I don’t want to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet, but people have labelled me as a writer, an essayist, and a potential novelist, all because of my distinct adeptness with words and the way I play with them. However, the concept that thrills me the most is ’student’. I love studying new things, acquiring new skills. I spent an entire Australian summer studying the tricks of writing from esteemed tutors. It may sound unusual, but I love being a student, especially when it allows me to design things that never existed.
I have been confronted by quite a lot of curious eyeballs that always seem to probe, “Why writing?”
To be honest, it is probably the pleasure of creating something that never existed or never happened and presenting it to people. Having people admire the beauty of the world you craft, experiences that you share, problems that you solve for them gives me utmost satisfaction.
It all started when I was 14. I immediately became obsessed with a chapter in our English textbook that was based on a letter sent by Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter Indira Gandhi. I was overpowered by the beauty of his writing, his choice of words and his ability to coin new words. His writing had the strength to not only influence his daughter but an entire generation.
Our school librarian was delighted to have someone who was interested in history and non-fiction. I made sure I got my hands on the book ‘Letters from a Father to his Daughter’, by Jawaharlal Nehru and more such short stories. I read my English and History textbooks like collections of short stories and also took up additional rapid reading courses that gave me an opportunity to read stories. Needless to add, I was a big fan of children’s comics.
My first stint at writing was putting pen to paper to write letters to my uncle, who lived in Baroda, a historical place in western India where I spent most of my vacations. My uncle was an influential person in my life and wanted to be in touch with him even when I lived in Bombay. Letters were the best mode of contact in days of no internet and no phones!
I continued my writing by contributing articles for the annual college magazines and writing SOPs for fellow students who were applying to foreign universities for post graduation. This generated so much of positive feedback that I began to advise students for MBA admissions and write end-to-end applications for them in the process.
I am not a voracious reader. I have read few but good novels that have strong content. Personally, I am a man of few words, more of a thinker, who also likes to read few words. Works that are succinct and compendiatory attract me. As I grew up, my attraction towards William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Larry Collins, Vikas Swarup, and R K Narayan grew stronger.
As I entered the workforce, leaders like JRD Tata, Partners of Accenture Consulting influenced me. While I was studying in Jamshedpur, thinkers like Ram Charan, Nirmalya Kumar, and faculty of XLRI inspired me with their thought leadership.
There was a beauty about the process of building a world or improving a world by solving a particular problem. Both ways, we are creating something that never existed just like magicians do. Making people believe, influencing them is most satisfying for me than anything else.
Creating a non-existent world and/or improving the world requires patience. The same rigour that the parents have for bringing up their children. To nurture something new, protect it and finally be proud of it.
Films too have a way of inspiring me. A good movie that has a plot, structure, and constructive script behind it makes me wonder, ‘Why can’t I write like that?’
Writing has power to influence people and organizations to achieve a class of their own so that they unequalled and operate at a greater level of excellence. Therein I think, meditate, pray, sing and dance. Whether it is pen or keyboard, both are mightier than the sword.
I believe that the power of writing within me, like the universe, is largely untapped, and I will continue to realise newer horizons in due course. For now, it is the fascination with creating, improving and influencing.
Image courtesy: The Writer’s Circle.