Sunday, August 3, 2014

August Again





When I was growing up, I remember enjoying solitary activities like writing and reading. Acutely aware of my thoughts and feelings I was in search of a platform to think aloud.
 As it happens, people used to ask me, “So what do you do?”
“I read and I write.”
“We all read and write. What do you do?”

I had no answers. I was not a ‘working woman’. Unable to complete my doctorate, I used to wonder whether having grey cells was an exclusive preserve of working women. The prospect of being a writer was so distant, and the idea so farfetched, that I never gave it a serious thought. And being a science student, I couldn’t be a writer of any acceptable denomination. After all, a writer’s language they say - like Caesar's wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.

Regardless, I wrote. And I read a lot. A decade ago, publications had no interest in what I wrote. They discouraged me by restraining my pen with words and deadlines. In August 2010, blogging provided wings for me to soar as a free bird. The desire to soar beyond word limits and deadlines was so strong that I named my blog ‘Freebird’. Each time I wrote a post, I felt lighter, happier.

As luck would have it, the editor of a city based newspaper was looking for writers. He read my blog and sent me a mail asking me to meet him. It was my birthday. And I was on board. An otherwise small step was noteworthy on two accounts. First, I was able to see my articles in print, and second, I was able to tap my major in Plant Physiology by writing articles based on plants and their health benefits. One thing led to another, and generic writing paved way for media critique and political commentary. The attempt was not to condemn or pass judgment, but to hold a mirror to the way the media was behaving.

Today, after four years into serious blogging, people recognize me as a writer. The regular,“What do you do?” has paved way for, “So, how’s the writer doing?”
Apart from social recognition, I notice phenomenal personal growth. We can win an argument inside our head but when we write for readers across continents, we try to put in our best. While this awareness is stimulating, it is also empowering. Blogging for me is like thinking aloud.
As far as I remember, my mind was always flooded with little thoughts pulling me in different directions. However, I am pretty focused when I write. Hours pass in minutes, minutes in seconds. It is as if I am centered on one thought. Who would have thought that blogging can also be meditative?




This August, I'll complete four years of active blogging. Despite the peaks and troughs, nothing is more joyous than being able to press the publish button to find that your words resonate with others. There is something about articulating thoughts on a public platform and comparing them with others that can be liberating. Moreover, there is an addictive kick in knowing that people across continents are reading what you write. Nothing is more exciting than writing being a soul mate for your solitude. I might not blog frequently, but  this space remains special. The passion endures.

62 comments:

  1. I love the quote Alka! And keep up your passion. It makes us alive! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely Alka. I love the kick too that comes with knowing that we are so widely read. And yes, that statement, "how's the writer doing?" I am sure that is such a morale booster, hai na?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Good to see you here Ghata.Hope the angel is doing fine.

      Delete
  3. Alka, I have been reading you for the longest time. I am so happy to be a witness to your journey of joy and self-discovery! Yes, our blog is almost our identity now. Like you, people recognize me as a writer. It makes me feel so content and happy! Hearty congrats and many more happy years of writing! As long as we enjoy what we do, nothing else matters! Keep writing! I will be reading for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We connect. And we think alike.
      Thank you for being there Rachna. Means a lot to me.

      Delete
  4. [Nothing is more exciting than writing being a soul mate for your solitude] -This is exactly how I feel. People scoff when I say this, but I write mainly for myself, because for me it’s a need. It makes me happy and strangely content as well.
    I am grateful you started to write Alka and I discovered your blog and later you through your writings.
    You are one of the finest bloggers I know, and one of the few whose posts I wait for so eagerly. Your writings are always par excellence and your conduct in the virtual world is something I have always looked up to.
    Congratulations, and here is to many many more happy years of blogging and writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Ruchira. So so glad to have met you via this blog.
      Your words make my day.

