Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Growing-up With A-Musing

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'This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus'.


Five years back when I left my job as a high school teacher, my friends thought I was mad. A part of me believed they were right. I had no idea what I’d do next, just an overwhelming desire to live life on my own terms. I’d be lying if I said it was I who took the decision. But when your work starts making you bitter and not better, it’s your nearest and dearest ones who intervene and force you to take a long hard look at yourself. In my case it was my husband.

At 40, I joined a dance class and learnt to pirouette, plié, jump and leap with girls younger than my daughter. I learnt driving yet again only to not drive, yet again. I reconnected with my school friends and finally got down to doing what I wanted to all my life – write. The first time I took time off work was when our daughter was born. I was naïve enough to believe that between my new found role as Mother Dairy and changing nappies I would find time to pen my thoughts. I did manage some juvenile poetry where I mostly end up wondering if I was wasting my life. I think this is one of the reasons why we are so apprehensive of being alone with our thoughts. Our mind, a repository of our fears, throws back at us some unpleasant questions that we avoid by keeping ourselves busy.

When I finally got solitude and plenty of ‘me time’, I was so ecstatic that instead of fighting my inner demons, I chose to write how it felt unshackled from the monotony of my nine to five life. At this point I had no idea what a blog was. When I finally compiled all my write-ups that I had written for other sites, I ended up creating a separate blog for each of my posts. Yes, that is how naïve I was. All I knew was, I had to write like I was talking to my impatient friends whose attention I had to grab by sounding as funny as possible. I wrote about the much dreaded ‘auntydom’, ‘a mirage called marital bliss’ and my life through the eyes of a much married woman trying make light of her experiences in a jungle called Delhi. To say that I was shocked that scores of men and women, including a group of friends in a college in Lucknow related and avidly discussed my writings, is putting it mildly. It required immense will-power not to do a happy jig when I started getting fan mails.

I didn’t start writing to prove a point, to earn accolades. I write because it makes me and hopefully others happy. It helps me connect with so many talented people who I would not have met otherwise.


Once I found a platform, I found myself veering towards talking about public apathy, our lack of civic sense, the appalling state of women’s safety. I started writing about anything that moved me. My blog is my voice that I can use as a Mom who doesn’t want to hold her daughter back with her fears. I am no longer a mute bystander. As a woman, as a concerned citizen, I get to question rules disguised as prejudices, engage in debates hoping for a solution, a steady voice for those who seek solace, hoping that someone somewhere will get influenced to seek a way out of the difficult lives they are forced to lead.

Five years of blogging, blogging for IBN Live, now for Huffington Post, best humour blog awards from BlogAdda and Indiblogger and a short story published in Mango Chutney later if there’s anybody I’ve managed to change the most, it is me. I’d like to believe blogging helped me grow as a person and a writer. My canvas of awareness became much wider. I started reading more, observing people more and noting their peculiar traits. Everything started to hold a possibility of writing something on – the pooping pigeons on my balcony, the women alternating between exchanging diet tips and haggling for an extra bunch of dhania-patta at the neighbourhood veggie kiosk, the girl in the Metro deftly applying makeup and jabbering non-stop on the phone. I have now become comfortable with solitude, happy to be in the company of my thoughts. And most importantly, content with myself.

It’s strange, as women how much attention we pay to others’ (read family) happiness as opposed to our own – be it a choice of a career, pursuing our interests, finally picking up that rucksack and going on a solo trip or picking up that paintbrush to paint. We always end up making us our last priority. And when you’ve lived so long for others, you end up blaming them for your abandoned dreams. I say be selfish, demand me-time. Because if you aren’t happy, there’s no way you can make others around you happy.

I feel blogging, as a medium, does not constrict us with character limits or expected formats. It gives us the freedom to make it our own. It’s a medium through which we express ourselves, be it as a launch-pad for an aspiring writer or a columnist, a space for a homemaker she can truly call her own as she pours her heart out and bonds with strangers, a canvas for a budding photographer, a talented cook, a fashion diva or a bored office executive who pens short stories to hold on to his sanity.

Being able to express yourself and to talk about your failed battles, angst and little triumphs is truly liberating. And if you can inspire others, it’s truly elevating.

 


79 comments:

  1. There is something magical about writing on a public platform that is truly empowering.
    Glad you found your calling. You are destined to go places.

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    1. You are always too kind, Alka :-)

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  3. As I have recently quit my well-paying job just to be myself and pursue my interests and hobbies, many times I have these doubts of being stupid. Your story is yet another reminder to me that sometimes doing things zara hatke is all needed to give direction to senseless life..

