How I Survived My DK Internship

How I Survived My DK Internship

Aashirwad Jain

Aashirwad thinks he is a writer. His interests include reading pamphlets, writing on walls and fishing for compliments. He writes at
August 3, 2015

Week 1

  • Learnt how to work around a coffee machine. Wasn't that difficult.
  • Got really involved with the Star Pilot book. A voice in my head reminded me I was not on a train sipping coffee, going to Simla. Got back to em-dashes and sorting out Britons love for S's.
  • Came to the profound realization that being an editor was also a lot about sacrificing the little pleasures you get from reading, which is a bit ironical as you became an editor in the first place because you love reading – be it a Puritan Pamphlet by Milton or the ingredients of Maggi Masala Maker.
  • Being an editor was like being a parent – just being there, and trying not to hit the thing in front.
  • Had a little seminar. It opened up some old wounds. Was privy to the age old battle for supremacy between the designers and the editors. Supported editors, without dropping a word.

Week 2

  • Met Darth Vader – his index, precisely. And boy was it dark!
  • For the first time in life had an appreciation for the index. Encouraged everyone I met from there on to take a close hard look at the index, and they would find an editor who has worked his/her eyes off to make that gloriously unattractive list, so that one day someone out there in the wilderness of referential non-fiction will find their way back.
  • Tried to write an Ode to the Index. Failed, fortunately.
  • LEGO! Renamed Gandalf the Grey to Gandalf the Cute.
  • Watched Star Wars. Last three movies sucked. Han Solo for president.

Week 3

  • Learnt to make excel sheets. That too, super awesome ones.
  • Ground floor attendance issue was resolved. Not that anyone cared.
  • Did the index. Again.

Week 4

  • Put together a list of all the LEGO sticker books. Made this world a little bit better to live in. That's precisely how it's done.
  • Got to research the LEGO Batman video games. I'd go bald for a chance to do such research all my life. Amazing stuff.

Week 5

  • Got a taste of another department at DK: Travel (apart from Life, which is Licensing's busy neighbour). The cartography event was amazing. Played a game there and brought back a little flag. Okay. Brought three.

Week 6

  • Got a little sick. Took leave.
  • Came back with a whimper. Had enough free time on hand to read almost the entire internet when Chitra saved me and loaned me out to the Life department.
  • Worked on a German Knitting book to strike out anything English. After skimming through it, confused “und” with “and”. Checked again. Vowed to learn German – or at least German articles.

Week 7

  • Worked on an excruciatingly slow database. Helped a little in cataloguing images.
  • Some exciting work with Knowledge – the Encyclopaedia of War.
  • Read the five hundred page Leviathan in two days. Found many errors. Felt great for myself. Then felt sad for the person who had to make the corrections. Such is life.
  • The experience of working with War encyclopaedia was kind of pseudo-cathartic. I was reading of the bloodiest battles ever fought, of the staggering number of casualties. I was once again a child, reading of battles, but unlike then, there wasn't a hint of glory.

Week 8

  • Gave a presentation before the who's who of Licensing. Have filed an online petition to ban the use of the word “who's who”.

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