      Delete
  5. "We can win an argument inside our head but when we write for an audience across continents, we try put in our best. While this consciousness is stimulating, it is also empowering. Blogging for me is like thinking aloud. " - Absolutely true. You have started my day on two good notes. The Whatsapp message and now this, a post with a thought-process which resonates with me so much that I wonder if I wrote it. (Of course, your journey has been far more successful than mine has been for now, but in levels of satisfaction to do with writing and getting read I think we stand as sisters.
    I will preserve your morning message and now these thoughts for a long time to come.
    Wishing you whatever you wish out of this 'passion' and myself more writers and friends like you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is so sweet Sakshi, I just don't know what to say. Truly blessed to have met you and fortunate to be able to read you.
      Perhaps the similarities have something to do with our respective upbringing.
      Thank you.

      Delete
  6. Amen to that thought. We all agree on two things - one, that writing is a very meditative process for us. two - you are an awesome writer. So this August, let's celebrate, not just your four years into blogging - but also how you've influenced lots of wannabe writers like me. Thank you and I shall always remain forever grateful to whoever it was that led me to stumble upon your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Common, Sid. Wannabe? :)
      Glad to have met you via blogging.
      Truly.

      Delete
    2. Same here Alka. Glad that blogging put us in touch.

      Delete
  7. I have loved your writing from day 1. It helps that I like you so much as a person as well.

    You have come a long way. Alka and this is just the beginning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen.
      Thanks for being there. Means a lot to me.

      Delete
  8. Congratulations on the nearing the completion of four years of blogging. Yes - that quote resonates. Have not yet reached the heights of being accosted with "What's the writer doing?", it is more of "Ho! Hum! So you blog. What else do you do?" with me still. And, when hitting the Publish button, I still have no clue as to whether my post resonates with anyone at all - I shed readers faster than I used to shed hair :) But, yes, I keep writing because I WANT to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uff, the humility!
      Bang on, when you say,"I keep writing because I WANT to".

      Delete
  9. resembles to mine.. the words fluttering arond whenever i sit to write..! though I am not writing too much nowdays on my public blog but my private blog is like full of stuff..!


    Going going.! a small poem is coming to my mind on writing our feelings.. i will jot that down soon and put it on my blog.. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome here Nitin.
      Writing on your blog can be cathartic in more ways than one.

      Delete
  10. Congratulations on the wonderful journey so far, and here's wishing you an even more fulfilling and reward journey in the years ahead. A very well-written post, Alka! Keep writing and inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I really enjoy your writing Alka...And what you write here about writing being the companion of your solitude, well it resonates with me...I feel like a free bird too when I write! Keep writing and keep soaring :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Four years is indeed a huge thing!!!
    I am so glad the passion endures and blogging is definitely meditative!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Given that an average blog life is thirty days, four years is something. I have had a tripping good time.

      Delete
  13. One of the writers I have immensely enjoyed reading ever since I got active in blogging is you. Writing is my anchor in life, and reading your post resonated with that feeling of mine.
    I completely agree with Sid, Writers like you are a source of inspiration for wanna be's like me. Thanks for being around :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's high praise Seeta. Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  14. Congratulations on the completion of the anniversary, and may your writing see many more multiples of 4s to enhance and encourage the lives of multitudes of your regular readers :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Given your knowledge of mythology and writing skills, it is an honor to see you here.
      Thank you for all the encouragement..

      Delete
  15. wowow four years now that is a great milestone .. and you know I am so happy i know a person who writes so well and is a celebrity.

    and heres wishing many many manyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy years more , and we get to read all these lovely articles :)

    I am glad i know you well at least on blogs .. All the best alwayssssssssssssssssss


    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People like you set example before others. Despite all odds, you continued writing and congratulations on completion of four years of blogging and this year you have another big reason to celebrate for your short story 'Someone With Character' is one of the 27 stories in Mango Chutney. Keep writing and you may not know you are inspiring someone to keep his/her dreams alive...

      Delete
    2. Bikram, thank you for being an integral part of my blogging journey. Means a lot to me.

      Rupa, a pleasure to see you here. Yes, Mango Chutney is a dream come true.

      Delete
  16. I have not read you from the beginning. From a couple of years I believe. But, you never disappointed me. Always enjoyed reading your political posts...As a kid I loved politics. They seemed very interesting to me. Now, I enjoy your funny and satiric take on them. I am happy to know the long path you have come. And hey I didn't know your story got published until I read Rupa's comment above. Congratulations dear! Keep writing for many years to come.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for being a part of my journey Prudhvi.
      Your presence here means a lot.