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    1. You will find your calling, Roohi. Just give yourself some time.

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  4. Inspiring Purba. Wishing you block-free roads forever to blogdom come!

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  5. Good you overcame the "society syndrome - ki log kya kahangay" to find a niche for yourself. Good Luck! Keep evolving, Keep writing!

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    1. Log kya kehenge is the root cause of our happiness.

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  6. Congratulations ! And yes I agree the only way to happiness is to be selfish and demand me-time. Why be bitter and makes others lives miserable as well.

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    1. The sooner you realize it, the better :-)

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  7. Loved the way you have travelled thus far. Your journey is as interesting and riveting at your writing. Cheers to the word and the love for it.

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    1. Blogging is a great way to connect with like-minded souls.

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  8. Really. You've said it all. Thank you for speaking eloquently even for me for i know i could not have done it thus.
    The day i blog...i am happier that's all i can say. Hope u can get me on that. :)

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    1. Exactly, if I don't write for a long time, I feel something is missing. Blogging has become a part of my life now.

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  9. Yes it is very important to follow our own predilections lest we heap the blame on others for being unhappy.You have earned so many accolades and Purba you certainly make us happy with your breezy posts--niggling us to think at the same time.

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    1. I'm glad I got know you through blogging, Indu :-)

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  10. I am glad you are walking the path you dreamt of. And as a blogger, you are one of my most favorite bloggers and I when I say this; I mean I thoroughly, immensely enjoy reading your posts. I could relate to myself at some spots in this post. I feel good about myself after I started blogging. Good luck for all the years to come.

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    1. That means a lot to me, Latha :-)

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  11. Writing online in such a bloom that gave us an identity where we can be the self. I can perfectly understand what you saying, Purba and your hilarious cum humor take is such a delight to read. One more thing: I always thought you were a journalist:)

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    1. Thanks Vishal for your selfless support.

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  12. I was nodding my head along as I read this post ... Me - Times keep you sane ... Great going Purba and heartfelt wishes for many more accolade s :)

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  13. I like the part about writing changing the writer herself. Thanks for this post. Keep writing!

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    1. Writing is cathartic and it also helps you focus.

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  14. Like the others here I find my thoughts resonating completely with yours Purba. Had it not been for my blog first I'd have bored everyone to tears with tales of my twins and then with sad stories of how I miss going to work and writing for a living. The blog is such a wonderful place to vent and to find like-minded people who listen to you without being judgmental. Such a relief it is. hope you keep writing always. I've read your blog and enjoyed your wit and humour. Way to go Purba.

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    1. It's like having a platform for the pesky voices in your head and the immense relief in knowing you're not alone.

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  15. Congrats on your journey and wish you many more milestones and accolades in the years to come. The most important thing in addition to all that you have listed, is that it is liberating. The joy you find when you see the words that were buried in your heart and head, out there in print and being shared by others. I am so glad to have found you and your blog when I did, for the person behind the words is more precious to me :)

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    1. You, my lady are the "Mani" of the blogging world. You inspire so many of us with your wisdom.

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  16. Glad you found your calling ! I am juggling between work, home, kid and blog and I still have time :-) I think it is about how well we can juggle, stay happy and keep the household peaceful. The day I start thinking that my job is a pain, I may quit it too.

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    1. No, no, you are still too young :-)

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  17. Interesting journey....and for every fan mail you get, trust me there are 10s like me who just are too lazy to write but admire nonetheless .. Wishing you the very best and hopefully to read a book by you soon.. :)

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    1. Don't say book, Prasad. It makes me so nervous!

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  18. And I add to the echoes 'so true', ' but that's my story too!'...Of late I have sanctified my me time and am now drilling the family to respect it. Here's wishing you more accolades and peace in your calling and here's wishing us more thought provoking and witty blog posts at A-Musing :)

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    1. And you've done a wonderful thing, Ilakshee.We end up sacrificing too much and end up with too little.

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  19. The best thing is that you live your life on your own terms. What's still better is your writing :)

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    1. Yes, it's a truly liberating feeling.

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  20. God bless you, Purba. Five years is wonderful and look at all the accolades you have gathered. For me, you, the person, behind the blog is very special. I love your writing whether it is on this blog or your tweets. And I also love the balanced and humble person that you are. More power to you! I am sure, the sky is the limit for your talent.

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    1. I'm just happy that I made friends like you :-)

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  21. Respect, Purba.
    And as for your writing, you know what I think of it, but will still say it anyway - Love it :D

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    1. And I love yours. Especially in your 'daddy speaketh' avatar.

