I have maintained this blog since June 2020. Here is finally an insight to how my writing journey actually begun.
Summer of 2017. Eating fresh-cut papaya after a hefty lunch, I was narrating to my grandmother, who patiently listened to me as she cleaned the kitchen counter, about my trip to Bhangarh Fort. I would keep jumping back into previous scenarios, remembering I had missed a few details or would mess up the original story with unnecessary commentaries. Despite all the mishaps while narrating my story to my poor old grandma, I felt the intense need to share my experience. And so, I decided to write an article.
The next couple of days were cruel. I had never written something substantial before. From morning to noon, I spent my time simply writing and editing my article on my grandfather’s computer. After some struggle, it finally took shape. I took a printout of my writing after it was finally done and took it to my mom. With ill-concealed excitement, I waited for her praise. To my dismay, my efforts were met with sheer criticism. My 12-year-old self was crushed. “It lacks a certain essence. The flow of the story really doesn’t make sense.” I was on the verge of giving up. How could she be so critical! This was my very first article (I would sincerely like to thank her now for not treating me like a child back then). Yet, an intense impulse somehow stubbornly held onto me. I had to write this article! I went back to the old computer, opened my document, and began again.
Eventually, I mailed my article to Planet Young, a newspaper for the Youth by The Assam Tribune. With anxious anticipation, I waited for the next Thursday. Come Thursday, I opened the newspaper and couldn’t believe it! This couldn’t be! After everything I had done! After every criticism I had considered and after all those amendments I had made! Maybe I wasn’t fit to be a writer after all. Maybe I just needed to keep this article to myself and not share it with anyone else ever! My grandfather, with his trademark calm, advised me to wait for another week, but I had given up hope.
I remember the day as if it were yesterday. I woke up late, and so hurriedly cleaned my bed and brushed my teeth and ran towards the dining hall. My grandfather was there, eating fruit. He held a newspaper in his hand, and with a slight grin said, “Look, majoni. Dear.” He spread the newspaper wide open on the dining table, and there it was! My name under the title Fort Fear. It had a charming painting of the Bhangarh Fort right next to it and my name, oh my name, looked just perfect! Realizing I had been speechless, I let out a tiny scream. I could feel the goosebumps.
Writing to me isn’t just about being able to express yourself, or voice your opinion, or strengthen your arguments for a social cause you love. While I do connect writing with the aforementioned, for me, writing is by far the most important road of self-discovery. When writing, there is a period of solitude where I can execute my thoughts and in those moments of isolation, I am able to figure out myself and understand why I think the way I do. It would not be superficial to say that I see myself lost between the realms of reality and the spiritual world when writing.