Challenges During The Lockdown Period And How I Vanquished It
Challenges During The Lockdown Period And How I Vanquished It4 mins 23 4 mins 23
My final year of college was over. The last semester examinations were online, open-book exams where we had the liberty to take our time and have endless discussions before we selected an answer. As an art student, it became much of a concern to attend multiple-choice questions as the habit to fill an exaggerated number of pages with elaborate notes had left me wondering on the possibility to do so much of a close-reading of all the texts. Nevertheless, those four days were over now and I was a graduate from Jain University, Bangalore with a degree in Psychology, English Literature and Journalism.
As I pondered on what to do next as an official undergraduate, I sunk into those moments where quitting (rather the thought of quitting) Journalism was near to impossible and how easily the jerk came to me without leaving an open wound that I had much predicted. Three long years of reading newspapers, watching and attending debates and forming vehement political opinions, I knew it wouldn’t be easy if I had to bury my passionate heart in the dark mixture of lost media and stand with a lost vision. The Indian media was mercilessly asking for subscriptions and experienced journalists advised me against moving into the profession at a time when the coronavirus became the last rock to hit the already sinking media industry. It was then I decided to place my brain before my heart and move on to find something that could be more promising, financially.
Culinary jobs come easy for an Indian woman. Many parallels to my expectations, I was donned into trying new recipes every day. I was exasperated by the efforts my parents took to get me interested in cooking as if I had already surpassed my marriage age and cooking was the last resort I had to turn up to. Nevertheless, I did not shy away from cooking occasionally. It is the most needed virtue women in my caste should have; their professional qualifications were considered only after this. My father was already doing his best explaining the pros of opening a restaurant or a bakery and how the demand for food never dies down. “Never in my family,” I thought.
However, my tough heart and hard-ended opinions on gender-equality wouldn't allow me to embrace the stereotyped job as the only path left in my life. I reminded myself I was a writer; I have always been one. “English literature would come to my rescue. Maybe writing was not meant to be just a hobby but a lot more than that,” I thought. But it wasn’t easy. With this, I reminded myself also about the fact that I still grind my teeth at the thought of writing fiction stories that could please a heart for a moment. I took up journalism so I could write stories that matter to people. I wanted to write stories after talking to and understanding people. Stories about their life. And I wasn’t sure if English literature, which majorly deals with fiction could provide me with that. But I had no escape.
I enrolled in a course of non-fiction writing and learnt the act of journalistic writing. I started writing daily life situations with a pinch of creativity. But I wrote every day. And I knew that the latter mattered more than anything else. The habit of writing would lead me to heal wounds and satisfy many hearts; it was necessary that it first did these to me.
The course helped me a lot to regain my lost interest in writing and gave me a sense of hope. It was because of this that I decided to put my efforts sincerely and not for the sake of a degree as my father had initially suggested. The thought of opening an education centre to teach English to young students was too less of a dream I thought I could possibly have. I had once committed to becoming the best journalist in the country; this was no way I could quench the thirst of doing something extraordinary. But there was no other way to move ahead in life. I long to become an author but I’m too unskilled to think of stories other than what I hear around me.
As I pen down this piece of writing, I realise that writing is undeniably a cathartic process. No wonder it counts as an essential skill in psychotherapy. Writing heals. I have believed this for long. I am amazed at how it stayed with me all this while. Like a spirit hanging on my shoulders, knowing when everything around me would fall apart it would whisper its magic into my ears, engaging my mind with a purpose and my heart with hope.