“A work in progress”

*2.39 am*

Okay, I am very nervous about starting this weekly thing. I have backspaced these lines for over a hundred times. But, this is it. I have finally started something that I wish to continue and be regular at.

Writing has always been my hobby. As a kid, I would enjoy reading story books from the school library and then try to remember all those stories while writing essays in the exam. However, my first real inspiration to write something by myself was when I came across a book called “Wise and Otherwise” by Sudha Murthy. Initially, I was too ignorant to know who this lady is, but as I read the stories in this book, I couldn’t stop obsessing over her. I was fascinated by how she had described the human facades in a very simple yet detailed manner. Her non-fictional stories and their characters inspired me deeply. The incidents and situations that are written in it spoke to me and although I was too young to relate to them, a thought that I too can write an imaginary story having some characters similar to the people in my life gave birth to the writer in me. But, reading one book was not enough. I lacked the ability to describe my thoughts in a well-articulated manner. Thus, I started to read more of Sudha Murthy’s work. I bought copies of “The Old Man And His God”, “The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk”, “Gently Falls The Bakula”, & “How I Taught My Grandmother To Read And Other Stories” and I was filled with too much of respect and love for the author. I read about her life story, about how she was the first female engineer at TATA and how she gave up her job to support her husband in his startup- Infosys. I already knew about her social work as I read her books and she inspired me not only as an author but as a human being. Her simplicity, her purity of thoughts and the way in which she described the human behavior and its myriad shades was incredible.

During my vacations after the tenth class board exams, I began writing a small story about two friends and the experiences they go through together while at school. These characters were inspired by two of my close friends at that time. After writing two chapters of this story, I asked my parents to read it and they were amazed at how well I had described these two friends and their surroundings. They immediately guessed which two characters from real life were described in this story and that was my first achievement. My first two readers could very well understand and relate to my descriptions of the characters. I began reading up more fictional books after this. Many Indian, as well as foreign authors, started to become my inspiration day after day and my stories took a new shape. The descriptions of events and places became much more detailed and realistic. My personal diary became my whole world as it gave me a secret stage to openly express everything about my day. The words started flowing easily and the diary entries became more interesting by the day. This led me to write another story of about 120 pages. It meant a lot to me at that time. It was during the first few days of my college, I had been reading a lot of other books, learning how to build up the story. I was also making new friends at college and it helped me shape some characters of my new story. More than anything, I loved that I could express my own thoughts and feelings in form of the characters in my stories. I enjoyed the freedom of making my characters feel and say anything I wanted as opposed to the real life.

What took this small hobby of mine to another level was when my essay in the mid-semester English exam was appreciated by the Professor. It was then that I told him how I liked reading and writing stories. I showed him my 120-page blurb with a mixed feeling of excitement and the fear of being judged. This was the first time someone was going to read my unsupervised thoughts and I was really anxious. After a couple of days, he told me that he was quite impressed with the way I had expressed my thoughts in this write up and suggested I should try writing short stories instead. He appreciated how each detail was carefully put and asked me to reduce the length of the story, combining it with some kind of a message at the end. An English subject professor appreciating and encouraging me with my writing was another big achievement for me. I did take his suggestion seriously and published short stories in the college magazine for the two years that I studied in that college.

After I joined the senior college for my next course, I started writing a lot of short stories, few of which made their way on my own Blog site. This was the first time I had gone public with my writing and I was nervous about the review I might get. But, it was another big achievement when these short stories were well appreciated by my friends and it gave me a huge amount of confidence. I wrote mostly about friendship as my world revolved around my friends at that time. I also included a lot of travel stories when I became a volunteer for a camping organization. I started roaming around in the forests and capturing the wild in my camera. This inspired me to write about the jungles, the animals, the rivers, the city spaces and the shades of life observed in different parts of the country as I traveled across states. I also tried writing a short murder mystery, a poem about the dilemma and a few more things which were liked by my group on social media. Most of the creative ideas however never got their conclusions and still hang around incomplete. It is usually because of procrastination and sometimes just because it is really silly.

I have found myself awake on many nights sitting with my laptop and coming up with ideas for my blogs. Even though all those ideas don’t end up being published on my blog site, I enjoy the process of pouring out my thoughts on the screen. It gives me peace and a feeling of freedom like no other. I never took any course in creative writing (which now I feel I should have) and yet I think I’m doing pretty okay for a start. So, here comes the purpose of this weekly blog. A medium of expressing what I feel, as me and not through a character in any short story. A small attempt to tell about the amazing people in my life and the crap they get me into for being a good listener. It is a small effort to deal with the quarter-life crisis by sharing my fears, my mundane adventures, my small bits of happy days and big life decisions that are to be made.

So, here it is. I’m Nikita, a 23-year-old girl from Pune. I have a post-graduate degree in Geology and I have no idea what to do with it. I don’t know what to do with life anymore anyway. Short term goals: I am thinking of adopting a cat soon but I am just scared she will feel lonely if I go out and lock her inside the house. What do I do? No, seriously, tell me.

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