03 August, 2021

At Swim, Two Birds Perched On Latticed Sites

Outlook and internet in India drew first breath only a day apart. The former took Indian magazine journalism to new heights with its audacious verve. The latter took India.

At Swim, Two Birds Perched On Latticed Sites

On August 16, 1995, the founding team of Outlook moved into its newly-furnished headquarters at Safdarjung Enclave in South Delhi. It was a young team—I don’t think there was anyone in the editorial department, except for the editor-in-chief, the late Vinod Mehta, who was above 40. We were all raring to go, to create something new and cool and exci­ting. Some of us had joined a few months earlier, working out of two hotel rooms, but this was the day that the full team came on board. The game was afoot.

We were all too absorbed in our frenetic search for new ideas and novel ways of doing magazine journalism to pay any att­ention to a momentous coincidence. The day before, Independence Day, the internet had been launched in India. Indeed, The Times of India had gone so far as to title its news report on the launch: Independence Day to mean freedom with the Internet.

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