So, where were we?
Ah yes, I was telling you about how I started writing. Given that you are reading the second post I have made on this topic, I am sure you are super interested in what I have to say and so I will make this a long post with all the details, however small they might be… Just kidding 😊 Will try to keep things short.
In the previous post, I spoke of innate affinities and pivotal events that influence (unknowingly) the path you choose. I detailed my key personality traits which helped prepare me for writing. Namely, reading, sleeping (very important to sleep) and boredom. They helped me merge and tweak characters and storylines from a young age.
Now let me describe the key events in my life. They may or may not be events where my choices were significant (to me or otherwise), but they affected my journey nonetheless.
The choice of undergrad college: Bit of context for non-Indians (not sure if there will be non-Indians reading this, but no harm in providing context. What are a couple of sentences, when you are reading a write up which is couple of pages long). India has a very competitive, conservative academic environment. Now, the pinnacle of engineering colleges in India are the IITs. While I did clear the entrance exam for IITs, I chose BITS Pilani (typically ranked below IITs) for my first degree as I got the major of my choice.
BITS Pilani gave me a degree of freedom and time I wouldn’t have had in probably any other college, especially not the IITs. Several reasons – I will not detail them here, because then this post will stop being about anything else; it’ll become one that extols the virtue of the amazing BITS Pilani
Getting a laptop: My first year of college, I was a model student (mostly). I attended at least 50 – 60% of the classes, I studied after I got back to my room. Then I got a laptop. My attendance dropped to 20 – 30% (it didn’t matter, there is no attendance requirement in BITS). I started watching TV series and movies at a breakneck pace. At times, I went through a whole season in a day. My mind was flooded with new ideas, stories and characters.
This wasn’t very healthy, and my grades eventually suffered, but hey! there is no moral to this post, it is just about what led to me writing. I am actively avoiding going on a tangent on morality of certain actions, because I care about you! I am sure there is only so much you want to read at a time from my posts 😊
Path of least effort: By the time I was in my 4th year, all I did was watch movies, eat, sleep and hang out with friends. I wasn’t sure what I would do. My parents were worried (rightly so – poor things). My dad told me to at least try preparing for a Masters (in engineering) or an MBA. I did the bare minimum – Masters application prep needed too much effort so I didn’t apply anywhere. CAT (the entrance exam for MBA) was just a day’s investment, so I wrote it. I lucked into getting calls to IIM A, B, C (for the uninitiated, these are good MBA colleges in India). Once I got admits from these colleges, I chose IIM B as it allowed me the freedom to spend my time the way I wanted to (plus it was Bangalore – a city I liked).
Oh boy, this post is getting too long! Ok, last couple of events – I joined an amazing company to work in, which gave me some time off in 2017 as I wasn’t doing too well, health wise. This time off is when all my storylines and ideas began to coalesce. I figured I had the time, so I started to write. A wrote a couple of short stories, enjoyed reading them, so motivated (not sure rightly so or not – as only me and my family read my work, none of them ever criticize anything I do. They are very sweet), I wrote my first book (I feel I rushed the last bit – but I am sure you are bored by now! I might detail the last couple of things later, if someone wants me to)
So, conclusions. Hmmm… I can’t think of too many conclusions. One is obviously, connecting the dots. I mean, I never did any of the things I mentioned so far with the intention of writing. It’s just that sometimes, you don’t choose the path, the path chooses you (that line sounds so philosophical… Not my intention. Or maybe it is. Sometimes you don’t choose the line, the line chooses you – see what I did there 😉 ).
Another thing I see is that given your nature, there might be things you will like more /be more passionate about, than others. It took me almost 27 years (that’s how old I am. No other reason for the time-span. And there can be many more reasons – let’s not go there) to realize that I am really passionate about writing – It fits my nature well. How you ask? (or maybe you don’t – again, I can’t really know; I am just guessing). As previously described, I hate getting bored and I love to read. And the thing with reading is, the book is already set. You can’t change/mold as per your imagination – something you can do as a writer. So as I writer, I never get bored, because I am constantly thinking, creating and tweaking stories based on what I like.
So that’s that – a quick (maybe not that quick) introduction to how I started to write. Hope you enjoyed it (or at least so bored by it that you wouldn’t come back, or worse not pick up my book! Oh the horror!). Will be back soon with a new post – mostly about my book.