Finding The Writer In Me...
Written By: Yamini Vijendran
So when did I actually become a writer? Surely, the Almighty did not descend one day in front of me and proclaim, “Thou shall Write!”, after which I got the title conferred on me. Was it when I was around ten years old, when I won my first (and only for a very long time) story writing competition in Champak? A small story about four friends lost in the jungle and how they find their way back to their home, coming face to face with a tiger on their way. Funny how I still remember it in detail, although I do not have the manuscript with me anymore. Or was it during those English exams throughout my schooling, which I actually looked forward to, for the interesting topics that we were asked to write essays on. I remember my friends detested it, but I simply loved the subject. In fact, I was disappointed when the Board made rules for word count strict and provided us a pre-designated box within which the writing had to be contained. How could someone curb the freedom of an imaginative mind! (The teachers must have been thankful though, else they would have had to endure the endless ramblings of mine and other like minded students).
The First Steps
Maybe the writer in me lifted her head to the demands of making unique birthday greetings for my near and dear. I would spend a lot of time over them and come up with some nice lines that most of them loved. My best friend, my mom, the bhaiyya next door I adored, they all still remember the greeting cards I made for them. Or maybe when the words sprouted with the cyclonic flood of 1996 in Chennai, when I wrote my first lengthy poem – Amrita. After Amrita I went on to write a number of poems for my school competitions. Though, it never crossed my mind to preserve them, leave alone publish. And now not a day passes without me wishing I had retained a copy somewhere. Not to mention the speeches I wrote and presented for Independence Day, Republic Day, Gandhi Jayanthi, Hindi Day, Scouts and Guides Day and a lot of other days.
The Growing Up
Did the writer in my flutter her wings in response to the pangs of my heart, when relationships bloomed and then went sour? The loss of a loved grandpa, that first love, the first crush, the first break-up, the first betrayal... I believe now that if not for my words, I would have drowned then. My words, and the words of the authors I read so voraciously, were the anchor I clung to that kept me afloat and sane through the rough patches.
The Journey So Far
I never consciously wanted to become a writer, but here I am today, calling myself one! In fact my journey is replete with unexpected twists and turns all along. I majored in biology in my 12th grade, then became and Instrumentation and Control Engineer, before entering into IT and working on Mainframes technologies for the next 7 years. And now, I write. I have a couple of stories and poems published in anthologies and literary magazines. And I have a romance novella under my name published by Toronto based publishers, Indireads. Yes, I am a published author! From writing stories about kids lost in the jungle, I have grown to write about love lost in the jungle called society. However, rather than feel all puffed up about it, I feel these are but fledgling steps, and there is a long long way to go. After all, writing is not just a job you do for thirty years and then retire, is it. It is a journey, as long and winding as life itself, starting from the day one is born, continuing till the day one passes away, and living through one's words even after one is gone. I guess me and writing were always meant to be. The writer was always there in me, only, she is just beginning to realize her existence.
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra