Having spent nearly two decades working with words in some form or the other (poem, script, news, gossip column) I have finally decided to stop being a coward and get down to writing what I really want to write – stories.
However I didn’t always know that this is what I wanted to do. In fact I have tried my hand at some wide ranging educational and career paths.
1. After graduation, I worked for exactly a week with a trading firm and quit when I realized that I found the machine digging a foundation in the construction plot outside my office more interesting than any trade.
2. I tried out for the Ordinance Department of the Indian Army and I swung and climbed and crossed Burma bridges with the best. But I failed… apparently not very good with following orders, and as you can imagine, the Army had an issue with that.
3. Telemarketing. Yes, I, who genuinely believe (wrongly, according to the world) that a good thing doesn’t need to be sold, actually worked as a telemarketer for 6 whole months. I was selling corporate training programs for the guy I used to work with. This was before the days of social media and email was still a new beast, so phones were all powerful.
I tried out for MBA, but providence ensured that despite making through some tough entrance exams and group discussions, I did not embark on that path. I attempted a bank exam and after the first 10 minutes spent the rest of the 2 hours looking at the trees outside the exam hall’s windows. I studied ACS (a combination of corporate law and management) for 6 months and then gave it up when I realised that I’d rather watch a few more foundation digging machines and trees.
Then one day, I managed to wrangle an interview with the neighbourhood newspaper, and just like that, I accidentally fell in to my calling.
Interestingly enough, when I recently reconnected with a college mate of mine, she surprised me by saying that she always knew I would be a writer. This was news to me! I had had no inkling of the same till a few years later. I became a reporter, an interviewer, a features writer and a script writer. It took me another 20 years before I allowed myself the courage and freedom to call myself what I truly am – a writer.