Salman Rashid

Travel writer, Fellow of Royal Geographical Society

Fine art of conversation

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The people I meet on the road are generally very forthcoming. There are, however, others who are both camera and tape recorder shy. But with the taking over of the modern digital recording machine which looks quite like a cell phone, the shyness seems to have been overcome.

So, recording someone's conversation is easy. I must hasten to add that I have never ever recorded anyone surreptitiously; always with their permission and knowledge. Once we start talking the formality quickly melts and even people who initially did not want to be photographed acquiesce.

The ticket to get people in an easy conversation mode is to NOT make the whole thing out like an interview. Also, I joke and set people at ease. The conversation starts and at some point when I feel it is getting very interesting I ask if it is ok to record. No one ever says no. It is wonderful that people open up more and more as the conversation progresses.

And I get the most remarkable insights into their lives. Of course there are instances when a conversation goes nowhere. In such cases the interview ends in a few minutes.

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posted by Salman Rashid @ 10:00 AM,

2 Comments:

At May 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM, Anonymous Katie Parla said...

"I travel therefore I am aware."

 
At May 16, 2013 at 2:12 PM, Anonymous Salman Rashid said...

Thank you, Katie. Aptly put.

 

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My Books

Deosai: Land of the Gaint - New

The Apricot Road to Yarkand


Jhelum: City of the Vitasta

Sea Monsters and the Sun God: Travels in Pakistan

Salt Range and Potohar Plateau

Prisoner on a Bus: Travel Through Pakistan

Between Two Burrs on the Map: Travels in Northern Pakistan

Gujranwala: The Glory That Was

Riders on the Wind

Books at Sang-e-Meel

Books of Days