WHY DO I WRITE?
Inspiration doesn’t come if you wait for it. It comes when you are looking for it and that is where the ‘problem’ starts with almost half the population of our planet. We wait for something to happen with an excuse – ‘I am waiting for the right time for it’ and then stare into the oblivion waiting for a call or an answer. I mean… seriously… would you stare into the oblivion if you get a nature’s call… or would you search for a washroom the moment you get it.
You ask me, post my first book… I wasn’t looking for inspiration. The truth is I wasn’t looking for anything. 23 years of age, my first book a ‘disaster’, depressed… and to add to it, I suddenly understood the meaning of writer’s block. It is a situation when a writer (or any artist for that matter) faces a situation where the person is not confident about his creation. Worse, the person feels that he is out of ideas but in reality, he is bursting with ideas. It was the same for me for I did not leave writing… I kept writing but lost confidence. A feeling that would last 6 years.
It was in 2012 when I moved to Delhi. My Mom was looking to start a business with the help of an acquaintance. Post my father’s death and subsequently, the death of my grandfather and grandmother, Chennai was becoming depressing for me everyday and I wanted to get out of there. Above all, I decided to leave writing much to the agony of my Mom who clearly had a big expectation from me. I guess… let me put it this way… my time to introspect had begun the moment I decided to quit writing as I see it today.
I decided to help my Mom in setting up her business and for that, we had to shift to Delhi and I jumped at that idea. We shifted there only to realize within a year that this business had no future. Once again, we were back to square one, our savings vanished like specks of dust and we were down and out. My Mom was really heartbroken, she had put her heart and soul into that business but it failed. She fell sick at a situation when we were left with few amounts of money that could feed us only for 3 days.
It is as they say that in the most difficult of times does a man actually realizes his true potential. I had my experience of working in a BPO, I had to do something… I had to find a job as fast as possible. I don’t know how to put this… or how you people will take this… but when you have the will to do something, even to set a few things right, out of nowhere do you get the sudden surge of confidence and the power to show your true caliber. I applied for a job and within 2 days attended an interview and got the job. You know the sensation, the feeling when it happens… you feel like a warrior who just fought a long and hard battle, and won it.
It was obvious I wouldn’t be paid until the next month but getting the confirmation of the job was enough to get an advance from my neighbor to run the show for a month. To my surprise, my Mom was happy that I took the responsibility to set things right and recuperated within 3 days. It was obvious, her sickness was not physical… it was mental. A person can work even if he or she is physically unfit but when he is mentally down and out, that is when everything comes to a standstill.
It was a tough start for me. The environment was different from where I worked in Chennai. Not that everyone was speaking Hindi, and not in Tamil (and the fact that it is an MNC and everyone is supposed to speak in English) but the work required to be on your toes every minute. I was out from the corporate world (or realm, if you know what I mean) and that was my first big challenge to adapt to the ways of a new office and a new work culture. However, I got new friends and that is when I realized something interesting about me.
I talked about deciding to be a Hero or to be Loved. My time during the training phase in this new job made me realize that every person has a charm or an aura that he creates for himself. We come across so many people in life and with one look have a prejudice or create a perception about the person. However, there are times when even if you don’t like a person for what he /she has done maybe to someone or to you, you still feel the aura around him/her that starts giving you an indication that we may be wrong in judging that person.
I did state that I am more a silent person but when situation arises, I do love to just freak out but because of so many things happening in my life and especially the hardship I was still facing financially and mentally, I had somehow become rude, sharp tongued and irritated. Not everyone understands what you are going through and you can’t stop someone having a negative perception of you, however, in my case… I was actually attracting attention. People, especially my batchmates wanted to talk with me, know about me. I was one of the top performers in the batch that automatically made me the ‘go-to’ person for any queries or clarifications within the team (and to this day, I am like the first person to whom anyone would come to get an answer to even the most toughest question.)
