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Indira, Meet the Writer Inside You

I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve to be Inspired. Hosted by Positive Writer –

Early on in my life in the 1980s, around when teenage hit and a wave of emotions assailed me, I chose poetry as a form of expression. I wrote about anything that moved me emotionally. Today when I read those poems, they sound corny and funny and some of them make me wonder – did I actually write that?

Nurture Yourself, Don’t Let Life Slip By

In the 90s, I went on to participate in writing contests in school and won.

I remember the initial struggle with the prompt, the half hour that went by without me putting pen to paper, just sitting idle. But my mind wasn’t idle. Inside, I was a hive of activity, and my mind flitted and processed idea after idea, sequence after sequence, inspiration after inspiration until the entire story came into my mind, almost like a movie scene. And, I wrote it out faithfully.

Life went on after that, the surreal experience I had in that assembly hall at school all but forgotten. College, computer classes, work, life – everything took over. I had my share of crushes and heartbreaks, and they all came with the inevitable love poems and “Dear Diary” notes of my generation. Even so, I did not recognise or acknowledge during those days that I had the gift of writing and I needed to do more than write lovesick poems.

The years truly sped by, I moved to another country, married a wonderful man, adored my extended family and felt nothing but gratitude and love for the way life had turned out.

Grief Can be Inspiring

2004 arrived with a rude shock. My father, who I was very close to and who is my inspiration for life itself, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer. I watched him fight for four years until in October 2008 he was reduced to being completely bedridden. Watching his struggle, awed by his personality and the things he achieved in his life, I was moved to write about him. Maybe it was my way of dealing with grief. But it set me on the path to writing about him. I encouraged friends and family to share stories about him, funny things, sad things, inspiring things – all those little things that go into defining one’s persona.

I wrote in a feverish pace. I put my heart and soul on those pages. But when he died in 2009, I was in too much pain to write any more, and the book remained unfinished, like I felt my time with my father here on earth was.

Over that year, I became very ill, with constant knee pains, cramps and a general lethargy that had no collective name. I thought it was grief playing itself out and didn’t pay too much attention to begin with. But as the symptoms worsened, the trek from doctor to doctor began, and my symptoms had a name – renal failure.

Within a year of my father passing away, my family had yet another crisis to deal with – me. Maybe this was the Universe’s way of testing us, demanding to know whether we still stood as one even after the spool that bound us tightly to one another had loosened up with only our mother bravely holding the threads and processing her own grief besides.

Facing the Possibility of Death can be Liberating

I faced my own mortality, and the possibility that I may not make it through whatever came next. I went back to writing what I called “The Daddy Book”. I wanted to make sure I finished the book before I got admitted into the hospital for my kidney transplant. I was utterly in awe of my family, and everyone who came forward volunteering to be my donor. And of my sister who declared she would donate to me, before even the doctor had said I would need a transplant. Later she told me, somehow, something told her – it had to be her.

I got a new lease of life, and my family passed this test with flying colours. The support and the care I received and continue to receive from my own and my extended family – I have no words to express how blessed I feel.

Yet again my writing took a break. While I made attempts to publish the book I wrote about my father, I made no further attempts to write. Even at that point, I hadn’t realised just how passionate I was about writing.

In 2015, a friend of mine approached me to write for her. She had just founded a website that specialised in quick witty reads, for women, by women. All she had to go by was that contest way back in school, decades ago!

It was time for me to acknowledge the writer inside me. I began to write for SiyaWoman, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Seven months ago, I started this blog to attempt fiction and write about inspiring women with spunk. It was almost as if the Universe had gathered around me to say – Indira, meet the writer inside you.

We met. And life, as I knew it, was never the same again.

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