He felt quite low when he missed becoming a doctor by only two points. However, it proved a blessing in disguise. Waheed Mirza soon realised that his interests lay somewhere else. He packed his bags and headed to Delhi to study English literature.
He secured admission in Delhi University, where pursuing the subject of his choice, he excelled. After graduation, he did his post-graduation in the same university. Throughout his studies, he was a university topper. Wahid is the editor of Urdu-Online with BBC London. He is also writing a book the rights of which have already been sold.
Wahid started working quite early in his life. He landed his first job as a copy editor at Tata McGraw Hill-a publishing house. Then he was in the second year of his graduation.
“As a copy editor I used to do 1500 page books in one stretch over a week or so,” says Wahid who was now juggling between work and study and coming out on top with both. He worked at Tata McGraw Hill for a year and then joined PC World- a top technology magazine. This started his tryst with journalism. He also started working with the Canadian press as a reporter, besides writing a column in Srinagar based daily Kashmir Observer.
After completing post-graduation, he along with some friends founded a media company-Virtual Media which launched an online magazine. However, they soon realised that they were ahead of their times as the internet was not yet what it would become later. “We had to close the company,” says Waheed.
He got a job with BBC World service. “The BBC house resembles a mini UN with almost 22 languages being spoken and people from almost all parts of the world,” says Wahid. He started working as a producer. In a short span of time, he rose from being a producer to a desk editor, and to the present position of editor at BBC’s Urdu Online.
Waheed says that his success was possible due to the support of his parents who gave him the freedom to pursue the career of his choice. “My parents left me the choice to pursue my own area of interest and I did not disappoint them. Same should apply to everyone else”.
Wahid is writing a book – a fiction – the rights to which have been purchased by Penguin publishing house. The book is expected to hit the market in a few months time.