      Delete
  17. Congrats, Alka. I am sure you will be writing with the same joy, conciseness and clarity for years to come. The publishing of your short story is just the first step to bigger things. Time to pull out that shelved novel and dust it. Wouldn't it be wonderful to say that I have known Alka Gurha since the time she began blogging? :) Hugs and best wishes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So so good to see you here. We go a long way, yes we do.
      Thank you for being a part of my blogging journey.

      Delete
  18. Congrats Alka for having achieved so much in four years.I have missed many of your posts but i intend to catch up soon.

    Yes blogging is certainly very empowering--it augments one's self-belief and connects us to dear friends in the process.

    After reading this post i realized that i too completed four years of blogging this June.That is one bit where i am near you--hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on completing four years Indu.
      Your posts are packed with so much wisdom. Always a pleasure to read you.

      Delete
  19. Happy Fourth! Not only do most of your posts resonate with my sensibilities, they also make me jealous that I didn't write them myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is high praise! Regardless, makes me very happy.
      :)

      Delete
  20. The' Freebird' will continue to soar higher! Your writing skills are unmatched and you have carved a niche , Alka:) Best wishes for many more years of blogging and seeing printed volumes in future!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can very much relate to each sentence u wrote. Even if u r working sometimes people wonder Y u write so much :P lol
    bandar ke jaane adrak ka swad types it is to me !
    Hearty congos to u on finishing 4 years of blogging .. I feel so good to know a person like U !
    chasing ur dreams and making it true is the true essence of life :)
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The feeling is mutual. We haven't met but we think alike.
      Love your chirpy happy nature.

      Delete
  22. Alka, you inspire me every time and this time, even more. I fall in the same category of a non-working woman. Now that I know true talent never goes unnoticed, I am going to give my best and the rest will follow I guess.
    Congratulations on your blogging anniversary and wishing you many more years of successful blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is high praise Vaishnavi. I am sure you will go a long way. Opportunity often comes dressed in the overall of perseverance. Keep going.
      And thank you.

      Delete
  23. Do I have to say it again that I am in love with the way you write? I am totally in love. Even when I am not active online, I don't miss on reading you and few others. So good to have someone like you around, all thanks to blogging. We still have our meeting pending :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No you don't have to Jas, I can feel the warm vibes.
      Thank you for spending time here. Means a lot.

      Delete
  24. Yes,you are a great writer.I have read your articles in print media.Each one has left an impression.
    Keep it up.
    My best wishes on the 4th anniversary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Coming from you, I am flattered Mr Chowla. Thank you.

      Delete

  25. Congrats on reaching a milestone Alka ! I found you a little late in the day, but glad to have read you and known you through your blog. Your perseverence inspires me to continue to write and not bother about who reads or does not read my blog. The aspect of being read by different people is indeed thrilling but above all for me, it is a chronology of my thoughts.. in a way, a legacy which might perhaps outlast me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad we found each other! Thank you for being a part of my journey.

      Delete
  26. Congratulations Alka for a remarkable journey and for your growth. A bigger congratulations for being recognised as a writer, we all know it's difficult to come by. I have to agree with the quote you have shared. We will continue to feed our babies no matter what.

    Btw, what exactly is Plant Physiology?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plant physiology is all about plants, their cell structure, salt uptake, productivity, biochemistry and micro biology.

      Delete
  27. Four years! That is astounding. Perseverance is what blogging taught all of us, I guess :) Congratulations and keep soaring higher!

    ReplyDelete
  28. A fulfilling journey in the world of blogging, Alka. Congrats and many more years. Writing is such a fulfilling exercise:)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello Alka,

    I have read your article and moved to read another author write up.

    However, when I'm winding my work and moving into another work other than reading the lines started brimming my brain

    "As far as I remember, my mind was always flooded with little thoughts pulling me in different directions. However, I am pretty focused when I write. Hours pass in minutes, minutes in seconds. It is as if I am centered on one thought. Who would have thought that blogging can also be meditative?"

    They are pretty true!!

    Most of the authors might have experienced this stage, but it passes unknowingly.

    Great that you caught them in letters..

    ReplyDelete
  30. Cheers to the four, and the many more :-)

    ReplyDelete