To encapsulate my last five years into 800 odd words is challenging. But this is heartfelt because second chances have those hidden background stories of untold struggles, tough decisions and hours of solitary hard work.
My writing journey is barely five years old. I am not formally trained in the nuances of the craft. I started writing little notes to overcome a particularly tough year – a year of loss and its attendant ugliness followed by a major illness. Through my writing, I found a release. One thing led to the other and now I am celebrating my first solo novel, ‘When Padma bani Paula’.
Writing in my case has been therapeutic and liberating. It has given me a new direction, a brand new identity of my own and set me free from the gnawing angst of a floater. Writing gave wings to soaring dreams which fructified after a single-minded pursuit.
GurgaonMoms is where I cut my writing teeth. I would write random posts on the daily humdrum, current events or on anything that caught my fancy. The ‘likes’ on my posts became my energy boosters, gave me the strength to cope with life by putting the smile back.
One day, someone shared a story on infidelity. I shared my take on the same. (Mine dealt with the effect of infidelity on children, this story then became a part of my first anthology). I was added to ‘Write and Beyond’ group where I saw Readomania’s post, asking for story contributions. I started contributing and participating in various competitions regularly. By winning the competitions, I became a part of 5 anthologies, ( one is a LIMCA 2016 record holder, India’s first Composite Novel) and penned my first novel, ‘When Padma Bani Paula’.
Meanwhile, I blogged too. Shavet introduced me to Mosmpresso where I blogged for multiple brands, won many awards. I then started writing regularly at Women’s Web. I won at Women’s Web too, for flash fiction, creative writing, and humor. In July 2017, I was listed as one of the top 10 feminist bloggers, one must follow.
Now I do commissioned write-ups (Pop-Culture-Curator @Women’s Web). Just two years back, my style of writing wasn’t in the same wavelength as their platform. But with sheer perseverance, I cracked the code.
I write a regular piece at readomania.com – ‘AJ Wants to Know’ a satirical take on the quirky world around.
I also blog at akkaacerbic.wordpress.com which listed in the Best Indian Blogs Directory 2018 under Topical Matters and Current Affairs Category. (only 328 were listed).
My novel is available in bookshops across India, been part of Pune Lit Fest, also found many loving homes. Before all this happened, how often have I warmed the benches of glittering book launches wondering if my time under the Sun would ever come? How many silent tears have I shed, fighting those debilitating bouts of self-doubt? I didn’t lose hope. My family egged me on giving solid support.
The mantra is ‘never give up’. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Write daily and put it out for consumption and critique. Be open to experts’ suggestions. Join writing groups and participate in competitions. Most importantly, read voraciously.
I choose my moniker – ANUPAMA – to give a glimpse of who I am, in a nutshell.
A – Academically I was sorted, loved deeply and cherished, chose domesticity over a soaring career when my kids arrived. Never regretted it for a second.
N – Never one to shy away from the vicissitudes of life, I always chose to fight life’s heft with my husband standing by my side. As they say, fortune favors the brave. I have been enriched with experiences galore.
U – Understood that hope floats and good begets good, which then became my karmic call.
P – Pathos did strike in the form of death, searing us all but also binding our small family tighter.
A – Angst was left behind and happiness chosen as I marched ahead with my head held high, in my endeavor to scale greater heights and the universe did indulge the hungry me with kindness.
M – My tryst with destiny gave me a new wondrous direction as I found myself getting published. Writing became my right choice.
A – As I move into the next phase of my life, with positivity as my mojo, I hope to spin enthralling stories and soar high. I’m sure it has to do with my blood group – A+ – I usually try to be positive because there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel.
#WhenPadmaBaniPaula finds a place in ‘The Best Books of 2018’, in the Fiction category, by readwriteinspire.com. (In this list, 3 novels are translations) I am the Winner, Popular Choice,2018, Orange Flower Award for Humour
I have worn many hats through my rumbustious ride, holding on tenaciously .
I currently moonlight as an Admin, a Tutor, and an Author. To borrow a phrase, I’m between Books.
What tomorrow holds? I know not!
But I will embrace, all the new servings with open arms, because ‘Life is beautiful’ and has to be lived Queen Size!
The woods are lovely dark and deep
I have miles to go before I weep or sleep
The slate will be smudged and coloured with revamped compositions
A long look at reflection with all its imperfections
But I have promises to keep before I sleep
Here’s a small video for all you