opportunity to write a pulsating story of sweat, toil, and perseverance.