Okay, this one has been working on my mind since a couple of months and had to be said, come what may.
Writing set me free after I turned 40. Till that time, my imagination used to always work. But I couldn’t write. Why?
Looking back, I realised that it was the shame of wearing my heart on my sleeve; sharing my inner most thoughts with strangers; fear of criticism.
God has his own way of working, moving us towards the goals we are born for. No, I don’t believe that He’s a puppeteer who’s pulling the strings. That’s the dumbest theory brought about by Mr. Failure.
I worked in a school office (no, I am not rambling, please bear with me till the end of this blog) for a few years. I was secretary-cum-admin-cum-typist-cum-general dogsbody. It was up to me to type out the hand-written articles submitted by kids for the school magazine.
The guru comes to you when you are ready to learn. My guru(s) came to me in the form of tiny kids from Std. I, II & III along with the school Principal. The kids were given free rein – to write any damn thing that came to their minds. My mind boggled at their imagination; even more so with their freedom of expression. I was under the impression that most of the articles/stories would have to be re-written. I was astonished when Princy told me to just check for spelling and grammar and leave the content alone.
Voilà, the writer in me was born at that point – or so I believe – even if it took me a few more months to pen my first bestseller.
My jaw was hanging throughout the time I typed out the articles. Yeah, there were many from the older children too. But the ones from these small kids were the ones that were truly fascinating. I think that they unlocked something in me. All these years, I had been imagining the stories that I wanted to tell. But I never had the guts to bare my thoughts to others. When I saw the way these tiny tots told their tales fearlessly, it struck me that I could do it too.
And the writer in me was born a few months after I quit my job.
Today, I am known as a romance author who writes about women’s issues. Yes, some kind of an issue does seem to spring up in my books – except for Meghna and MatchesMade in Heaven (an anthology of 13 short stories).
These two books are for pure entertainment. People who read these books first and my others later, are convinced that these books are excellent. But, if they read them in the reverse order, they think that these two are not up to my standard.
Do I have a standard? Please don’t place me in a Golden Cage!
A request to my readers:
I have acquired my freedom after 40, to express myself through writing. Let me be! Don’t put my writing on a pedestal. It doesn’t belong there. I write for fun, for entertainment. I write pure fiction. I write for the joy of it. I hope to bring a few hours of fun and joy to my reader. I don’t plan to preach. I don’t want to preach.
Life in this world of illusion is both positive and negative. A hero cannot be identified without the villain. So, I thank both of them for being what they are.
In the words of William Shakespeare:
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances...”