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  22. Your words make me more and more confident about my decision to quit my job. Writing truly helps one to remain sane. And yes, meeting wonderful writers and great souls like you who are aware of the power of your words. Loved it. :-)

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  23. I am sure your writing will take you to many more places and am sure the freedom of expression is full of joy! Best of luck Purba:)

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    1. Thank you for your wishes, Rahul.

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  24. I so resonate with your thoughts here Purba. Two years into blogging and I feel I am a better person, rediscovering myself at every step of the way! Your journey is inspiring, thank you!

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    1. It's joy to discover that your voice resonates with many.

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  25. Lot of truth & learning in your statement" I say be selfish, demand me-time. Because if you aren’t happy, there’s no way you can make others around you happy." Happy blogging!

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  26. You said it right......"observing people more and noting their peculiar traits"
    Nothing like observing others. . . . . and sometimes it teaches us a few things.

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  27. :) So correct. In your words, i can find me.. my failed battles and my failed batteries! :) And through the same i also see so many ways of recharging myself... Glad to have read this! :)

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    1. It's failure only when you refuse to learn anything from it.

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  28. Congratulations! Yes - the process of writing does change the writer the most. As for choosing the path less trodden and the comments it invites - tell me about it :)

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    1. Hahahaha...you are the master!

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  29. Congrats on completing five years Ma'am! :) You are an inspiration for many young writers like me! :)

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  30. Congratulations on the 5 years, for all the success you have had here and for being able to do what you do best. I read your posts many more times than I comment here. :)
    Happy blogging. And all the very best.

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  31. well let me tell you first that you and your articles do make me happy, and everytime i come i go with a smile so THANK YOU for that always.

    and you should feel Elevated for I am sure many will agre that you are inspiring , at least I do and i yearn to write as good as you and still learning.. so thank you for that tooo

    I am so happy that you got to do what you wanted to do and i feel jealous too because i so want to do that but with all the responsibilities and rest of the pallava that i have
    i at the moment cant even think of doing that but hopefully god willing one day I will be able to break the shackles .

    my best wishes always with you Purba MAM and thank you for being you ...


    Bikram's

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    1. Thank you Bikram for your encouraging words. It makes me want to try harder and never give up.

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  32. It is indeed liberating to do what one likes to do but how does one make the choice? To make a living in writing is what I would like to do to but it is difficult to make somebody understand that (read family). And when you have people like Chetan Bhagat who have gone and done it, it becomes all the more difficult to explain that you can write better than him. It is gladdening to see that you don't have a job, you have a passion. What a life!

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    1. To have the freedom to do what you want, you need an understanding (read supportive) family.

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  33. Why does this look like an Acceptance speech at some coveted award ceremony? Or are you preparing for the 'just in case' (but a well deserved) scenario.

    Either way, It is good that you write, and write you must for self, and perhaps, for humanity :-)

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. Uhh, no! I was asked to write 'my inspiring story' by BlogAdda.

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  34. Congratulations on the five years of uber-successful blogging!! You are definitely inspirational and it's safe to say that you've carved a whole niche for yourself!! Kudos to you, my friend!!

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    1. My success is your state of mind, Roshni :p

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  35. Great to know your back story about blogging :). For me, this ll always be the blog that was sharp and bold enough to write Sita chronicles :).
    Cheers to 5 years and wishes for many more !

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    1. Prateek, I had the most fun writing the Sita series :D

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  36. And you are one of the best bloggers we have around. Inspiring you know.
    May you continue to baffle us with your blog posts year after year!

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    1. And you are among the funniest, my deah!

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    ReplyDelete
  38. More power to you and your pen. I am glad you chose to pick one up - how else might we have met?
    You had one notable miss in your list of achievements - you are a Twitter Celeb, too!

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    1. Indeed, about to be bestselling author :D

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  39. Dear Express ....You must always write for yourself no matter sometimes what anyone says including me.Keep the steam up ...long way to go.I def do love your post with my evening chais..( my maid sorry ..your pakoras are far behind )

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  40. Very inspiring ma'm.... I'm very bad at writing like this but after reading this i feel like, i should write something. I don't know what, but just SOMETHING. Nothing comes to my mind, vocab is pretty bad and whenever i try to write, something comes up and i have to do that. Poor me. :(

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  41. your writing uplifts reader... they forget everything and get involved in your words, in the genuine humor of your content... congratulations on all your achievements because you derserve it all :D

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