If one needs to ever rank human abilities by order, the art of questioning will make it to one of the top most abilities. Of course, it is not easy. Before you ask a question to an individual, you need to be aware of what you’re asking. There needs to be a purpose & you need to make sure you serve the purpose.
One of them who is arguably amongst the best going around doing this is Jay Bhavsar. He first caught Indian Cricket Twitter’s attention when he introduced a brand new concept named, ‘Interview of Cricket Fans.’ In this, Jay interviewed cricket fans from various parts of India & also included international fans as well.
He also did interviews on different topics such as Mental Health where he interviewed Urvi Shah, a mental health facilitator & founder of ‘Beyond the Matches’. This interview received a lot of positive feedback from the tweeple.
He also tried his hands on interviewing parody accounts & made people laugh.
Here he is, speaking to us and sharing his experiences on interviewing various fans, an interview he’s extremely proud of, his future plans, dream interviews he would take & beyond.
Firstly Jay, Thank you for doing this & to start with, When did you start interviewing & why did you choose to do it?
Thank you so much for having me here, always feel special talking about my journey. I started the series called ‘Interview of Cricket Fans’ around a year ago when the lockdown was still there and I had finished the final project for my Masters. So I was looking forward to doing something about the sport that I’ve followed since childhood & thought what is something new that I could come up with when it came to the field of journalism.
Because everyone was doing the same thing like writing articles on all stories related to cricket etc, So I wanted to come up with something different from what everyone was doing. Another thing is that I got to learn so much from all the people that I have interviewed because when I read the stories of fans from around the world, I feel like a part of their journey and that’s very special for me as well as the person I interview.
Three things you learnt with all the interviews that you’ve done ?
I already mentioned how it felt special, reading stories of cricket fans like where they grew up, early memories of the game, favourite cricketers while growing up, etc.
The other thing that I have learnt is that I’m much confident about my approach & the kind of questions that I come up with. I have interviewed over 180 people till now and after each article, I grew a little stronger in terms of learnings and understanding not just of the game but also in terms of deriving stories from passionate cricket fans.
Also, it’s not only general fans that I have interviewed for my blog, I also got an opportunity to interview some of the popular names in this industry like Tinu Yohannan, Bharat Sundaresan, Chloe-Amanda Bailey, Sanjay Manjrekar, Bharath Ramaraj and so many others.
In fact, interviews of Tinu Yohannan and Bharat Sundaresan were telephonic interviews and I had only done it once before so it was a good learning experience for someone like me with an introverted personality.
Your three personal favorites & why?
I knew I was going to be asked something like this where I will have to mention my personal favorites. Honestly, I won’t mention them. Yes, at times I have come up with some good content & at times, I felt I could have done better but it’s impossible for me to choose my three favourites. However, I can definitely say that the interview on mental health with Urvi Shah is something that I am extremely proud of.
If you had to do three dream interviews, who would it be ? (Cricket/Non-Cricket)
Good question. Amongst cricketers, I would definitely interview MS Dhoni, he is the man who has brought India three ICC trophies in different formats and also got our test team to number one position for quite a while. I have grown up witnessing these moments and it would mean the world to me if I get a chance to interview the legend. If not Dhoni, then it would have been Kohli.
The second person would be Freddie Mercury. I think this man has so many stories to tell and he has been through a tough journey, a journey filled with highs and lows. I love his songs and I love his voice so he would be my second dream interview.
The last person would be Ranbir Kapoor. I am a huge fan of his work. I feel the way he has connected with youth through his movies has been special. And it’s not like he does films only filled with action and all, there is a variety of films that he has been a part of like Rockstar, Rocket Singh, Tamasha, YJHD, Sanju, Ajab Prem, etc.
What are your future plans with the blog & where do you see it in 5 years?
I don’t even know where I will see my blog in five days. And I definitely don’t want to jinx it, haha. Let’s see. For me, it’s one day at a time. Yes, I will agree that the past couple of months have been a little sloppy and I have taken more breaks. But as of now, I just want to take it one step at a time and don’t want to think about the future much. It’s like I am leaving the outswing deliveries for now, and hoping for a full ball which I can smack for a boundary.
Share some bizzare/funny experiences while doing interviews till date?
I don’t know if it’s bizarre or funny, but I would like to share what happened before I interviewed Daniel Alexander’s parody account. Now that was a different type of interview that I had never done before and was very reluctant because it was not a serious one. I had messaged that person just to see if I got a response and I did get one so I thought maybe I should just do it.
But I also realised that there could be consequences too. So although I prepared a list of questions for the interview and sent it to that person via dm, I told him later that I didn’t want to do that interview because it felt a little wrong in doing so.
But later I realised that I am not making fun of anyone, because my questions were not indicating that. And since the answers were not mine, I could post it on my blog. And that person was also very understanding and he then shared a very funny version of the answers and it was also my first interview that crossed over 4,000 views. I am so glad that I did it because the response on Twitter was incredible.
One thing you would like to tell yourself to do even better while interviewing?
One thing that I would like to tell myself to do better while interviewing is that there is no such thing as better when it comes to what I do. Yes, you will gain experience and might also come up with unique questions but ultimately each interview I do has its own flare. There are so many articles that I have posted which I felt that I did well in terms of questions to ask but those articles didn’t do well in terms of numbers. And similarly, there are times where I felt like why did this article get so many views? So I feel that if I want to do better at what I do, then consistency and how I deliver my content will matter the most.
So this was Jay sharing his experiences & what he does the best.. Interviewing! Cricmaze wishes Jay well in his future endeavors.