I realized that there is nothing wrong to be a ‘hero’, what is wrong is actually boasting about it as a lot of people do. People try to market themselves as the ONE who can resolve anything but fall flat when they are unable to. For me, I allowed it to build inside me as a I gradually increased my knowledge day after day, year after year, I was in doubt and many a times, I would be ridiculed for not sticking to one answer but over a period of time I realized that it was not about being wrong… it was about being confident about your knowledge and in situations where you are wrong, accept it and move on instead of cribbing over it.
3 years into my new job and I was promoted as a Quality Analyst. It was during this time that I found myself among people who were not only a crazy bunch led by an even more crazy (yet the most knowledgeable and inspiring person on the floor, you know, like the king the hill) leader but found the true definition of being in a team. And this is where (considering the title of this chapter needs to be justified), I come to point of true introspection. We all face situations in life, situations that break us, tear us apart, make us mentally unstable, depressed… for some people, to the point of no return where (God forbid) they think of ending their lives. It is during such situations that God (or an invisible power) gives us a signal to give ourselves another chance.
Out of nowhere, a situation is created where we find ourselves thinking again, a sudden burst of motivation, a sudden thought that this is not how our story ends and there can always be a beginning from anywhere we want. Being moved to a new team and the consistent conversations that we had, and have, inspired the writer again in me that was lying dormant. One thing I realized when it comes to writing, I was always obsessed with stories that talked about friendship, about being in a team, about looking out for each other. Why did I have this obsession? Cause my entire childhood was spent being lonely.
We are all unique and there are no two thoughts about it but for the few of us, being unique can sometimes be a bane. I was an average kid (I am still average but the people around me think otherwise, can’t blame them). I was brought up in a more protected environment which meant that if I went for a movie with my friends, the only place I would go to is the movie theatre and not anywhere else. My mom was abroad and when I told her that I was going for an interschool competition with my friend on his bike, she freaked out. Enough for you people to understand the way I was brought up. This led to me having few friends in my life so I had to resort to other means to keep myself busy. Writing, listening to music, watching movies… just to keep myself busy and not feel lonely.
I longed for being in a group but it never happened. That is probably the reason why I never enjoyed my school days. My school mates looked up to me but when I wanted to join them in anything, I was ignored. It was not the same in college though as I was in a group and enjoyed my time but 3 years of college is a short time, all I have now is memories. It was the same again when I joined office and for a long period of time it continued. No doubt, anyone in my position would feel bad but over a period of time, I realized that it was ok to allow people to have a perception of you the way they like.
A candle is only brought out and lit when there is darkness and most of us are like that candle. We are approached only when necessary and that, my friends, should be considered as a privilege, not a curse. People who think it is a curse do not understand that it is only in our absence that our true potential and power is revealed. This is a competitive world and if we have to survive, sometimes you do not need to be always be available. It works when you show your absence at the right moment.
Coming back to my journey with a new team, every team member was a like a character in a story and it goes without saying that everyone of us has a story to tell. Each day spent with my team was giving wings to the dormant writer in me and one day, out of nowhere, a story popped up. A story of a team, of a strong yet crazy leader, a story whose characters were inspired by the people whom I know and whom I work with. Within a few days, the entire story was crafted in my mind and all I needed to do was put it in paper (or word file, to be precise). There was no turning back now. I know nothing about my future except this… if I don’t feed my passion, my dreams now, there is no hope that they will feed me in future. A plant can only grow if you sow the seed and tend to it but if you leave the seed as it is… there is no way it can grow into a plant if you just keep looking at it.
My ‘old and worn out’ laptop came out and as my fingers started to frantically tap on the keyboard, my Mom could only smile feeling genuinely happy that I was doing what I was supposed to do. Within 6 months, my story was done. RESILIENCE – the name was apt as it was not about me, it was about everyone of us who have faced obstacles yet still continue to pursue their passion.
Passion never dies, all you need is the will to be inspired and prove to the world that if there is anything that can stop us from achieving our dreams… it is only us and nobody else… trust me, not even GOD. That being said, I take this opportunity to thank everyone, my Mom, my leaders, my colleagues, friends and relatives who motivated… and still motivates me to do what our heart tell us to do.