I started writing quite suddenly on this day, two years ago. There was no agenda, no ambition, not even a dream. I wrote because I had much to say but no one to say it to.
For a shy, introverted, and reticent person writing to express came as a perfect solution. It let me say things I had wanted to without having to face the world. It also protected me from its intrusive gaze and questioning looks on topics I chose to write about. But, most of all, it freed me of my inhibitions and demons. Never mind that I wrote quite badly.
As I began to write and, as a by-product, read, some of my other old loves came back to life too. The love for notebooks, the love for fountain pens, the love for music, and the love of talking to myself.
They say a person who talks to himself is a lunatic: why would someone, in a world full of people, want to talk to him or her own self? But for me the only way to connect with others has been through connecting with myself first. As a young woman I often talked to myself for hours -- mostly loud enough for a third person to be able to hear -- it let me clear my head. Something that writing does now.
Writing also brought out the person in me who had been kept buried inside for years. She was bold, fearless, open, honest; she disregarded opinions, was proud, haughty, contemptuous, and very, very independent. A person I had partially killed when I became a wife, and completely when I became a mother. For a wife and a mother should be a role model, not an outcast.
Surprisingly, in the last two years, it is this woman, the one I had killed and my writing resurrected, who gave me greatest joy. While to the world I remained a daughter, sister, wife, mother, someone who performed her duties and towed the line, my pen always brought out the rebel in me. The transition was so smooth that I wouldn't even get to know when I was Dr. Jekyll and when I turned Mr. Hyde. The catalyst, in this case, being the pen -- well figuratively.
Coincidentally, just before I had started to write, I also happened to clear off my phone book, Facebook, and memory of all the clutter. I realised that I had been hanging on to people who had had something to do with me once, but were no longer relevant -- people from school, college, work; relatives, neighbours, distant cousins. I suddenly had no desire to see what was happening in their lives, neither did I wish to share the details of mine with them. I remember feeling very light as I pressed delete button on the long list of names.
Although a fairly lonely exercise, writing brought along with it quite a few new friends. Whenever I felt lost or dejected by the uncertainty that writing -- that too with no specific purpose -- brings I would quite magically see a comment or two on my blog. Some said they resonated with me, some said they loved my writing, some even found me inspiring. These one liners from people who I had never seen or met were enough to pull me out of the deepest pit. Motivated by my readers -- even if only a handful -- I went back to writing with renewed vigour. Slowly, over a period of two years, some of these readers have become close friends -- the kinds who I look forward to interacting with.
Lately, however, I have been having doubts all over again. I am not sure where writing is taking me. It surely is not -- and cannot -- help me earn a living; I don't know if my dream of writing a book will ever be fulfilled, I am not sure if I am just wasting my time writing things that give me nothing other than the satisfaction of doing something I always wanted to. But then isn't satisfaction something that everyone craves ultimately?