Deepti is a writer and an engineer ... she is still taking baby steps ...
|Deepti stretched her hands after what seemed like hours in front of her computer. She looked at the clock. It was half past twelve in the night and she was not sure if her editor was going to like her work. She stood up and stretched her back. It certainly was not amongst the best pieces she was working on. But deadlines had to be met. Work had to be done. So here she was, sitting late night in her one room apartment and having no clue about where her article was going. She walked towards the kitchen, almost limping, finding it difficult to move her now stiff legs.
She put some coffee in the pot to let it brew. Deepti had been writing as long as she could remember. Getting a job as a freelance columnist in “Thoughts” was an almost unbelievable moment for her. She had always felt comfortable expressing herself through words. Speaking them out loud though, was never her forte. Words on paper, unlike spoken words, were tangible. Something she could see, she could believe in. Something or maybe someone she can seek comfort in when she felt lonely or sad.
She poured her coffee and walked towards the tiny balcony adjoining her room on the 3rd floor. There was not much of a view outside but she liked the feel of little wisps of cool breeze touching her face. She loved the weather of Bangalore. Hunching her shoulders in the cold, Deepti curled her fingers around the warm mug of coffee to feel its lovely warmth.
She remembered her days as a software engineer in a reputed IT firm. Her parents took pride in her and of course in telling the world that their lovely yet underdog of a daughter had finally conquered the competition and found a foothold. She would flinch at the faux-praises because only she knew the truth. She knew she did not belong there. She was not the best in what she was doing unlike what her parents unfortunately believed in. However, before Deepti could realize it, she was tangled in the web of money, promotions, salary hike and office politics. She had completely forgotten the lovely relationship she shared with her words, the feelings that came associated with them and the joy she felt in putting them on paper, filling them with new life.
But like many, dissatisfaction had crept in her without her even realizing it. She used to be there in her office, every day on time, working as she was supposed to, socializing as she was expected to. There she was, wishing plastic hellos to people she barely knew and answering the same old questions she was tired of. She had started hating words like status, access, issues and other words which made up a typical day of work for her. Yet she did not know it. All she knew was that she was not “exactly” happy. Of course she had friends, she would sit all day in AC, go for shopping and movies on weekends. She was living a life which the media had today named as the life of a young free independent professional! But what was it? What was it that felt “just not right”? It felt like a discomfort in her body, yet she could not what exactly it was.
Standing in her tiny balcony tonight, Deepti figured it was getting late. But somehow, she was enjoying her trip down the memory lane. She remembered the day when Vinay, her lead walked up to her and asked to mail him the status of her work. “Yes, I will mail it to you in some time” She had said, trying the best to calm her down, not sure why was she felt furious. Vinay was doing his job, wasn’t he? Why did she have the urge of using the F word she had so frequently started to use! Suddenly she just did not want to sit there anymore. She felt claustrophobic. She decided to send that mail and leave for the day. Not wanting to go back home, there was just one place Deepti would rather be. She took her bag and walked off, reaching for the keys to her scooty. She stopped at oxford book store and smiled. While parking her vehicle, she did not even remember what was it that made her huff and puff away in anger from her office. She walked in, taking in the lovely scene of books all around her. Books –waiting to be read, waiting to become a part of their reader’s life, waiting to share their stories, little worlds within a world. Since she had not kept a record of time, the fact that it could be late dawned on her only when she realized that the number of other readers around her had reduced.
Back home, Deepti just remember that she was happy, having visited her best friends after a long time. And again after a long time she wanted to write, something from her heart, wanting to return to another set of her friends – her words. They say there are moments of realization, one moment that changes your life forever-- the “Eureka” moment. Looking back, Deepti realized that although that day she might not have an elated eureka moment, but she did remember that there was something in this world after all, which she felt passionately about – putting words on paper, telling stories, sharing what she and everyone else felt about an important matter. This realization was enough for her. She knew she could not be the best writer overnight. But something in her wanted to try and give it her best shot. After all, she did finish her graduation in engineering, crunching numbers for 4 long years, when she had no interest in them. So it only felt logical to pursue something she was naturally happy doing. Good or bad, she would let time decide.
It took her a long time. She had no idea where to begin and how to go about in her new journey. She had no contact and most importantly no one to go to with her questions. But she did have two things – a lot of motivation and of course an internet connection. She did not do anything reckless. She did not leave her job the very next day. But she did start giving serious time to her writing. She found people and groups on the net who were as passionate about writing as she was. And here she was today, making her way as a freelance writer in Thoughts -- a startup magazine by 2 upcoming writers like her. Deepti smiled, coming back to this moment and walked back towards her laptop. Her article was taking time, but Deepti knew she would finish it. She might not be the best writer in Thoughts but she was getting there. She still had her job as a boring Software engineer, but now it seemed only a little less bad, because she had something to cocoon herself in – her stories.
She was always asked one staple question, when people came to know about her freelancing job as a writer. “So when are you writing your book?” Deepti was never sure of an answer. She still had a long way to go. A book was too huge a step. But she would always smile and reply, “Whenever I will have a story beautiful enough to tell the whole world!”